How Fish Skin Is Transforming Healthcare

Bloomberg Businessweek features Kerecis Omega3 Wound fish-skin technology on its front page

Arlington, Virginia — June 28, 2017 — Bloomberg Businessweek featured Kerecis Omega3 Wound fish-skin technology in its lead article "Fish Skin for Human Wounds: Iceland’s Pioneering Treatment” and an accompanying video, “How Fish Skin is Transforming Health Care.”

The five-minute film leads with Kerecis founder and CEO Fertram Sigurjonsson at the Kerecis processing facility in Isafjordur in northwest Iceland, where Kerecis was founded. It goes on to interview Director of Manufacturing Brian Lynn Thomas and provides stunning footage of the region and fishing in the pristine waters that surround it.

“Bloomberg has captured elegantly how the fish-skin technology of Kerecis stands to save the limbs and lives of countless patients around the globe,” says Sigurjonsson. “We seek to put our products into the hands of medical professionals everywhere as they treat patients who suffer from severe, life-threatening wounds.”

Skin grafting is the doctor’s preferred treatment in wound treatment. In such situations skin from a healthy part of the body is moved to the wound. This process is only used as a last resort, however, because using the patient´s own skin creates an undesirable secondary wound.

The virtual absence of risk in transmitting viral disease from cold-water fish skin to humans allows for it to be processed gently. This preserves the structure and content of fish-skin grafts, which has relevance in wound-closure rates, as shown in a recent randomized controlled study in which wounds treated with fish skin closed significantly faster than wounds treated with pig tissue.

Skin from livestock is not an ideal substitute for the patient’s skin because heavy processing is needed to eliminate risk of disease transmission. This harsh, anti-viral treatment removes most of the material’s natural components making it dissimilar to human skin.

The company’s products are available in the United States, Iceland, Germany, and several other European and Asian countries. Specifically, the product has been approved by European regulatory authorities and the FDA and is eligible for reimbursement by Medicare in the U.S. The fish skin used in Kerecis’s products derives from wild and sustainable fish stock caught in pristine Icelandic waters and is processed with 100% renewable energy in Isafjordur.

Kerecis is online at kerecis.com, on LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Fish Skin Company Kerecis Named Iceland’s Fastest Growing Startup
 
Company that uses fish skin to heal human wounds and tissue damage is one of Europe’s fastest growing companies

Reykjavik, Iceland -- May 30, 2017 -- The Icelandic Growth Consortium has named Kerecis the country’s fastest growing startup. Kerecis is the creator, manufacturer and patent holder of revolutionary fish-skin-based therapeutic products that speed up the healing process of chronic human wounds and repair tissue damage.

The award acknowledges that Kerecis showed the fastest revenue growth year-to-year compared to the other nominated startups. It confirms that Kerecis spends more than 20 percent of its revenue on research and development activities, and that its founders still retain a significant stake in the company.

"This award recognizes the financial milestones we have reached in the past year, as the efficacy of our fish-skin-based products becomes more well-known, and as the products themselves become more available worldwide," said G. Fertram Sigurjonsson, founder and CEO of Kerecis.

The company’s products are now available in the United States, Iceland, Germany, and several other European and Asian countries. Specifically, the product has been approved by the FDA and European regulatory authorities and is eligible for reimbursement by Medicare in the U.S.

Kerecis Omega3 is intact fish skin that is rich in naturally occurring Omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. When grafted onto damaged human tissue such as a diabetic wound, the acellular material recruits the body’s cells from the wound perimeter. The cells are then incorporated into the fish skin, which is ultimately converted into functional, living tissue. Research has shown that the patented material helps heal chronic and hard-to-heal wounds, including diabetic, venous, foot and pressure ulcers.

The fish skin used in Kerecis’s products derives from wild and sustainable fish stock caught in pristine Icelandic waters and processed with 100% renewable energy in a township at the polar circle.
 
About the Icelandic Growth Consortium

The Icelandic Growth Consortium consists of the Federation of Icelandic Industries, Iceland Startups, the University of Reykjavik and the Icelandic Research Institute.

Alvogen to Market Regenerative Fish Skin in Korea, Taiwan and Thailand

Biologic company Kerecis and global pharmaceutical company Alvogen partnering to expand availability of new diabetic wound treatment

Arlington, VA and Reykjavik, Iceland, April 21, 2017 — Global pharmaceutical company Alvogen will market the Kerecis fish-skin-based diabetic wound treatment products in Asia starting in Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. The Omega3-rich regenerative tissue products are used to treat chronic wounds, including diabetic wounds. The Kerecis products will support Alvogen’s hospital portfolio.

According to the International Diabetes Association, more than 9 million people suffer from diabetes in Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Worldwide, diabetics are 25 times more likely to lose a leg than people without the disease. And 30 to 50 percent of amputees undergo another amputation within one to three years. Yet it is estimated that 85 percent of all amputations due to diabetes could be prevented.

“Alvogen actively addresses the growing market for diabetic-related therapies in multiple countries around the world,” said Robert Wessman, Chairman and CEO of Alvogen. “Our partnership with Kerecis will increase our footprint in the diabetic market and expand our offerings to existing customers.”

“More than 60 percent of the diabetics in the world live in Asia,” said G. Fertram Sigurjonsson, Chairman and CEO of Kerecis. “Non-healing leg wounds are a tragic consequence of diabetes and often lead to amputations. Skin substitutes are not commonly used in Asia and we believe that Alvogen is the right partner to introduce this new treatment option to the region.”

Kerecis Omega3 is intact fish skin that is rich in naturally occurring Omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. When grafted onto damaged human tissue such as a diabetic wound, the material provides a template for cellular ingrowth that facilitates healing and regeneration. This has relevance in wound closure as shown by several clinical trials, including a double-blind, comparative, randomized control trial (N=162) where Kerecis favorably compared with mammalian skin substitutes. Also, fish skin is rich in Omega3, which possesses multiple health benefits.

In addition to its wound care products, Kerecis has products for treating burns and for use in surgical applications. The company is developing products for dura repair and various soft tissue procedures such as breast reconstruction and complex hernia surgeries.

PolyMedics Innovations to Sell Kerecis Omega3-rich Fish-Skin Burn Treatment in the U.S.

Partnership Announced at the American Burn Association Annual Meeting

Boston – March 22, 2016 – Kerecis, the company using Omega3-rich fish skin to regenerate human wounds, and the burn care specialist PolyMedics Innovations have entered into a partnership to sell Kerecis Omega3 Burn in the United States. The announcement was made today at the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Burn Association.

Human skin transplants are considered the best treatment for severe burn wounds. However, this procedure creates a secondary wound where the skin is harvested, causing pain and other complications. In severe burn cases, the patient may be too sick to even tolerate skin harvesting. Several skin substitutesincluding those made from cadaver skin, pig skin and cattle pericardiumare on the market today. However, all these products carry the risk of disease transmission, which requires extensive processing. That processing denatures the skin substitutes and makes them less effective than human transplants.

Since no disease transmission risk exists between codfish and people, the Kerecis product is only minimally processed, preserving all the skin’s natural components. The result is that the Kerecis product is much more similar to human skin than any other skin substitute on the market. The clinical efficacy has been demonstrated in multiple clinical trials, including a double-blind, comparative, randomized, controlled trial (n=162) that favorably compared the fish skin with mammalian-skin substitutes. Fish skin is also rich in Omega3 fatty acids, which have multiple health benefits and are especially important in wound healing and minimization of infections.

“Because the fish skin retains all its natural components, Kerecis Omega3 Burn is much more similar to human skin than other skin substitutes,” explained G. Fertram Sigurjonsson, Chairman and CEO of Kerecis. “The result is faster healing and fewer infections, as demonstrated by our recent randomized trial where more than twice as many wounds treated with fish skin closed initially as did the wounds treated with mammalian skin substitutes.”

Christian Planck, Chief Operating Officer of PolyMedics Innovations, commented: “We are excited to introduce the highly innovative Kerecis Omega3-rich therapy to our U.S. customers who have been searching for effective burn treatment options for their severe burn patients. This partnership with Kerecis marks an important milestone for PolyMedics Innovations as it strengthens our position as a global leader in burn and wound care.”

Fish skin Wound Treatment Now Covered by Medicare in all 50 States

Clinical Findings Presented at the Symposium for the Advancement of Wound Care

San Diego, CA — April 6, 2017 — Kerecis™, the company using fish skin to heal human wounds and tissue damage, will present results of eight studies of its technology at the Symposium for the Advancement of Wound Care (SAWC) meeting to be held April 5 to 9. The company also announced that Medicare now reimburses for its fish-skin treatment nationwide. Kerecis is exhibiting at booth 234 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Kerecis Omega3 is intact fish skin that is rich in naturally occurring Omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. When grafted onto damaged human tissue such as a wound, the material provides a template for cellular ingrowth that facilitates healing and regeneration.

Absence of disease transmission risk allows the Kerecis fish skin to be processed in a gentle manner preserving structure and content. The result is that Kerecis Omega3 is more similar to human skin than any other skin substitute on the market today. This has relevance in wound closure as shown by multiple clinical trials, including a double-blind, comparative, randomized control trial (N=162) where fish skin favorably compared with mammalian skin substitutes. Furthermore, fish skin is rich in Omega3, which possesses multiple health benefits.

“Our scientific results show that our technology improves wound care,” said G. Fertram Sigurjonsson, CEO of Kerecis. “We continue to expand our scientific program and are reporting the results of some of our research here at the conference. Fish skin is incrementally gaining recognition as an effective wound treatment technology, and we expect its use to accelerate given the national coverage by Medicare.”

Kerecis will present these eight poster abstracts at SAWC, which will report on the company’s case studies, clinical research and laboratory research.

  • Cost Effectiveness of Wound Treatment with Fish Skin – Results of a Prognostic Study (Poster CS-115)
  • Acellular Fish Skin Prevents Re-Infection and Amputation in Exposed Bone Lower Extremity Wounds with History of MRSA and Chronic Osteomyelitis (Poster CS-204)
  • Acellular Fish Skin as a Bone and Tendon Cover: Case Report (Poster CS-205)
  • Fish Skin Treatment Results in Lower Use of Antibiotics: a Retrospective Study on 68 Chronic Wounds (Poster CR-006)
  • Fish Skin Grafts, Amnion Membrane, Human Cadaver Skin and Mammalian Tissue-Based Products – Comparison of Structure, Lipid Content and Cellular Interactions (Poster LB-040)
  • Hemostatic Properties of Acellular Fish Skin Grafts and Gelatin Sponges Evaluated in an Acute Porcine Liver Square Lesion Model (Poster LB-041)
  • Omega3 Rich Fish Skin is a Bacterial Barrier Against S. Aureus in Vitro and P. Mirabilis in Vivo (Poster LB-042)
  • Fish Skin Supports 3D Ingrowth of Adipose Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a 21 Day In Vitro Model (Poster LB-043)