Irish start-up Hemanua testing a product to treat Ebola virus
Irish start-up Hemanua has announced that it is at the advanced testing stage for a product to treat the Ebola virus disease in collaboration with the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.
Founded in early 2014 by Dan Maher, Michael Flaherty and Frank O’Regan, Hemanua and is based at NovaUCD and has a development laboratory at the Pharmaceutical and Molecular Biotechnology Research Centre in Waterford Institute of Technology.
Hemanua is focused on designing and manufacturing a wide range of gravity-driven blood separation technologies.
Its ProBlood CP product has the capability to enable the harvesting and the transfusion of convalescent plasma (CP) without electricity and driven only by gravity. It also produces totally cell free plasma.
“ProBlood CP is based on the company’s patented filter configuration of hollow microfibres capable of extracting plasma while concentrating the red blood cells for re-transfusion to the donor,” said Maher.
“The ability to re-transfuse immediately to the donor their own red cells is a critical advantage facilitating more frequent donations and keeping the donor healthy.”
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, according to Dr William Murphy, medical and scientific director, Irish Blood Transfusion Service.
“Clinical trials of plasma therapy are now planned by several agencies in the epidemic-affected region to assess this approach,” he said.
“Phase 1 test results on the ProBlood CP were very encouraging and the device provides a very real opportunity for clinicians in the field to provide convalescent plasma to the Ebola patients in their care easily and rapidly.”
Laboratory testing of Hemanua’s technology has been coordinated by Áine Fitzpatrick and Harry Croxon, medical scientists with the Irish Blood Transfusion Service.
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