Press releases

Czech scientists have invented a new effective substance for healing very extensive wounds.

Prague, November 21, 2007 – Eng. Jiří Labský, CSc., one of the authors of the patent, together with the director of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic Dr. Nat. Sc. František Rypáček, CSc, and the representatives of Wake today introduced a new and unique medical agent- HemaGel® - designed for the healing of very extensive wounds and damaged skin. Hema – the active substance, which is an original Czech patent created at the Institute- is capable of binding highly effectively oxygen radicals in the wound. It thus accelerates the healing process significantly, decreases painfulness and suppresses the formation of scabs and scars. HemaGel® is also effective in cases of skin damage that is very difficult to treat, such as burns or so-called diabetic foot.

„The uniqueness of our discovery lies in the fact that we have been able to introduce into the polymer structure effective scavengers of free oxygen radicals, “said Eng. Jiří Labský, CSc. one of the two Institute´s patent co-signees. Jiří Labský worked for thirty years at the contact lens department, where he was involved principally in experiments on the introduction of scavengers of free oxygen radicals into polymer structures. Chemically, these scavengers belong to the group of sterically shielded amines and are used on a mass scale e.g. in the rubber industry.

„In one of our experiments, we focused on the chemical processes within an eye burnt by intense UV radiation. On this occasion, we measured very high concentrations of these free oxygen radicals. We then attempted to create a contact lens that would contain scavengers of these radicals. And this lens was able to cure the eye very quickly, “continued Jiří Labský.

These findings then led to the application of this new active substance in other types of injuries. Free oxygen radicals form massively at all sites of damage to the organism and of undergoing inflammatory processes. The substance into which the team of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry inbuilt the sterically shielded amines is poly-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate – the same polymer that lies behind the creation of soft contact lenses. The discovery of HemaGel® is thus a continuation of the work of the founder of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry in the 1950s, Professor Otto Wichterle.

The use of a polymer gel represents several advantages. The polymer matrix consists of large macromolecules inter-connected into a mesh. This prevents the penetration of these molecules through the skin into the body and they thus remain continually on the surface of the wound. This allows the continued activity of the active substance. Moreover, the gel contains a large amount of water and ensures thus “moist healing” within the wound, which further helps treatment.

In 1997, the discovery was awarded the Czech patent. Nonetheless, the road towards a freely accessible agent was not over yet. Transformation of results acquired in the laboratory into an operational form enabling large volume production was very complicated. HemaGel® production remains very demanding and costly.

The Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, which is contractually bound to provide the production rights to the Wake Ltd. holds the patent in EU countries, the Unites States, Japan and Canada. „We are currently continuing research in the field of polymers for medical applications and we firmly believe that HemaGel® is only the first in a long line of our joint projects“, added Dr. Nat. Sc. František Rypáček, CSc., the director of Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry.

„The active substance of HemaGel® was clinically tested in three Czech hospitals. The results confirm that HemaGel® is highly effective practically in all types of wounds and skin damage – from abrasions and slicing injuries to burns and even very slowly healing varicose ulcers and bedsores, “said Miroslav Vlk, the commercial agent of Wake Ltd., which manufactures HemaGel®. During testing, the company discovered that HemaGel® also helped in cases where no one expected it to. „Although HemaGel® is not an anti-virotic, it is capable of healing cold sores. Also surprising were its effects on manifestations of psoriasis,“ continued Miroslav Vlk. Wake is currently launching HemaGel® on the Czech market, where it is registered as a medical agent. HemaGel® is available over-the-counter in most pharmacies.

The patent creators
Ing. Jiří Labský, CSc. (* 1936)
is the author of more than 100 publications in international journals and of 55 patents. In 2002, he was awarded together with Karel Smetana MD,, DrSc. the prestigious Czech Brain award. His theory of fitting sterically shielded amines , so-called “free radical scavengers”, into certain polymers well-tolerated by the human organism was fundamental for the development of HemaGel. He also discovered possible means of implementing this theory.

Ing. Jiří Vacík, CSc. (* 1938)
was the Head of the Department of Hydrogels for Medical and Technical Practice of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in the 1990s and he headed the team working on the development of HemaGel. Over more than 40 years of scientific activities at the Institute, he published 58 expert articles and he is the author of 47 patent applications.

Pavel Hošek MD (* 1948)
worked as a general practitioner. During the research, he was principally involved in the practical testing of the gel.

About the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

The Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ÚMCH) was founded in 1959 as part of the Academy of Sciences and its first director was Professor Otto Wichterle. He is known worldwide as the inventor of soft contact lenses and intra-ocular lenses. In the past years, the ÚMCH has focused on three principal areas: research of biomacromolecular systems, research into the dynamics and self-organisation of molecular and supra-molecular polymer systems and the issue of preparing, characterising and applying new polymers with a directed structure and properties.

Company profile: Wake Ltd.

Wake Ltd. has been involved in the manufacture of drugs, medical devices and agents as well as cosmetic accessories for over ten years. Wake cooperates with many important partners from the worldwide pharmaceutical industry. These include for example Teva Czech Industries, Ltd., ICN Prague Inc., Chemopharma Inc., Promed CS Prague Inc., IV. Pharma, Ltd. (USA and Canada), The Australian Essential Oil Company PTY. Ltd. (Australia), The D.I. Ivanovsky Institute of Virology, Moscow Clinic of Infectious Diseases No. 1, the Government Panel of the Russian Federation for Ecology and others. All the technological manufacturing processes are in accordance with the regulations of the quality control system and the regulations regarding environmental protection. Wake Ltd. is the holder of the quality management system certificate relating to medical devices (Czech State Norm EN ISO 13485:2003) and the certificate of environmental management (Czech State Norm EN ISO 14001:2005). HemaGel® is the first original product to be manufactured by Wake.

Applying HemaGel

As HemaGel may be used to treat a wide range of wounds that vary in their extent, severity and causes, the correct application of HemaGel or frequency of dressing changes may differ.

How to treat a chronic wound How to treat a acute wound

NEW HemaGel Procto

HemaGel PROCTO suppositories are used as a supportive treatment of haemorrhoids and other rectal diseases such as painful skin cracks (anal fissures) and tears in the anal skin and mucosa (anal rhagades).

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The results of clinical tests and studies have confirmed that HemaGel is a highly effective hydrophilic gel patch suitable for a wide range of skin wounds.

Clinical studies Photo gallery

How HemaGel works

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