Oxygen Carrying Solutions
Aerobic respiration has an absolute need for Oxygen, the vast majority of which is transported around the body bound to hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells. Oxygen deprivation increases the risk of hypoxemia (low oxygen levels in the blood), and subsequently hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the tissues). Within minutes of oxygen deprivation there can be damage to the brain, liver, and other organs
HbO2 Therapeutics’ drug development focus is to treat oxygen deprivation resulting from anemia and ischemia. Anemia is a reduction in the number of healthy circulating red blood cells, and therefore a reduction in the amount of available hemoglobin to transport oxygen to tissues and organs. There are many possible causes for anemia, but they all fall within at least one of three categories: blood loss (such as from an injury or medical procedure), reduced production of healthy red blood cells (examples include sickle cell anemia and iron deficiency anemia), and destruction of red blood cells (such as in hemolytic anemia). Ischemia is produced by localized, inadequate red blood cell flow, caused by obstructed or constricted blood vessels. This condition can lead to stroke, heart attack or other organ or tissue dysfunction.
When Oxyglobin or Hemopure is infused into the bloodstream, the chemically stabilized hemoglobin molecules both carry oxygen in the plasma, and facilitate the release of oxygen from red blood cells, thereby increasing diffusion of oxygen to tissues. The purpose of intravenous oxygen-delivery support is to help stabilize the patient and prevent tissue damage or organ dysfunction associated with oxygen deprivation.
In addition, since the hemoglobin polymers in our products are relatively small, these molecules can disperse throughout the entire plasma space, including the area between and around red blood cells, and are in continuous contact with the blood vessel wall where oxygen transport to tissues takes place. The presence of one of these solutions in the plasma could allow for the delivery of oxygen to areas poorly perfused by red blood cells when partial occlusion related to disease or injury is present.
Also in our development pipeline is a medical device application, where Hemopure is used as an additive to perfusates used in ex-vivo organ perfusion. The product’s primary function is to pick up oxygen (through a typical membrane oxygenation medical device) and deliver it to the organ’s tissues. In this ex-vivo scenario the product does not interact with tissues in any way that a pharmacologic agent would. Instead, it releases oxygen in microenvironments having low oxygen tension (low PO2), which then travels a short distance down a concentration gradient to nearby tissue without interacting with the tissue. Prior to implantation, organs are rinsed out with a saline solution to remove any traces of HBOC-201.