Kerecis Scores DoD Grant to Develop, Test New Fish-skin Wound Treatment for Soldiers image

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) awarded a grant of almost $600,000 to Kerecis to test the company’s fish-skin technology to better stabilize battlefield wounds and provide a bacterial barrier for them during evacuation. 

The grant money will be disbursed to Kerecis over three years.

Specifically, Kerecis will develop and test a field-specific application of its fish-skin technology to advance the treatment of complicated soft-tissue injuries while injured soldiers are being evacuated from Echelon 2 and 3 field hospitals to Echelon 4+ health care facilities. Echelon refers to the stratification of the four tiers in which medical support is organised, on a progressive basis.

“We understand that it is becoming more and more difficult to evacuate wounded soldiers from combat zones because of factors such as remote battle environments and advanced ground-combat weapons,” says Fertram Sigurjonsson, founder and CEO of Kerecis, in a news release. “The medics in the field need the most advanced medical resources to provide the best field care possible for wounded soldiers. Our goal is to develop a combat-zone, fish-skin technology that can provide superior wound care for injured American service people.”

Kerecis Omega3 is intact fish skin that is used to regenerate and protect human tissue. Because no disease-transfer risk exists between cold-water fish and humans, the Kerecis fish skin is only gently processed and retains its similarity to human skin, making it ideal for treating wounded soldiers. The intact fish skin contains Omega3 fatty acids and all the natural building components of skin, offering benefits such as bacterial barrier to protect the wound bed.

The company’s fatty-acid-rich intact fish skin protects the body’s tissues and enables the body to regenerate tissues. The Kerecis sprayable fatty-acid topical and oral formulations protect the body from bacterial and viral infections. The company’s products are currently being used to regenerate tissue in diabetic and trauma wounds (including burns) and for infection control. Kerecis is also developing products for areas such as oral surgery, plastic surgery and neurological applications. 

The award is the company’s third grant from the DoD. The work was supported by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, through the Defense Medical Research and Development Program under Award No. W81XWH2020058. The grant is part of the Combat Casualty Care Research Program (JPC-6), Multi-Domain Lifesaving Trauma Innovations (MuLTI) Award. The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 820 Chandler Street, Fort Detrick MD 21702-5014, is the awarding and administering acquisition office.