Changing Wound Treatment Here In Gainesville

It’s an observable fact; fly larvae are prone to ingest dead, damaged and infected skin. While this piece of information may not be particularly pleasant for the squeamish, it is actually helping health care professionals develop a new method of wound care. BioMonde, a Welsh company providing this larval therapy, recently expanded to the United States, and it found its home at the Innovation Hub right here in Gainesville. 

BioMonde first emerged as the maker of polyester mesh bags to contain the larvae, while modern use of the therapy was commercialized by the company ZooBiotic. ZooBiotic has since acquired BioMonde, which allowed the company to keep its name. Together, the two form the largest larval therapy provider in Europe.

The move to the U.S. was largely contingent on the Food and Drug Administration clearing the company’s BioBag, which it did in August 2013. This allowed the company to secure $5 million from private investors to help fund their ventures here in the U.S.

The company will be starting a 140-patient clinical trial in collaboration with the University of Florida and the VA Hospital, which will focus on the efficacy of the BioBag in comparison to cutting away dead tissue. BioMonde’s hope is to have the BioBags commercially available in December, as the company expects to grow considerably within the next couple of years and already has plans to move into larger facilities in the Innovation Square in the next 12 to 18 months. 

As far as the move abroad goes, Katy Nicell, the company’s product manager stationed here in Gainesville, has found it to be better than expected. “It’s a perfect place for us in our early 30s, the bugs and humidity aside," she said. "Everyone’s been real friendly, and then to come to a place like Innovation Hub on a daily basis, it’s pretty special."

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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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