More than a quarter of a million people in the United States suffer spinal chord injuries every year (and many of these are young people); over a million people every year experience pressure sores. What do these two have in common? They both breed a problem of continence: an inability to control the anal sphincter to keep solid waste in the body (for further discussion of the impact of incontinence on bed sores look here). Of those struggling with this, many report it to be more debilitating than the loss of sexual functions, and it accounts for one of the biggest reasons that people choose to institutionalize their family members.
Dr. Nir Barak RDD Pharma in 2008 to try and solve this type of condition, and others that are often overlooked by the medical community. According to him, the problem seems to be a tearing in the lower rectum lining, known as anal fissure. This affects many people, more than even doctors realize because many do not report their discomfort out of embarrassment. He discerned that the critical problem was an anal sphincter wrapped too tightly, triggering recurrent spasms. Surveying the medications available, he found they were either unproductive (topical drugs) or risky (surgery). Therefore, he set out to create a new solution to this old problem.
His first realization was that his focus would be better spent not on redesigning medications, but on more effectively delivering them to ailing parts of the body. Previously, patients had been self-medicating anal fissures with ointments or capsules. Ointments were inefficient because they rarely settled on the affected areas; on the other had, pills lacked efficacy because of their quick absorption into the bloodstream, leaving the site of pain untreated. The capsule-suppository combination offered by RDD solves both problems, and even increases patient compliance. It works by directly applying a suppository into the anal region but keeps it there through its product design. This reduces the likelihood of absorption into the bloodstream. Further, its direct methods raise the chances of success by literally reaching closer to the source of the disease.
This is not the only attempt RDD is taking at solving problems overlooked by the medical community. Among its others ambitions, RDD is developing a treatment to ease the pain of those undergoing radiation therapy. In the United States, almost 300,000 people annually face itching and inflammation in their colon region due to this medical procedure. Currently, there is no FDA-approved solution to this problem; thus, RDD seeks to fill this void to ease the pain of those who need it most. To date, they have already secured seed funding as well as later rounds of investments. To learn more, visit their website at: http://rddpharma.com/.