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Artificial Blood: Finding the Formula for Approval

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Despite decades of effort and more than $1 billion dollars invested in commercial blood substitute R&D, no products are approved for use in the US. Can next-generation companies succeed where so many others have failed?

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Sangart Inc.

Sangart Inc. says it is the first company to thoroughly understand the mechanisms of cell-free hemoglobin in the body and has designed Hemospan to mimic the size and behavior of natural hemoglobin. Sangart believes that its science and simplified production method put it on track to create a safe, cost-effective, commercially viable hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier.

Hemocellular Therapeutics Inc.

Hemocellular Therapeutics Inc. hopes to extend the life of donated human platelets with proprietary freeze-drying technology. Its Stasix, now in preclinical development, is a powdered form of platelets that can be stored at room temperature indefinitely. Once rehydrated, full functionality is restored immediately. Furthermore, Hemocellular claims that since it removes protein plasma before freeze-drying, no cross-matching to patients is necessary.

Haemostatix Ltd.

Haemostatix Ltd. is a University of Leicester spin-out attempting to develop a synthetic platelet product to aid in blood clotting. The firm was started up in March 2003 and has raised 250,000 GBP from the Lachesis University Challenge Fund.

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