TeVido’s Pivot to Help Vitiligo Patients Feel Whole Again ..
(REPOSTED FROM LINKEDIN)
TeVido’s mission has always been about helping patients to feel “whole” again. As we developed our technology to re-pigment the nipple areola lost due to breast cancer, we realized this could benefit patients with vitiligo (vit-ih-LIE-go).
And… we could make this happen quickly.
Vitiligo is a disease that results in milky-white patches of skin on different parts of the body, such as the face, arms and feet. There is no cure… and it can be emotionally devastating. You may know someone with it or perhaps you are aware that Michael Jackson was using depigmentation treatments to try and deal with his vitiligo.
By designing our first product for vitiligo, TeVido has been able to accelerate our development time while cutting cost-to-market by one tenth of what it was for nipple reconstruction!! We should have a product available in early 2019. In fact, we are installing our clean room and new equipment now to meet strict FDA quality control guidelines for Good Manufacturing/Tissue Processes (GMP and GTP)
So what are we doing, you ask? TeVido uses proprietary processing in our specialized laboratory to prepare a patient’s healthy skin cells for transplantation to a vitiligo area to aid in restoration of skin color.
In this transplant procedure, a licensed physician takes a small sample of a patient’s healthy skin and ships it to TeVido. The sample is so thin you can see through it. We separate the living cells from the sample, test for quality, and then ship back to the doctor. The doctor prepares the vitiligo patch by removing the very top layer of skin, the epidermis, which is about 0.1 mm thick – the same thickness as a sheet of paper. Check out the animation video we made to help explain it!
These pigment cell transplants have been performed since the early 1990s as a surgical treatment for vitiligo. Published papers have shown that one sub-type, called segmental vitiligo, responds the best. One study (Silpa-Archa et al.) showed > 71% of the segmental vitiligo lesions maintained good (> 75%) repigmentation at an average follow up of 2.5 years. A 2004 Mulekar study reported that 84% of segmental patients showed excellent repigmentation (> 95%), up to five years. See the references.
But what does this mean about nipple reconstruction? You may think this is bad news, but it actually is not. It is very difficult to get investment for projects that take a long time and cost a lot of money. Makes sense, right? Well, we faced this challenge with our fundraising, before we made the change to focus on vitiligo first.
It is just that, vitiligo is first, but it is not the only thing we are doing. We still have nipple areola reconstruction on our roadmap as well as difficult to treat scars.
Our mission has not changed, our path to get there has gotten easier.
About TeVido BioDevices – TeVido is a privately-held biotechnology company that uses high quality, cutting-edge processing techniques to prepare transplant material – made from a patient’s own living cells- for physicians to use in procedures to restore lost pigment. By creating a centralized processing facility, TeVido removes the need for the physician to staff and build infrastructure themselves. TeVido is making these life changing cell transplants available to those who need them.