Cancer, diabetes and chronic wounds are among the world's most common diseases today. Global technology company Freudenberg is developing products that are used in the treatment of these diseases. Innovations such as biodegradable wound dressings, coatings for implants or seals for medical devices all make the lives of patients and physicians easier. The company is currently investing in the expansion of its medical technology division worldwide, including the factory in Shenzhen, China.
The number of newly diagnosed cancer patients in China reaches more than three million each year, which accounts for one fifth of newly diagnosed cancer patients worldwide. Coated catheters and stents are used in the treatment of people suffering from cancer of the esophagus and trachea. They dispense active agents in the body, precisely where they are needed, and also expand the affected vessels. Thanks to the special composition of the coating and the innovative coating process, the drugs have a better and more long-lasting effect than before – with just a third of the required amount. This results in fewer side effects for the patient and less toxic waste in the clinic, which reduces environmental impact and achieves cost savings for the healthcare system.
Over 100 million Chinese people suffer from diabetes, the highest figure of any country in the world. Because diabetes patients regularly need insulin to regulate their blood glucose levels, the disease reduces the quality of life of those affected. Portable insulin pumps make life easier for diabetes sufferers by removing the need for them to inject the insulin. Freudenberg supplies sealing solutions for these mobile pumps. A special rod seal reduces friction to a minimum, resulting in less wear. As a result, the minimum life expectancy of the pumps can be guaranteed for a period of four years, ensuring trouble-free application.
Innovative wound dressings accelerate the healing process
Chronic wounds are also widespread. According to the Federal Association of Medical Technology, around 2.7 million people in Germany suffer from this condition. As China's population is aging quickly, the number of patients with chronic wounds is also constantly rising. A variety of different dressing materials are available to doctors and nurses for medical wound care. Gelatinizing nonwoven wound dressings from Freudenberg accelerate the healing process.
The innovative nonwoven material gels as soon as it comes into contact with other liquids. The dressings keep the wound moist and remain stable despite rapidly absorbing the wound secretion, which means that they sit firmly on the wound. In addition, Freudenberg offers innovative foam systems that add special properties to conventional wound dressings, protecting the wound from drying out and consequently promoting healing. Their antimicrobial properties also prevent inflammation.
Scaffolene® technology is another Freudenberg innovation. These nonwovens are made from bioresorbable raw materials, which are degraded by the body. For the patient, this has the advantage that no second operation is necessary to remove the product. Medicines, enzymes or growth hormones can all be incorporated into the nonwovens. These are used in the four therapy areas of biosurgery, bioactive wound healing, medication release and regenerative medicine. A European partner of Freudenberg, who has been manufacturing blood-stilling products for decades, introduced a product with scaffolene® technology at the end of 2015. The positive response of users and physicians worldwide means that further product launches are planned in the near future.
Investment in innovations that benefit people
The Freudenberg Group is investing globally in the expansion of the company's medical technology division with the aim of further extending its innovation strength and ensuring long-term market success. In Shenzhen, China, Freudenberg is currently doubling its production capacities for medical technology. To meet the needs of Chinese patients, Freudenberg relies on targeted research and development as well as decades of experience in the country.
At a cost of 10 million Euros, a new development center for innovative catheter technology has recently been built at Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland, creating 200 jobs. The company also made additional investments in Carpenteria, California, where the site is to be expanded by around 930 square meters.
The Group is investing in Germany too. At the Kaiserslautern site, Freudenberg is expanding its cleanroom production for the second time in recent history to optimally serve growing demand among its customers.