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An Austrian small scale enterprise owns and develops a novel hemoglobin complex (initially used as an oxygen carrier in the human blood) for various in-vitro and in-vivo application areas. The hemoglobin complex is characterized by a high oxygen carrying capacity, purity, safety and functionality. The developers are looking for partner companies who need specific oxygen carriers. In this sense a technical cooperation, a commercial agreement or a license agreements is sought.
A novel hemoglobin complex for use as an oxygen carrier in the human blood was developed by a German research institute. At present the technology is owned by a consortium (consisting of an Austrian and a German small scale enterprise) which is further developing the hemoglobin complex. Both companies are specialized in the worldwide sourcing and development of biological raw materials.
1) State of the art:
Hemoglobin is an iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein in the red blood cells of all vertebrates which carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Hemoglobin as an oxygen carrier is therefore essential to preserve organic tissue in various biotechnological and medical applications on living organisms (in vivo) and in test tubes (in vitro). Hemoglobin derived from human blood donations is a rare commodity and not available in sufficient amount. However, hemoglobin can also be isolated from an abundant and low cost source – bovine blood. There are many commercially available bovine hemoglobins but none is acceptable with regard to purity, safety or functionality. For this reason the currently available hemoglobin products cannot be used in applications or as a starting material for products that depend on the oxygen carrying capacity of hemoglobin. The market needs a new type of hemoglobin, suitable to work as a potent oxygen carrier.
2) Description of the technology:
The active hemoglobin complex is manufactured from calves' red blood cells sourced in Tyrol, Austria - a region free of most notifiable bovine diseases as well as of mad cow disease. It has been harvested from locally and organically raised animals with proven traceability and carefully monitored health records. The red blood cells are lysed and the hemoglobin is then obtained via centrifugation and filtration steps. The active hemoglobin can be used for the manufacturing of multi-hemoglobin complexes with advantageous properties.
3) Application Areas:
Beside the application as an oxygen carrier in the human body the hemoglobin complex can be used in many more application areas. Currently the hemoglobin complex is beeing further developed in the framework of a funded European project (€ 1 Mio). Scaling-up to reach industrial production levels is currently under development. Possible application areas are:
- Human erythrocytes replacement in cell culture media used during transport of organs for perfusion
- Active ingredient in wound bandages (especially for chronic wounds)
- Cell culture additive for better oxygenation
- Ingredient for biological coating of cell culture plastics
- Veterinary applications - contributing to joints healing of pet animals
- In treating hair loss
- In any other areas where an improved oxygen supply is required
4) Partner sought:
The Austrian company is looking for companies and research institutes with a need for specific oxygen carriers. In this sense a technical cooperation agreement is sought with no need for financial input from cooperation partners.
The Austrian company would like to get in contact with any kind of company that is interested in the existing oxygen carrier. In this sense a commercial agreement with technical assistance is sought. In the case of a technical distribution partner, a license agreement is sought.
In the course of the development of the active hemoglobin (complex) over 100 potential vendors of
hemoglobin were contacted and hemoglobin samples were analyzed. Not a single vendor could
deliver functional hemoglobin according to the required specifications. Essential requirements that
were not met are for example a high endotoxin content, high amount of aggregates/particulate matter
in the hemoglobin solution or a low purity. All samples exhibited a high content of methemoglobin (50
to 100%) so there was a very low amount of functional hemoglobin.
The presented active hemoglobin can be produced with a high purity, without particulate matter and with
a very low amount of methemoglobin (≤ 10% according to specifications sheet). With the high functionality regarding oxygen carrying capacity the hemoglobin can be used as a starting material for various products.
Further advantages in comparison with other oxygen carriers are:
1. Longer shelf life than human erythrocytes currently in use. According to specifications sheet, 8 months at < - 15°C (further stability studies ongoing)
2. Maintains biological activity over a long period of time. According to specifications sheet, 8 months at < - 15°C (further stability studies ongoing)
3. Easily commercially available at low cost
4. Almost unlimited supply possible (manufacturing process can be transferred to many other slaughter plants)
5. Easy to manufacture - in geographical area of the world
6. Can be used for manufacturing of patented micro-particles with advantageous properties
7. Can be stored frozen without adverse effects
8. A safe and effective starting material for the manufacturing of laboratory reagents, medical devices up to pharmaceuticals
The product (in development) can be used for the manufacturing of laboratory reagents.
Application for use with human tissue is not yet certified.
For manufacturing of medical devices and / or medicinal products the European Medicinal Agency (EMA) has set up certain requirements in regards to age of animals and country of origin of raw materials. In order to deliver a proof that the product is compliant with the requirements of EMA, a Certificate of Suitability, issued by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM), will be applied for. Currently the Certificate of Suitability is under preparation. This is part of the ongoing EUROSTARS project.
Several worldwide patents have been granted so far
1) Type of partner sought:
- Cell culture users
- Pharma companies
- In-vitro diagnostic manufacturer
- Manufacturers of medicinal products
- Manufacturers of medical devices
- Cosmetics manufacturer
- Distributors in the medical sector
2) Role of partner sought:
The Austrian company gained funding for a continuous development of the oxygen carrier until March 2021. Now the company is looking for companies & research institutes with a need for specific oxygen carriers.The aim of such a cooperation is to ensure that the research carried out is with a view to bringing the technology close to market. In this sense a technical cooperation agreement is sought with no need for financial input from cooperation partners. For example samples could be sent to a cooperating company to test the oxygen carrier for specific applications.
The Austrian company would like to get in contact with any kind of company that is interested in the existing oxygen carrier. In this sense a commercial agreement with technical assistance is sought. In case of a distribution partner a license agreement is sought.