A company has engineered codfish skin that, when grafted onto damaged human tissue, is ultimately converted into living tissue
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Spotted: Norwegian medical fish skin company Kerecis is pioneering the use of fish skin in tissue regeneration and wound care. The company’s leading product, Kerecis Omega3 Wound, is intact codfish skin that, when grafted onto damaged human tissue, recruits the body’s own cells, prevents infections and is ultimately converted into living tissue.
Fertram Sigurjonsson, Founder and CEO of Kerecis, started the company because he wanted to help people avoid life-altering amputations, which often result from hard-to-heal wounds.
Unlike mammalian-based skin grafts, there is no disease-transfer risk between cold-water fish and humans. Fish skin is also high in Omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which helps with sound healing by reducing inflammation and even pain.
Kerecis Omega3 Fish Skin, derived from MSC-certified cod, is currently used in different ways to treat wounds, burns, hernia repair and other surgeries. The company has a pipeline of products that it plans to submit for FDA approval, with one in development for breast reconstruction. Additionally, the company is investigating a variation of the Kerecis Omega3 fish-skin for the reconstruction of dura mater, a leather-like membrane covering and protecting the brain and spinal cord.
Kerecis can produce eight “skin units” from one cod. Each unit sells for roughly €420, yielding a value of €3,390 per fish. The fish skin can also be stored at room temperature for up to three years and then hydrated for 30 to 60 seconds before use.
Written By: Katrina Lane