Reykjavik, Iceland — May 18, 2017 — Today the President of Iceland awarded Kerecis the Industry Award for Entrepreneurship. Kerecis is the creator, manufacturer and patent holder of revolutionary, fish-skin-based therapeutic products that speed up the healing process of human wounds and repair tissue damage.
Specifically, Kerecis Omega3 is intact fish skin that is rich in naturally occurring Omega3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. When grafted onto damaged human tissue (such as a diabetic wound), the material recruits the body’s own cells and ultimately is converted into living tissue.
The products are made from fish skin, which was once considered waste. Kerecis has successfully commercialized the technology and now sells its products regularly to more than 300 hospitals and wound centers in the U.S. In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense, Kerecis is also adapting the product for use in battlefield conditions, where skin substitutes have traditionally not been used. The Kerecis technology was invented and originally developed by the company’s founder and CEO, Fertram Sigurjonsson.
“This award recognizes that Kerecis has created a valuable product that meets a real medical need and helps people throughout the globe,” said Sigurdur Hannesson, CEO of the Federation of Icelandic Industries and a member of the board of trustees of the Industry Award for Entrepreneurship. “These products sell for millions of dollars worldwide, and yet are made from something that previously was discarded as useless. The Kerecis ‘waste-to-value’ strategy is a great asset for Iceland,” he added.
About the Kerecis Fish-skin-based Products
The Kerecis fish-skin-based product helps wounds heal because of the structure of the fish skin and the presence of Omega3 fatty acids. Because there is no risk of disease transmission, the fish skin is only minimally processed. The result is that the fish skin is much more similar in structure to human skin than other skin substitutes. Also, fish skin is rich in Omega3, which possesses multiple health benefits.
The Kerecis products are now available in the United States, Iceland, Germany, and several other European and Asian countries. Specifically, the product has been approved by the FDA and European regulatory authorities and is eligible for reimbursement by Medicare in the U.S.
The fish skin used in the products derives from wild and sustainable fish stock caught in pristine Icelandic waters and processed with 100% renewable energy in a township at the polar circle.
About the Industry Award for Entrepreneurship and the Federation of Icelandic Industry
The Industry Award for Entrepreneurship trust was established in 1976 by Kristjan Fridriksson and his wife Oddny Olafsdottir. Fridriksson was an Icelandic builder of industrial companies, supporter of the arts and author of several books. He was interested in innovation and design, and established the award so that future innovators could be acknowledged.
The Federation of Icelandic Industry was founded 1993. The largest and strongest employers’ organization in Iceland, the federation is made up of nearly 1,400 companies of various sizes and from different industries. The board of directors consists of 10 individuals from various sectors of the industries.