DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 16, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Oxygen Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:OXBT) (SIX Swiss Exchange:OXBT) and privately held Sarasota Medical Products, Inc. (SMP) of Sarasota, FL, today announced they signed a Binding Letter of Intent to determine the feasibility of pursuing a joint research and development venture for treating chronic ischemic wounds. The venture will be based on combining Oxygen's Wundecyte ™ PFC formulation with SMP's topical medical devices. Oxygen Biotherapeutics' Wundecyte product is a novel gel under development. It is designed to be used as a wound-healing agent that delivers oxygen to a wound alone, or in combination with a specialized oxygenating bandage. SMP's oxygen delivery devices include WoundSeal I, a chambered device specifically designed to deliver liquids and gels to a wound surface; WoundSeal II, a dressing with a plurality of layers designed to deliver one or more beneficial materials to the skin for the treatment of chronic wounds and burns; and OxyShield, a topical oxygen chamber designed to deliver hyperbaric oxygen to acute and chronic wounds to aid in initiating angiogenesis. Patents are filed for all three devices. "Chronic wounds can be extremely painful, debilitating and lower a person's quality of life significantly. Unfortunately, some wounds remain recalcitrant for years. As the incidence of diabetes grows and as our Baby Boomer population ages, we expect to see an increase in the number of wound care patients. We believe Sarasota Medical, founded by experts who honed their skills at leading wound healing companies, is an innovative, rising leader in this field. We look forward to working with them to develop oxygen-based products for treating wounds," said Gerald Klein, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Oxygen Biotherapeutics. "Health care reform and efficacious medical treatments are not polar opposites, in fact the solutions to these fundamental problems are often found by combining technologies. Sarasota Medical Products has sought out many strategic partners who have cutting edge technologies to help patients and reduce hospital stays. Oxygen Biotherapeutics' Wundecyte™ product is an unprecedented oxygen carrier that can be combined with our technologies to offer a superior delivery system. We are excited about our future collaboration with Oxygen Biotherapeutics' talented team and we are looking forward to building products for the future," said SMP President and Chief Executive Officer Walt F Leise, III, PhD, MBA.
Chronic ischemic wounds can include diabetic ulcers, decubitus ulcers, and stasis dermatitis, which is a common inflammatory skin disease that occurs on the lower extremities of patients with chronic venous insufficiency with venous hypertension.According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, approximately 16 million people in the United States are known to have diabetes, and millions more are considered at risk of developing the disease. Among patients with diabetes, 15 percent develop a foot ulcer, and 12 percent to 24 percent of individuals with a diabetic foot ulcer require amputation. Even when cured of a diabetic ulcer, the recurrence rate is 66 percent and often results in amputation. Decubitus ulcers, often referred to as bed sores or pressure sores, occur at sites overlying bony structures that are prominent when a person is lying in a recumbent position. Often they occur on the scalp, back, buttocks, tailbone, hip heel or any other area to which pressure is applied while a person is lying down. According to the 1999 National Pressure Ulcer Prevalence Survey, intensive care units have the highest prevalence rates among different hospital settings. The survey also found pressure ulcer prevalence in long-term care facilities is an estimated 11 percent to 30 percent of patients. Stasis dermatitis affects a significant portion of the elderly population. Studies have estimated the prevalence of stasis dermatitis affects 15 to 20 million people over age 50. About Sarasota Medical Products, Inc (SMP) Sarasota Medical Products, Inc. develops ostomy, infection control, and wound care products for the healthcare community. The early-stage company was founded by key developers of the products and processes currently being offered by the global market leaders in wound and ostomy care. SMP has developed four new products that will compete for market share in the advanced wound care market and a new coupling system to compete in the global ostomy market. For more details on SMP, contact E.F. (Gene) Sweeney-941-377-1451, or visit www.sarasotamedical.com . About Oxygen Biotherapeutics, Inc. Headquartered in Durham, NC, Oxygen Biotherapeutics, Inc. is developing medical and cosmetic products that efficiently deliver oxygen to tissues in the body. The company has developed a proprietary perfluorocarbon (PFC) therapeutic oxygen carrier and liquid ventilation product called Oxycyte that is being formulated for both intravenous and topical delivery. This year, the company launched its DERMACYTE ® line of oxygen-rich skin care products. In addition, the company is focused on perfluorocarbon-based oxygen carriers for use in traumatic brain injury, decompression sickness, personal care, and topical wound healing. More information is available at www.oxybiomed.com or www.buydermacyte.com . The Oxygen Biotherapeutics, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7277 Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements This news release contains certain forward-looking statements by the company that involve risks and uncertainties and reflect the company's judgment as of the date of this release. These statements include the Company's ability to finalize a joint venture agreement with Sarasota Medical Products, Inc., including expansion of research and development of the Company's product lines, including Wundecyte, and the timing of the introduction of those new products. The forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including matters beyond the company's control that could lead to delays in new product introductions and customer acceptance of these new products, and other risks and uncertainties as described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the current report on Form 10-Q filed on December 9, 2010. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements beyond the date of this release. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
CONTACT: Oxygen Biotherapeutics Ellen Corliss, Vice President, Corporate Communications & Investor Relations (919) 855-2112 Sarasota Medical Products E.F. (Gene) Sweeney, Head of Business Development 941-377-1451