When Christopher Columbus introduced the pineapple to Europe in the late fifteenth century, he undoubtedly would have had no idea that extracts from the plant could be used to treat severe thermal burns. Yet, 500 years later, a next-generation proteolytic enzyme platform for wound debridement, NexoBrid, derived from pineapples, has been developed by MediWound Ltd. (NASDAQ: MDWD). Now, positive results from a Phase II study evaluating NexoBrid will be used to support a request to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to extend the label for NexoBrid to larger burns. The painstaking research undertaken by niche specialty biotech MediWound is beginning to bear fruit.
That research has laid bare one ‘secret’ of the medicine practiced traditionally by natives of South and Central America and developed on it to improve the treatment of wounds. Pineapples, it turns out, are a rich source of proteolytic enzymes, referred to generally as bromelain, which promote healing in wounds by stimulating debridement, the removal of dead tissue and foreign material. Proteolytic enzymes remove this necrotic tissue, known as eschar, at a much faster rate than would occur otherwise. To harness this powerful chemical process, MediWound has developed…
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