Rensselaer recently licensed the patents to Xylos Corporation, a company originally established within the Rensselaer incubator program, and now with operations in the Watervliet, N.Y.-based Incubator and in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Xylos expects to begin worldwide production on a biosynthesized form of microbial cellulose for use in the health care industry including non-invasive and surgical applications -- estimated to be a $5 billion market.
"This gift from Kimberly-Clark will extend Rensselaer's growing leadership in biotechnology research and the transfer of discoveries made in the laboratory to the marketplace where they will benefit human health," said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson.
Xylos was co-founded by Rensselaer alumni Gonzalo "Al" Serafica, Ph.D., and Jack Brennan. Serafica is vice president of research and development and oversees the company's development efforts at its Watervliet and Newtown facilities.
The company's first product line of XCell Wound Dressings has been cleared for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use on chronic wounds and first- and second-degree burns. In clinical studies the biomaterial has been shown to improve patient comfort and wound healing.
The biomaterial used in XCell has proven to be several times more absorbent than traditional dressings, and is capable of holding 100 times its weight in fluid. Additionally, it delivers and absorbs moisture to and from a wound. The biomaterial can be engineered to be incredibly strong, to resorb material in and around a wound, and to carry and deliver active agents, such as medicines, within the material itself.