The Blood Service is producing an innovative cell product for the treatment of severe burns

After taking a break, the Blood Service's Advanced Cell Therapy Centre has begun production of an autologous keratinocyte product. The product is a special product that is sprayed onto damaged skin to treat burns and chronic wounds. It is a combination of the patient's own isolated skin cells and a biological adhesive.

Advanced Cell Therapy Centre worker.

This form of treatment is rare, but it has yielded good results in the treatment of burn patients. The product is used to support the treatment of very severe and large burns, and has been found to reduce the number of days patients spend in intensive care.

Life-saving treatment

The Blood Service began developing the product in 2012 in collaboration with experts from the Burn Center at Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) and a laboratory led by Docent Esko Kankuri from the University of Helsinki.

“In terms of recovery, patients have had positive experiences with the product. This is a life-saving treatment that has been in development for a long time,” says Professor Jyrki Vuola, chief physician at the Burn Center.

The first patient was treated with the preparation in 2013. Over the years, the autologous keratinocyte preparation has helped around twenty burn patients. Use of the product is always decided on by the attending physician.

The Blood Service has now restarted production of the product after a break of a few years.

“During the break in production, the manufacturing process was updated to meet stricter legislative requirements. The product was reclassified as an advanced therapy medicinal product,” says Mimmi Patrikoski, Production Manager at the Advanced Cell Therapy Centre .

The product can be produced rapidly, if necessary

The autologous keratinocyte preparation contains the patient’s own skin cells, which are isolated from a thin skin graft. An enzyme called trypsin helps to process the skin graft, allowing cells to be isolated within hours. This means that the product can be made available relatively quickly if necessary.

“It’s great that we are able to offer cleanrooms and top-tier specialist expertise in the production of cell products,” says Anita Laitinen, Head of the Blood Service’s Advanced Cell Therapy Centre .

The product also has the potential for wider use.

“In the future, we hope to be able to treat superficial burns, chronic wounds, and skin graft donor sites, the healing of which is of paramount importance in burn treatments,” says Jyrki Vuola.