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Executive Summary

SYNTHETIC BLOOD POTENTIAL AS A DRUG DELIVERY SYSTEM for petroleum-based drugs is noted in a May 7 press release by Synthetic Blood Corp. "The preliminary data indicates synthetic blood can transport many drugs, natrients, and enzyme systems without any significant loss of stability," the release states. "It represents an effective delivery system for the infusion of drugs." According to the release, synthetic blood is a sterile, water-based system consisting of two liquids of different densities which, when properly combined have the physical and chemical properties of human blood. It transports oxygen and when given in transfusion, can maintain or restore normal circulating volume and blood pressure. Metabolized in a similar fashion as natural blood, synthetic blood has the same physiological range and merges with the existing blood system, the company says. The product is envisioned as a potential replacement for human blood in a number of applications and as a direct replacement for blood plasma and volume extenders, the release indicated. The company, Synthetic Blood Corp., is a joint venture between Chicago-based Quixote Corp. and the venture capital arm of Allstate Insurance Company. Perfluorochemical (PFC) emulsions are currently the compounds farthest along in development as blood substitutes. The oxygen transport agent Fluosol-DA, a PFC manufactured by the Green Cross subsidiary Alpha Therapeutics, currently has an NDA as a red blood cell substitute pending. The company reports in the product's patent literature that synthetic blood has a wider range of properties than the oxygen transport agent Fluosol including an ability: to hold oxygen in reserve and release it in accordance with physiological tension; to add or disperse hemoglobin without loss of stability; and to transport nonpolar drug entities and enzyme systems without loss of stability. Synthetic blood does not contain Factor VIII, the clotting agent found in natural blood, but does not interfere with clotting mechanisms of the recipient's blood, the release maintains. Both product and process patents have been issued for the biological product and some limited animal testing has been performed. According to the company, synthetic blood is roughly 3-1/2 years away from clinical trials.

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