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Irish Company at Advanced Stage of Testing a Treatment for Ebola
Posted: Thursday, November 27, 2014

Dublin,Ireland, 27th November 2014, Hemanua Limited, an Irish start-up company, in collaboration withthe Irish Blood Transfusion Service, today announced that they are in advanced testing of Hemanua’s ProBlood CP product for treatment of Ebola Virus Disease.

 

The ProBlood CP has the capability toenable the harvesting and the transfusion of convalescent plasma  (CP) without electricity and driven only by gravity thereby providing a realadvantage in remote and less developed regions such as West Africa.

 

The ProBlood CP has additional advantagesas it produces totally cell free plasma. 

 

Dr William Murphy, Medical and ScientificDirector, Irish Blood Transfusion Service said, “The use of convalescent plasma from people who have recently recovered from Ebola virus infection has considerable promise as an effective treatment for patients with acute life-threatening infection.”

 

He added, “Clinical trials of plasmatherapy are now planned by several agencies in the epidemic-affected region toassess this approach.  Phase 1 test results on the ProBlood CP were very encouraging and that the device provides a very real opportunity for cliniciansin the field to provide convalescent plasma to the Ebola patients in their careeasily and rapidly, and without the need for expensive and complex plasmapheresis equipment.”

 

Laboratory testing ofHemanua’s technology  has been coordinated by Áine Fitzpatrick and Harry Croxon, medical scientists with the Irish BloodTransfusion Service.

Harry Croxon observed that, "Operationally, the ProBlood CP device tested in our BloodComponents laboratory is good to go, by meeting the requirements to separate adonation of whole blood simply and efficiently into a unit of therapeuticplasma and donor blood cells within a timeframe of 60 -  90 minutes. Results of preliminary laboratory tests indicate that the plasma should be found to be of similar therapeutic value to the plasma produced by conventional means.”

 

Dr Monique Gueguen, of Médecins sansFrontières in Paris said, “The use of plasmapheresis machines in remotelocations can be problematic and a gravity-driven solution could prove of realinterest, if full testing completes successfully. Preparation of units of red cell concentrates and plasma without a stable electricity supply and withoutsophisticated equipment could bring modern transfusion therapy in lesser developed blood centres and remote hospitals.”

 

Dan Maher, CEO, Hemanua Limited said, “ProBloodCP is based on the company’s patented filter configuration of hollow microfibres capable of extracting plasma while concentrating the red bloodcells for re-transfusion to the donor.” He stressed “the ability to re-transfuse immediately to the donor theirown red cells is a critical advantage facilitating more frequent donations and keeping the donor healthy.”

 

Hemanua Limited was founded in early 2014 by Dan Maher, Michael Flaherty and Frank O’Regan and is based at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin and has a development laboratory at the Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre inWaterford Institute of Technology.

 

Hemanua is focused on designing and manufacturinga wide range of gravity-driven blood separation technologies.

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