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Synthetic Blood International (SYBD) is set to capitalize on strong blood substitutes market

More than 4.5 million patients need blood transfusions each year in the US and Canada. Every three seconds someone needs a blood transfusion, while on average, one out of every 7 people entering the hospital will need blood. About 37 out of every 100 Americans are eligible to donate blood – while only 3 to 4 people out of every 100 actually donate each year. These are only a few facts about blood.

A common technique to satisfy patient’s need for blood is transfusion. Despite the lack of blood for transfusion, there are many significant adverse effects such as antigenicity of donor blood and its ability to transmit infections. The attempts to develop a viable blood substitute span more than seven decades. Regardless of many years of research, the ideal blood substitute continues to elude researchers.

The research efforts have basically focused the ability of blood substitutes to carry oxygen, as the replacement of lost human blood with an oxygen-bearing substitute is essential. However, many of the initial attempts at synthesizing blood substitutes failed because of allergic and hemolytic reactions. Thus, an ideal blood substitute, which will eliminate, or at least substantially reduce, the ability to transmit infections is still to come.

According to FDA, there are only ten companies that have blood substitute products candidates, which are under development in preclinical or end stages of clinical trials. Meanwhile, the global market for blood substitutes is estimated at $5 billion.

One of those companies involved in research of blood substitute is Synthetic Blood International (SYBD). The Company is currently developing Oxycyte™, a product based on perfluorocarbons, which is believed to be a safe and effective alternative to transfused blood. Compared with hemoglobin, Oxycyte has been found to be capable of carrying at least five times more oxygen. This is achieved due to the much smaller particles of Oxycyte than hemoglobin. According to the Company, the perfluorocarbon microdroplets that carry the oxygen are 1/70th the size of the red cells. They can therefore reach many areas of the body that human hemoglobin cells cannot.

According to Robert Larsen, Interim President and CEO of SYBD, Oxycyte is an exciting potential alternative method to more effectively transport oxygen to tissues such as the heart and brain, which due to injury, may be oxygen-starved. Oxycyte could be used in surgery, trauma, angioplasty, open heart surgery, and oxygenation of tumors during radiation or chemotherapy. The product can also be used on the battlefield, at the scene of accidents, and stored in emergency vehicles. 

Recently, the company finalized the Phase IIb clinical trial protocol with Oxycyte™ for the treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Positive data from the pilot study in TBI patients demonstrated that Oxycyte was more effective in increasing brain oxygen tension levels and impacting other brain chemistries that contribute to favorable clinical outcomes in TBI patients than breathing either 100 percent or 50 percent oxygen. The test demonstrated that Oxycyte provides oxygen transport to tissues immediately after injury. The Company also plans to initiate three pre-clinical animal studies in sickle cell disease, spinal cord injury and stroke in the first half of 2008.

The company’s achieved results are taken in consideration by authorities such as the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research that has recently approved three multi-million dollar grants for laboratory and animal research of Oxycyte for the treatment and prevention of acute decompression sickness.

About Synthetic Blood International

Synthetic Blood International is dedicated to commercializing innovative pharmaceuticals and medical devices in the field of oxygen therapeutics and continuous substrate monitoring. The Company has under development a blood substitute and a liquid ventilation product, and an implantable glucose sensor. These products are based upon core technologies that include biomedical applications for PFCs, and medical and industrial applications for biosensors. Each of the product candidates is designed with advantages over currently marketed products in major markets including acute respiratory distress syndrome, stroke, myocardial infarction, surgery, trauma, malignant tumors and diabetes. For more information, please, visit www.sybd.com.

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