Cuprina develops bio-dressing using ‘maggot debridement therapy'

Cuprina develops bio-dressing using ‘maggot debridement therapy'

The biotech’s product, MEDIFLY, is an innovative approach to help eliminate necrotic tissues in wounds.

SINGAPORE biotech Cuprina innovates chronic wound care with their flagship product, MEDIFLY, a bio-dressing that utilises live, medical fly larvae for an approach called “maggot debridement therapy.”

According to the Cuprina Country Manager for Hong Kong, Clement Leung, the tech helps eliminate non-viable tissues from chronic wounds, primarily targetting diabetic foot ulcers, pressure injuries, and post-surgical infections.

The therapy involves two key mechanisms — physical and chemical. “The primary mechanism is physical debridement,” Leung said.

He described the maggots as having spines on their bodies that scrape off necrotic tissues, mimicking surgical removal without damaging healthy tissue.

Meanwhile, the second mechanism focuses on the chemical component where the larvae secrete enzymes that solely break down necrotic tissues, promoting efficient wound cleaning.

“Most importantly, the enzymes do not damage healthy tissues,” Leung said.

The Hong Kong market

In 2023, Cuprina expanded into the Hong Kong market, penetrating both public and private healthcare sectors.

“Since then, more institutions have used MEDIFLY for maggot therapy, including the Prince of Wales Hospital, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospitals, and the Gleneagles Hospital,” Leung told Healthcare Asia.

Moreover, Leung emphasised that the company has received an ISO 13485 certification with their flagship product registered as a class C medical device from Singapore’s Health Science Authority after starting business in 2020.

However, he mentioned that a major challenge Cuprina faced was securing import permits.

“As you can see, our maggots are alive; our product is a live bio-dressing so it was difficult for us to go through the customs, but we managed to obtain permits from the Department of Health to import from Singapore to Hong Kong,” Leung said.

Still, the company aims to expand within the market.

“We hope to connect to more local hospitals and doctors who are interested in MEDIFLY and maggot debridement therapy to heal their patients because we truly believe that this approach cleans chronic wounds and can help people save their limbs and their lives,” Leung said.

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