A Blacksburg company has received its fourth patent in pursuit of a lighted device that treats nail and skin infections.
The patent, granted April 5, expands Keraderm Corp.'s portfolio of three patents and broadens the company's hold on its technology, CEO William Cumbie said.
Keraderm is developing a medical device for the dermatology market. The new patent covers "a different way to generate the light," Cumbie said.
Cumbie said the patent could be thought of as an additional picket in a protective fence the company is building around itself. For technology protection, "you want to build a fence. This is just one more panel that we're putting on the fence," he said.
To advance its commercialization goals, Keraderm is conducting clinical trials and could have results by the end of the year, Cumbie said. The early stage company based at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center has yet to generate revenue, but has garnered investments of about $4.5 million, Cumbie said.
Some of the money came from NewVa Capital Partners, a fund through which the Virginia Tech Foundation, Carilion Clinic and Third Security support firms in the NewVa region of Southwest Virginia.
It will take additional money to bring the lighted treatment device to market, though the amount depends on the approach, Cumbie said.
The company contends that drugs are ineffective in curing fungal nail infections, which are embedded in the nail, but that its microbe-destroying light has yielded results. The light penetrates the nail and either kills the infectious microbes or renders them incapable of reproducing, the company told the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Keraderm is hoping the same or similar technology can be proven to combat infections of the skin.
By Jeff Sturgeon
The Roanoke Times