safe blood
Mission
Developing a system to increase the safety of blood for transfusion with respect to transmission of infectious disease.
Unmet need
Blood transfusion is usually a safe medical procedure. Nevertheless, there are a number of adverse events that can be associated with blood transfusion. Transmission of pathogens is one of the risks, although the risk is small due to tests for a number of infectious agents. To reduce the remaining risk a proactive approach is needed. In recent years a number of systems were implemented to reduce pathogens in blood components intended for transfusion. To-date, only systems for platelet concentrates and fresh-frozen plasma are in use, leaving the most important component, red cell concentrate, unavailable in a sterile form.
red cell concentrate is unavailable in a sterile form

The Hemalux System
Germicidal short wavelength ultraviolet light (UVC, 254 nm) has been used during the last century extensively as a sterilizing agent. It targets nucleic acids and since red cells and platelets do not contain nucleic acids its effect in sterilizing blood is highly selective. However, because red cell concentrate as well as whole blood are optically opaque, UVC has not been applied for these blood components so far.
Hemalux is developing a device that overcomes the problem of UVC penetration into blood using a novel approach. The system is applied to whole blood, thus achieving pathogen reduction of all three components in one step. A proof of concept study validated the approach and a 2nd generation device demonstrated its feasibility. The company is ramping up for conducting the needed studies to bring the system to clinical studies. These studies will be done in collaboration with large blood centers.

Vision
Hemalux intends to form a partnership with a large blood company that will support the development of the system and be able to commercialize and distribute it world wide.

 

Management
The company was founded in 2012 by the inventor of the system, Dr. Ehud Ben-Hur. It is supported by private investors. Dr. Ben-Hur serves as the CEO of Hemalux. He is a world expert on the biological effects of UVC and worked on development of pathogen reduction systems for blood at the NY Blood Center for a number of years and then at V.I. Technologies (Vitex), a company spun off from NYBC. In recent years he was a consultant to companies that developed medical devices related to blood. For background information about Dr. Ben-Hur see his recent book: Adventures in blood, available from Amazon or directly from the publisher.

 

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