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Dermatology Research and Practice
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 5068969, 10 pages
Clinical Study

Betulin-Based Oleogel to Improve Wound Healing in Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa: A Prospective Controlled Proof-of-Concept Study

1Epidermolysis Bullosa Centre, Department of Dermatology, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
2Department of Pediatric Dermatology, University Children’s Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
3Research Centre Skinitial, Department of Dermatology, Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Agnes Schwieger-Briel

Received 20 February 2017; Accepted 18 April 2017; Published 22 May 2017

Academic Editor: Elizabeth H. Kemp

Copyright © 2017 Agnes Schwieger-Briel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Skin fragility and recurrent wounds are hallmarks of hereditary epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Treatment options to accelerate wound healing are urgently needed. Oleogel-S10 contains a betulin-rich triterpene extract from birch bark. In this study, we tested the wound healing properties of topical Oleogel-S10 in patients with dystrophic EB. Methods. We conducted an open, blindly evaluated, controlled, prospective phase II pilot trial in patients with dystrophic EB (EudraCT number 2010-019945-24). Healing of wounds treated with and without topical Oleogel-S10 was compared. Primary efficacy variable was faster reepithelialization as determined by 2 blinded experts. The main secondary outcome variable of the study was percentage of wound epithelialization. Results. Twelve wound pairs of 10 patients with dystrophic EB were evaluated. In 5 of 12 cases, both blinded reviewers considered epithelialization of the intervention wounds as superior. In 3 cases, only one reviewer considered Oleogel-S10 as superior and the other one as equal to control. Measurements of wound size showed a trend towards accelerated wound healing with the intervention but without reaching statistical significance. Conclusion. Our results indicate a potential for faster reepithelialization of wounds in patients with dystrophic EB when treated with Oleogel-S10 but larger studies are needed to confirm significance.