Memphis start-up receives FDA clearance for device using honey for wound care

Memphis start-up receives FDA clearance for device using honey for wound care

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A brother-sister duo secured FDA clearance for a new medical device that uses honey for wound care.

From the Sweet Bio hive at the edge of the University of Memphis campus, Isaac Rodriguez and his sister, Kayla Rodriguez-Graff, are celebrating a major milestone.

“We were all here in person and we just screamed and celebrated, and I think the whole university heard us,” said Rodriguez.

“Wow, what a journey. It's actually several months ahead of schedule for us and we are thrilled about that,” said Rodriguez-Graff.

Roughly a week ago, their company called “Sweet Bio” received clearance from the FDA to begin marketing a new product for wound care.

The device uses a medical grade honey from New Zealand to help spur safer healing.

It dissolves in the body over a period of weeks. The pair says it meets a need, a more natural way to heal wounds.

“What’s really exciting for me is to see how we leveraged so many partners in the community and that's why we are here,” said Rodriguez-Graff.

Isaac co-invented the product in 2015, as research faculty at The University of Memphis.

Shortly after, the two started their company and raised their first $1 million.

At the end of 2018, they filed their application with the FDA.

This year, they have raised $3.1 million in total with 95 percent coming from Memphis.

“We recognize this next phase is very crucial for us to grow. This next phase is to show this clinical evidence. Let's get some local hospitals on board. Do some clinical trials and prove that our product works as we say it works,” said Rodriguez.

The pair is getting national attention, as well as a write up in the recent University of Memphis magazine.

They hope to bring at least one local hospital system on board in the coming weeks and are in talks with others across the county.

The brother and sister say there are other uses for the product outside of wound care, like in dentistry or veterinary medicine.

They hope to explore that as the company scales up.

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