In 2004, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medical-grade maggots as a "medical device" to debride chronic or non-healing wounds. It gave Sherman's maggots a level of legitimacy he needed to treat patients on a wider scale. It also meant that he needed to raise his maggots in a dedicated lab to create a better-quality product and stay within FDA guidelines. So in 2007, he founded Monarch Labs, the first modern American company devoted solely to the production of sterile therapeutic maggots.
In Europe, a competing company, BioMonde, was also gaining momentum. They used the same blowfly species, but they hoped that their 2005 invention of the BioBag would set them apart. Instead of selling their maggots loose, like Monarch Labs and others, BioMonde sold theirs in a white silk mesh bag that, to an outsider, looks like a large teabag containing miniature grains of rice.
"You don't have to see the maggots, you don't have to touch the maggots. Everything is contained in the bag. And when you're done, you just pitch it and place a new bag on," says Katy Nicell, a product manager at BioMonde's new office in Gainesville, Florida.