Research work which led to the creation of the medicinal product offered today under the name HemaGel began in the first half of the 1990s. However the research that began at the time could not have been possible without the earlier results of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry. Even HemaGel must owe its existence to the discovery of the preparation of hydrophilic polymers based on poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate). The discovery of Professor Wichterle and his team, which in the 1960s made it possible to start the production of soft contact lenses, also forms the basis for the foundation on which HemaGel stands.

A significant turning point came with the research team in the mid 1990s when the idea of Ing. Jiří Labský, CSc. became a reality for building steric hindrance aminos, so-called free radicals scavengers, into some polymers which the human organism tolerates well.

The use of a polymer matrix has several advantages. It consists of large macromolecules, which are interlinked in the network. This prevents the penetration of these molecules though the skin into the body, so they remain on the surface of the wound. They allow the active substance to consistently take effect.

In 1997 the project was granted a Czech patent, but the road to a freely available product had far from ended. The transfer of results obtained in a laboratory into operating form, which can be produced in great quantities, was very complicated, and the working team had to deal with many questions connected with the optimisation of the ingredients. A separate circle of problems and challenges to overcome brought with it the need to find a balance between the efficacy of the product and the price which would allow industrial production.

The patent holder was the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences which provides production rights under a contractual relationship to the product of VH Pharma, a.s.

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Ing. Jiří Labský, CSc.

* 1936

is the author of more than 100 publications in international journals and 55 patents. In 2002, together with MUDr. Karel Smetana, DrSc., he received the prestigious scientific award Česká hlava... read more

Ing. Jiří Vacík, CSc.

* 1938

worked in the 1990s as head of the Department of Hydrogels for Medical and Technical Practice at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences and managed the team engaged in the development of HemaGel... read more

MUDr. Pavel Hošek

* 1948

worked as a general practitioner. During the research he contributed to practical testing of the gel.

Macromolecular Institute

The product for supporting healing of inflammatory diseases, which today we describe under the brand name of HemaGel, was developed at the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences, public research institution. This top scientific centre has been engaged in science and research for half a century and also produced one of the most famous of Czech inventions of all times - contact lenses.

The history of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry began in the 1950s. The successful scientific symposium on macromolecular complexes which was held in Prague in 1957 was an impulse for establishing the specialised site engaged in this rapidly developing branch of science. The IMCH was established in 1959 as part of the Academy of Sciences and its first director was Professor Otto Wichterle, whose name will always be associated with the invention and subsequent launch of the production of soft contact and intraocular lenses.

Under the management of Professor Wichterle, the IMCH focused from the very beginning and in equal measure on polymer chemistry and physics, placing emphasis on maintaining a balance between theoretical research and practical implementation of results in practice. The truly exceptional scientific credit of Prague’s Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry is also confirmed by the fact that Prague, as the only city in the world, has had the honour to host the IUPAC International Symposium on Macromolecular Complexes as many as three times (in 1957, 1965 and 1992).

Intensive scientific and research activity continues. Since 1 January 2007 the centre has held the legal form of a public research institution. In recent years the IMCH focuses on three main areas: research of biomacromolecular systems, analysis of the dynamics and self-organisation of molecular and supramolecular polymer systems and problems of the preparation, characterisation and use of new polymers with a controlled structure and properties. Great emphasis is also placed at the IMCH on educational activity, as in cooperation with universities it provides a doctoral study programme in polymer sciences.

Mechanism of the effect of HemaGel