Hamid Khosrowshahi, President of Prospera® Negative Pressure Wound Therapy
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Q: How were you first introduced to the arena of wound care?
A: I grew up in Iran where my family owned a large pharmaceutical and healthcare company, so as early as I can remember, I have had a keen interest in the medical field. I have been quite fortunate throughout my career to be involved in unique products that make a difference for the patient by providing effectiveness and quality of life. In 1987, I was responsible for the development, manufacturing, and launch of EXU-DRY®, a patented concept for a “non-adherent, super-absorbent” dressing for burns and wound care. It was a very successful, breakthrough product, which was later sold to Smith & Nephew. In 1991, I became involved in the development and introduction of the first type-I collagen dressings in proper molecular structure that actually worked to heal chronic wounds with over a 95% success rate. Unfortunately we were ahead of our time, and the market did not embrace collagen in the way it is being embraced and promoted today. In 1997, I worked on another unique product made of 100% type-I collagen for neurosurgical application. I spearheaded the marketing and launch of DuraGen® dural graft matrix for duraplasty, which is now a market leader and multi-million dollar product line. My interest in collagen and collagen based products for wound care eventually lead to my involvement with negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT).
Q: Please tell us how you became involved in NPWT.
A: Several years ago, our parent company became a distributor of Bluesky Medical and V1 Versatile pumps. Our main objective at the time was to use a combination of NPWT and collagen to promote cost effective wound closure outcomes on a local/regional basis. NPWT was an accepted adjunctive modality for wound care and we knew from our field and clinical experience that the combination of NPWT and collagen was very powerful. We had no intention of getting involved in direct manufacturing of NPWT pumps or for that matter, entering the market on a national level. I remember taking a V1 pump and dressing kit home with me and applied it on myself to get a better feel for the concept. It took me only 1 hour after the application of the dressing and operation of the pump before I realized V1 was not the right pump for NPWT. It was poorly designed, extremely noisy, and quite uncomfortable. If I could not stand the loud noise of the pump, how could I expect any patient to accept it? We continued to search out a suitable pump and finally realized that we needed to develop and engineer our own pump. After over a year of research and development work we introduced our first generation PRO-I pump. It was officially launched at the Symposium on Advanced Wound Care and Wound Healing Society (SAWC) meeting in San Diego in April 2008.
Q: What do you find most fascinating about NPWT? What exactly does NPWT mean to you as a top-level Executive?
A: What I am most fascinated about is the science of NPWT and how it works with the body at a cellular level to improve healing. New scientific studies coming out of South Africa, Japan, and Sweden are investigating the mechanisms by which NPWT confers its benefits and how these biological mechanisms work at a cellular level. Investigators are exploring areas related to blood flow, and differences in the use of continuous and intermittent therapy. They are also investigating how to best manage ischemic zones which develop around the wound edge, use of lower negative pressures, and if there is any effect on outcomes when using different dressing mediums, to name a few.