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MediWound signs UAE marketing deal for pineapple-based gel for burns

Israeli maker of NexoBrid for the treatment of severe burns signs exclusive marketing and distribution agreement with Emirati conglomerate Ghassan Aboud Group

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

MediWound's team in Tel Aviv at a signing ceremony with UAE conglomerate Ghassan Aboud Group for commercialization of its NexoBrid treatment for severe burns, December 14, 2020 (Mediwound).
MediWound's team in Tel Aviv at a signing ceremony with UAE conglomerate Ghassan Aboud Group for commercialization of its NexoBrid treatment for severe burns, December 14, 2020 (Mediwound).

Israeli MediWound, a maker of a pineapple-based gel to treat burn victims, said Tuesday it has signed an exclusive marketing and distribution agreement with UAE conglomerate Ghassan Aboud Group (GAG), for the commercialization of its NexoBrid drug for the treatment of severe burns.

The Israeli firm’s flagship treatment is used to remove damaged tissue in moderate-to-severe burn victims. MediWound’s technology is based on enzymes extracted from the pineapple plant stem in a complex pharmaceutical process. The company recently submitted the drug for marketing approval by the US Food and Drug Administration, which it hopes to obtain by June 2021.

The agreement follows the normalization of ties between Israel and the UAE in September, and was signed as part of NexoBrid’s global expansion strategy and entry into new markets in the Middle East, MediWound said in a statement.

“We are very pleased to work with GAG in bringing NexoBrid to the UAE,” said Sharon Malka, CEO of MediWound.

Illustrative image of sliced pineapple (Anusorn Sutapan; iStock by Getty Images)

“GAG, through its life sciences arm – Gaelan Medical Trade LLC, has extensive knowledge and experience in treating wounds, and holds substantial relationships with important clinical institutions in the UAE. We believe that together with GAG we can create new opportunities for NexoBrid across the region, providing a new paradigm for burn experts in treating severe burns, which can improve the lives of patients and healthcare quality they receive,” Malka said.

Ghassan Aboud Group (GAG) is an international conglomerate that operates in a variety of sectors including automotive, logistics, media, hospitality, real estate, retail, and catering. Headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, GAG also has offices in Australia, Belgium, China, Jordan and Turkey.

Gaelan Medical is GAG’s UAE-based healthcare and beauty distribution business.

NexoBrid product has received marketing authorization from the European Medicines Agency as well as the Israeli, Argentinian, South Korean, Russian and Peruvian ministries of health for eschar removal (debridement) in adults with deep partial-thickness and/or full-thickness thermal burns.

Vericel Corporation holds an exclusive license for North American commercial rights to NexoBrid.

MediWound said revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 2020, were $6.6 million, compared with $5.1 million for the third quarter of 2019, an increase of 29%. The firm reported a loss for the quarter of $1.9 million, compared with a loss of $0.2 million, for the third quarter of 2019, which included one-time profit from discontinued operations of $2.8 million.

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