Hemanext Announces Publication of Data Demonstrating Significant Benefits Following the Transfusion of Hypoxically Stored Red Blood Cells

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Preclinical study in peer-reviewed journal 'Shock' supports company’s program to develop enhanced red blood cells for use in high-volume transfused patients

When we look at all of the data from our study, it appears that storing RBCs hypoxically could result in better transfusion patient outcomes. Pedro Cabrales, PhD, University of California, San Diego

Hemanext, a privately held medical technology company dedicated to improving the quality, safety, efficacy and cost of transfusion therapy, today announced the publication of clinically significant data in Shock, the official journal of the Shock Society.

According to data generated in animal studies, “Resuscitation from hemorrhagic shock via transfusion of hypoxically stored red blood cells (RBCs, which carry oxygen throughout the body and transport carbon dioxide to the lungs for exhalation), recovered cardiac function, restored hemodynamic stability and improved outcomes” when compared to conventionally stored blood.

The study authors explained that trauma accounts for ten percent of deaths worldwide and is the third most-common cause of death in the United States. Hemorrhagic shock due to the rapid and extreme loss of blood is responsible for approximately fifty percent of trauma deaths. Developing improved methods for treating hemorrhagic shock is a high priority for trauma physicians around the world.

“Conventional RBCs have long been the standard of care in trauma. However, oxidative damage occurs that could impact patient outcome. These new data by Williams et. al shows that hypoxically stored RBCs achieve multiple clinically important functional resuscitation goals with a significantly smaller volume and meeting the FDA benchmark of 24-hour RBC recovery,” said Tor Hervig, MD, PhD; founding member of the Traumatic Hemostasis and Oxygenation Research (THOR) Network; Chief Medical Officer, Blood bank, Haugesund Hospital: Senior Consultant, Haukeland University Hospital.

The oxidative structural and functional damage known as “storage lesions” can limit the effectiveness of RBCs when transfused into patients. In many cases, the damaged RBCs may lead to poor clinical outcomes for highly vulnerable patients, including people suffering from shock or who require repeated transfusions to treat conditions such as sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and myelodyplastic syndrome.

Researchers are exploring the benefits of storing RBCs in oxygen-starved containers to prevent oxidative damage to the cells due to the presence of oxygen. In this study, the authors observed the following significant differences in outcomes between hypoxically and conventionally stored red blood cells:

  • Approximately fifty percent less RBC volumes were required to resuscitate animals from hemorrhagic shock when transfusing hypoxically stored RBCs – the authors cited this as the principal finding of the study
  • Faster reduction of blood lactate levels in transfused animals with the hypoxically stored RBCs compared to levels detected in the conventionally stored RBCs – reduced lactate is a biomarker for increased oxygen delivery by the RBCs, which is particularly important for shock patients
  • Hypoxically stored RBCs produced a significantly smaller degree of organ and tissue damage compared to conventionally stored RBC to arrive at the same clinically relevant hemodynamic goal
  • Hypoxically stored RBCs restored mean arterial pressure (MAP) and vascular resistance compared to conventionally stored RBCs

“When we look at all of the data from our study, it appears that storing RBCs hypoxically could result in better transfusion patient outcomes,” said Principal Investigator Pedro Cabrales, PhD, Professor of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego. “The potential to deliver a higher-quality red blood cell that improves patient recovery and expands the blood supply by reducing the number of transfused units will have a significant impact in those patients suffering from hemorrhagic shock.”

The researchers addressed the need for clinical trials to determine the safety and efficacy of hypoxically stored RBC transfusions in trauma patients with hemorrhagic shock. Hemanext is committed to supporting this ongoing research.

“This study, performed under the expert guidance of Dr. Pedro Cabrales, serves as an important milestone in our development program for hypoxically stored RBCs. We are delighted with the results and will continue to pursue our goal of bringing this new technology to patients everywhere,” said Hemanext President and CEO Martin Cannon.

Click here to access an abstract of the study.

Hemanext is a privately held medical technology company dedicated to improving the quality, safety, efficacy and cost of transfusion therapy. The company’s research and development efforts center on the study and future commercialization of hypoxically stored red blood cells (RBCs). HEMANEXT ONE®, our initial product offering, is designed to improve the quality of life for chronic and high-volume transfusion patients while reducing costs.

Visit Hemanext.com to learn more.

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Jed Weiner
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