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Fact Sheet

NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals

Successful platform
NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals develops, manufactures and commercializes medical products that fight infection and inflammation based on its patented atomically disordered nanocrystalline silver technology. The company has commercial and clinical success developing and manufacturing Acticoat™ dressings with SILCRYST™ nanocrystals for Smith & Nephew plc. These products are used by hospitals, clinics, burn centers, doctor’s offices, home healthcare agencies and nursing homes around the world to combat infection in a wide variety of wounds, including life-threatening burns and chronic wounds.

NUCRYST’s lead active pharmaceutical ingredient is nanocrystalline silver in a powder form and is referred to as NPI 32101. Laboratory studies of NPI 32101 have demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that have the potential to treat a variety of disease conditions. NUCRYST is developing pharmaceutical products to extend its nanocrystalline silver technology to the treatment of disease conditions with an inflammatory and/or infectious component.

NUCRYST is conducting preclinical research on the use of NPI 32101 for the treatment of gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and is exploring other promising therapeutic areas.

Wound care products
The SILCRYST business manufactures and develops Acticoat™ dressings for the world's largest wound care company, Smith & Nephew plc. This relationship began in 2001 and has been successful for both companies with Acticoat™ dressings now sold in 30 countries around the world.

Smith & Nephew's Acticoat™ family of dressing with SILCRYST™ nanocrystals

  • Acticoat™ 3/ Acticoat™ Burn for wounds requiring up to three days of sustained antimicrobial activity
  • Acticoat™ 7 for wounds requiring up to seven days of sustained antimicrobial activity
  • Acticoat™ Absorbent for wounds with moderate to heavy excess fluid, for exudate, requiring up to three days of antimicrobial activity
  • Acticoat™ Moisture Control for wounds light to moderate exudate requiring up to seven days of antimicrobial activity
  • Acticoat™ Site for use around transcutaneous devices for up to seven days of antimicrobial activity 

In 2006, Smith & Nephew reported sales of Acticoat™ dressings of US$54 million which generated $24.4 million in revenue for NUCRYST in 2006. For more information, please visit

Strong patent protection
NUCRYST Pharmaceuticals holds 21 issued U.S. patents and is pursuing 21 additional U.S. patent applications related to its noble metal nanocrystalline technology. NUCRYST's patents cover processes of manufacture and use, products and compositions of matter (coatings, powders and flakes) that incorporate NUCRYST's atomically disordered nanocrystalline technology.

NUCRYST's nanotechnology
To create its proprietary nanocrystals, NUCRYST uses a process called magnetron sputtering, which is a form of physical vapor deposition. In a vacuum chamber, pure silver is bombarded with positive ions to liberate or sputter nanosized silver containing particles. These are then re-condensed to form new atomically disordered nanocrystalline structures on substrates, such as high-density polyethylene for some non-adherent wound care dressings. NUCRYST has also developed proprietary methods to produce free-standing nanocrystalline powders. These powders can be delivered in various pharmaceutical formulations such as creams, gels, solutions or tablets treating a variety of infectious or inflammatory conditions.