To compare the efficacy and safety of topically applied recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor-BB (rhPDGF-BB) (becaplermin) with placebo gel in patients with chronic diabetic neuropathic ulcers of the lower extremities.


This multicenter double-blind placebo-controlled phase 111 trial included 382 patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and chronic ulcers of at least 8 weeks' duration. After sharp debridement of the ulcer, patients were randomized to receive becaplermin gel 30 μg/g, becaplermin gel 100 μg/g, or placebo gel, in conjunction with a standardized regimen of good wound care until complete wound closure was achieved or for a maximum of 20 weeks. Moist saline-soaked gauze dressings were changed twice daily with study medication applied by patients or caregivers at the evening dressing change. Safety was assessed by monitoring adverse events (AEs) and by clinical laboratory evaluations.


Compared with placebo gel, becaplermin gel 100 μg/g significantly increased the incidence of complete wound closure by 43% (50 vs. 35%, P = 0.007) and decreased the time to achieve complete wound closure by 32% (86 vs. 127 days; estimated 35th percentile, P = 0.013). AEs reported during treatment or during a 3-month follow-up period were similar in nature and incidence across all treatment groups.


Becaplermin gel 100 μg/g, in conjunction with good wound care, significantly increased the incidence of complete wound closure and significantly reduced the time to complete closure of chronic diabetic neuropathic ulcers. The safety profile of becaplermin gel was similar to that of placebo gel.

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