HONG KONG, Dec. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Comprehensive Drug Enterprises Ltd. (CDE), which specializes in the research and development of advanced drugs and medical devices, and is an incubatee graduate of Hong Kong Science Park’s Incubation Programme (Incu-Bio), today announced it has successfully developed and registered the world’s first ever high-performance anti-pruritus nanopatch — MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel. Seriously burned patients often suffer from intractable pruritus (itching) at the scar areas and there is currently no effective treatment. MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel provides significant relief for severe pruritus associated with burn-induced hypertrophic scars in a safe, efficient and convenient manner that helps patients return to a normal life.
Dr. Manson Fok, Chairman of CDE said he was grateful for launching their "MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel" at Hong Kong Science Park. The whole team has facilitated the creation of "MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel". In just 18 months, they completed the whole innovation-to-commercialisation process. It is the first solution in the world directed to intractable pruritus after burns, a technological product that enables sufferers to resume normal life.
The world’s first ever high-performance anti-pruritus nanopatch — MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel uses physical principles along with the hydrogel characteristics. The medical gel can act as a cooling agent to take away heat from the skin and thus greatly relieving itching.
According to the World Health Organization, there are 11 million severe burn injuries worldwide causing over 300,000 deaths each year. In China, about 3 million require long-term medical treatment. These patients suffer from intractable pruritus after burns, resulting in long-term sleep disturbances and depression, thus affecting their daily activities or even causing suicidal ideation in extreme cases.
Good news for patients with severe burns
Clinical findings have shown that numerous patients with severe burns might suffer from years of insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, light sleep, waking up easily and other sleep disorders because of pronounced pruritus. At present, there are limited approaches to relieve itching; most of these medical treatments, such as applying a cold surface to the scars and massaging, can only temporarily relieve pruritus for patients. Since these treatments cannot provide long-term relief for patients, they are unable to live and work normally. They even suffer from depression and struggle with suicidal thoughts due to the long-term sleep debt. Other medical complications might also occur due to excessive scratching to the point of bleeding, leading to bacterial infection.
Project Manager and Lead Scientist Dr. Chun-Ho Wong from CDE states that MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel is an innovation developed from biodegradable hydrogel, which has an excellent safety profile and has been widely used in food, cosmetics, and medical devices. The research team used nanotechnology to emulsify the high polymer gel and effective anti-pruritic ingredients to form the medical gel with good skin compatibility and air permeability. Using physical principles along with the hydrogel characteristics, the medical gel can act as a cooling agent to take away heat from the skin and thus relieving itching. MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel uses several proprietary technologies to quickly help relieve pruritus for patients with long-lasting effects. Its high elasticity and stretchability allow it to cover the uneven scar contours without affecting daily activities. MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel’s clinical safety has been ensured and is thus suitable for long-term use by patients.
Collaboration among major medical research and technology teams in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau
Medical research teams in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau collaborated to develop the concept of the Antipruritic Hydrogel, materials science, and clinical evaluations. With years of clinical experience and drug development, Prof. Jun Wu, Director of the Institute of Burn Research, Third Military Medical University, and Prof. Manson Fok, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Macau University of Science and Technology, and Prof. Johnson Yiu-Nam Lau from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University are taking the lead from developing proof-of-concept prototype to taking it to the clinical trial stage. CDE, which specializes in materials science and medical device R&D, and its subsidiary, MJ Medical Devices Co., Ltd., have been committed to studying how materials science can help with bringing innovation to unmet medical needs. The Nano and Advanced Materials Institute Ltd. (NAMI) and Professor Pauline Pei Li, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, also participated in optimizing the formulation. Swiss company Joker Technologies AG, which has years of experience in the design of gel formulations, and MJ Medical Devices collaborated to develop and improve the production process to ensure that the production technology and product quality meet the stringent standards. Clinical testing was led by the National Burns Specialist Center, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, while the medical teams from the Zhengzhou First People’s Hospital and Lanzhou General Hospital assisted in clinical data collection and analysis. Prof. Jun Wu states that these three hospitals are Mainland China’s designated national burn and trauma treatment centers. They provided a large amount of data related to burnt skin sequelae during the development process of MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel, so that the team could improve product design and enhance product safety and effectiveness.
Paving the way for rehabilitation for Mainland Chinese patients
There are 15 million burn patients in China each year, with 1.5 million requiring long-term medical treatment. Developed by research teams from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau, MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel was rigorously evaluated by the Chongqing Food and Drug Administration and several experts. Having successfully completed the relevant medical product registrations and obtaining a medical devices production license in late October, MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel is permitted to be launched in the Mainland Chinese market. CDE has introduced MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel to mainland medical systems together with domestic agencies and Third Military Medical University’s Southwest Hospital, thus allowing more patients to benefit from this revolutionary product.
Dr. Benjamin Lee, President of CDE, states that the successful development of MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel highlights the great room for cooperation and opportunity for medical research among Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. "From the perspective of studying materials science, we hope to develop high polymer gel into a widely used, adhesive type topical application. After gaining success in the R&D phase, we shared this message with mainland medical research expert teams. National burn treatment medical institutions soon suggested proposals for collaborative research and development, and we completed the product design and clinical testing in a short period of time. At the end of October, the China Food and Drug Administration approved the launching of our product in Mainland China. We are now preparing to apply for relevant registration for MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel in Hong Kong by the end of this year." Prof. Manson Fok expresses that the whole R&D team is encouraged by the collaboration’s satisfactory results, and we hope that our product can bring hope to severe burn patients.
About Comprehensive Drug Enterprises
Comprehensive Drug Enterprises Ltd is a specialty pharmaceutical company that focuses on the development of transmucosal drug delivery, with special emphasis on sublingual and nasal administration of pharmaceuticals. CDE had patented a number of technologies through their research for their product development. CDE was founded in 2005 and located at a research facility in Hong Kong Science Park and their new medical devices production facility in Chongqing was just established in July, 2014. CDE facilitated and grew rapidly in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and their product market is estimated at about USD 760 million. CDE was teamed by a group of dedicated scientists and professionals with various disciplines associated with financing, sales and marketing, pharmaceutical research and development, and corporate management. CDE leveraged by the local government support and an extensive research collaboration network with universities in Hong Kong, China and the US. CDE worked closely with their business partners in research and development. For example, the leader in nanotechnologies and advanced material, Nano and Advanced Materials Institute Limited (NAMI) is one of CDE major collaborators. The only sublingual Propranolol product in the market, Promptol™, which is for hypertension management and that had already secured a US patent on "Method of Enhancing Absorptions of Transmucosal Administration Formulations". The invention of Promptol™ brought CDE a Technological Achievement Award from HK Awards for Industries in 2007. In 2012, CDE launched a motion sickness oral solution, Averti™ and it had registered successfully in Hong Kong in the same year. A new product of CDE in Anti-itching, Antipruritic Hydrogel had been approved by China Government on Registration of Drug and it can be sold to the market in China already. CDE has many more products to be launched in 2014-2015 and they are prepared to compete in the US market within the next two years.
*The above information is provided and confirmed by Comprehensive Drug Enterprises Ltd.*
**Issued on behalf of Comprehensive Drug Enterprises by HKSTP**