Naturalock Solutions creates solution to health concern

October 30, 2015

Sarah Kirby

The Norman Transcript

More than 75,000 hospital patients die of a catheter-related bloodstream infection each year in the United States. With the issuance of its first product, a Norman research and development company is posed to save lives around the world.

That number compelled Naturalock Solutions President and CEO Gary Rayburn and his business partners to create Karaphor, an injectable liquid designed to replace the currently used variations and combinations of heparin and saline.

“A lot of those deaths don’t get attributed to that infection, but that’s essentially what caused the patient to have complications and die,” Rayburn said.

Karaphor is made from naturally occurring substances which, in combination, provide effective anticoagulation within the catheter and substantial antimicrobial activity. Its solution was patented by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the beginning of September.

Rayburn said the need for Karaphor Solution is constant across the world. When catheters are not being used, there must be something inside the catheter to keep it from clotting off or filling with blood.

“Think of it as an open wound or the access to the inside of the body from the outside. That’s how various bacteria get in and that’s what causes the problem,” Rayburn said. “Our solution to the problem is a liquid to replace as it used as a catheter locking or flushing agent, and the difference is our product is an anticoagulant, but it’s also an extremely effective antimicrobial. You virtually can’t get an infection through the catheter if you’re using that product.”

Extensive independent testing has confirmed commercial viability. This testing includes broad spectrum efficacy (106 kill in less than a minute, gram negative, gram positive, fungi, including resistant strains). Safety and toxicity testing, as well as biofilm testing, have produced excellent results and show a bright future for the medical product.

Karaphor Solution is designed and has been proven to be able to be flushed into the patient, as opposed to other products that need to be withdrawn, such as saline and heparin. Saline and heparin do not provide antimicrobial properties. Heparin is an animal derivative and has been associated with many adverse events and complications.

Receiving the patent marks the most significant milestone in the company history, Rayburn said. He and his business partners founded his company  after working for a company that made implantable, catheter-type devices.

During their time there, they noticed that bloodstream infections ran rampant.

“At that time, if you went into the hospital, there was a 25 percent chance you’d get an infection,” Rayburn said. “If you got one of those infections, there was another percentage of opportunity you could die from it. At that time, those numbers were accepted within the health care system. Twenty-five percent infection rate from catheters was accepted.

“We didn’t think that was right. We were just looking at it outside the box and thought, ‘Why is this acceptable?’ It shouldn’t be acceptable because it’s a huge complication that nobody had really worked on to try to solve the problem,” he said.

People tried several things, but no one came out with an idea or a product that really worked, Rayburn said.

“We just focused in it,” Rayburn said. “I’ll be really honest: we thought outside the box. We were very blessed to be able to look at problems with a different view and we were able to develop this product that was a better mouse trap that no one had ever thought of.”

Naturalock Solutions LLC is a privately held company owned by Organic Medical Ventures LLC. Naturalock is seeking partners to help commercialize its portfolio of technology through license or acquisition.

“We wanted to make sure there was a separate entity that we could sell off if we needed to or have a license agreement through that company without affecting other things that we would want to work on within Organic Medical Ventures,” Rayburn said.

When Rayburn formed Naturalock Solutions with Bob Maurer, chief operating officer, and Dr. Marvin A. Cuchens, chief scientific officer, he said he and his business partners were on the hunt for an office and a lab.

Through partnership with the Norman Economic Development Coalition, Rayburn said Naturalock Solutions leased space from Biocide International, 2650 Venture Drive, for a laboratory for further product testing.

“We’ll remain with the NEDC until we get to a point where we can break out and do something different. They’re very understanding and patient people; they’ve been very supportive,” he said.

With the issuance of the patent, Rayburn said the goal is to commercialize the product, which means talking openly about the Norman company and how it can prevent people from catheter-related bloodstream infections.

“Nobody really talks about it or has heard it — and certainly not many people in Norman have heard about this little company that has a way to solve that problem,” he said.