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HKSTP start-up applies successful R&D result, Antipruritic Hydrogel (CQ-01), to assist burn patients of Tianjin explosions

Company launches world’s first high-performance antipruritic nanopatches: CQ-02 for children or patients with sensitive skin and CQ-03 for post-operative care; Comprehensive Drug Enterprises rapidly expands business, announces share purchase from American pharmaceutical company Athenex and entry to global pharmaceutical market


17 Dec 2015


CQ-01                       CQ-02                       CQ-03  Burn Formulation Children Formulation Post-operative Formulation

        CQ-01                       CQ-02                       CQ-03 
Burn Formulation Children Formulation Post-operative Formulation    

(Hong Kong, 17 December, 2015) - Data from the World Health Organisation indicates that there are about over 11 million new cases of severe burn injuries annually worldwide, in which 2 – 3 million of these patients require long-term medical care. In China alone, about 15 million patients suffer from burn injuries every year, and nearly 1.5 million of them are considered patients with severe burns requiring long-term medical care. Burn patients often suffer from intractable pruritus (itching) caused by skin regeneration, which interferes with normal, day-to-day life; in some cases, patients even experience suicidal thoughts.

Comprehensive Drug Enterprises (“CDE”), a Hong Kong Science Park-based global company that specialises in developing innovative drug and medical equipment, last year launched the world’s first high-performance antipruritic nanopatch MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel – Burn Formulation (CQ-01) for pruritus caused by scars associated with burn or scald injuries, post-operative or other skin lesions. Today, CDE announced the launch of its newest products with different features: MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel – Children Formulation (CQ-02), designed for the treatment of pruritus in children and patients with sensitive skin, and MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel – Post-operative Formulation (CQ-03) designed for post-operative adults with pruritus caused by regenerating tissues and closing wounds. The three products are available in seven sizes, with CQ-03 also containing antibacterial properties to facilitate the rehabilitation process.

The two R&D consultants for MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel, Prof. Sheng Zhiyong and Prof. Xia Zhaofan, are both academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering with decades of experience conducting clinical and laboratory research on physical trauma- and burn-related injuries. They are also recognised as the individuals responsible for establishing the foundation for medical study of burns in Mainland China.

This year, on the day of the Tianjin explosion incident, in which a chemical container storage station explored, Academician Xia arrived at the Affiliated Hospital of the Chinese People's Armed Police Force Logistics College in Tianjin that same evening to participate in a rescue operation that spanned several days. Meanwhile, Academician Sheng, despite his age of 95, also arrived on the scene to direct the rescue effort.

CDE also donated MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel to Tianjin to help relieve the pain of the burn patients. In addition to making product development breakthroughs, CDE is also committed to transforming scientific research into better and more efficient nursing and provision of care.

Embodying the same spirit of nursing and caring, CDE Project Manager and Lead Scientist Dr. Chun-Ho Wong said: “Because our Antipruritic Hydrogel is one of the safer, more efficient dressing for treating and soothing scar-related pruritus, we have dedicated ourselves to product optimisation research, so as to better help children and weakened post-operative patients. Our research focused on MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel – Children Formulation, specifically for children and those with sensitive skin, and MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel – Post-operative Formulation, designed to relieve pruritus caused by regenerating tissues and closing wounds in post-operative adult.”

The three MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel products – the Burn Formulation, Children Formulation and Post-operative Formulation – were developed by medical research teams from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau working in concert throughout the development process, including concept development, clinical design, materials science and clinical trials. The clinical trials in particular were led by Prof. Jun Wu, Director of the Institute of Burn Research Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, who has years of experience in clinical research and drug development. With approval of China Food and Drug Administration, the required medical devices registration was completed. Results of the clinical trials were also published in Burns, a world-renowned medical journal on burn injuries.

Prof. Wu has dedicated over 30 years of his career to conducting in-depth research on important scientific problems such as the coverage, repair and regeneration of burn surfaces. He also founded Chunmiao Charities Aid Foundation for Burned Children, China’s first grassroots charity fund for children who are burn victims.

As an authoritative figure on the subject of treating paediatric burns and injuries, Prof. Wu has accelerated the product R&D of the Children Formulation. Prof. Wu said: “Considering the difference in the speed and quality of skin growth between children and adults, we focused our research on improving a formula for skin types that are finer and more sensitive. It was our clear focus that led us to our success in achieving treatment efficacy and safety.”

Other than burn patients, there are about 234 million patients undergoing surgery around the world each year, with 3.2 million of them from Mainland China, which account for 14 per cent of the world’s annual surgery patients. Among all patients, 30 per cent of them experience pruritus after their wounds had healed. In China alone, there is an estimated annual demand for 2 – 3 million units of the Post-operative Formulation.

CDE was an incubatee under the Incu-Bio Programme of Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (“HKSTP”) between 2006 and 2010, and has since exhibited strong growth. With the global market’s sharpened focus on biopharmaceuticals, CDE announced that the company has received capital investment from Athenex, Inc. through a stock for stock transaction. Athenex, a global oncology pharmaceutical company focused on the research and commercialisation of next-generation cancer treatments, will leverage CDE’s research facilities in Hong Kong Science Park and manufacturing plant in Fengdu County, Chongqing to produce advanced drugs for medical use.

Dr. Benjamin Lee, President of CDE, expressed his enthusiasm: “The joining of Athenex further strengthens the multi-faceted development of CDE across the China market and global platform. Besides providing our range of burn treatment products, we will also expand our scope of research to cover diagnostic products. Since we launched our MJ Antipruritic Hydrogel – Burn Formulation last year, our lab facilities and R&D office at Hong Kong Science Park have expanded exponentially. Our research team has also grown from a team of 10 into a team of 37. CDE will continue to make full use of Hong Kong Science Park’s cluster effect and R&D competitive edge; continue to work closely with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University; and create additional opportunities for more collaboration between different universities and research institutions.”

Andrew Young, Chief Commercial Officer of HKSTP, congratulated CDE on the phenomenal success it has achieved in one short year. He said: “From being a start-up with a R&D base in Hong Kong Science Park, to becoming a company with R&D platforms in both the U.S. and Mainland China, CDE is the perfect example of Hong Kong’s competitive advantage in facilitating the development of technology companies and attracting talent. CDE is actively engaged in the development of many innovative technologies, and their work resonates with healthy ageing, one of HKSTP’s three platforms for focused development. The company is poised to make significant contributions to our society in the future.”

 

*Press release content is provided by Comprehensive Drug Enterprises Ltd.*

 **Issued on behalf of Comprehensive Drug Enterprises by HKSTP**

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