Hemocellular Therapeutics establishes licensing agreement with UNC, ECU

tional hemostatic agent is known to be in this stage of development, he said, and the need for such an agent to be developed is critical, particularly in acute-care settings. Human trials could start as early as 18 months from now, he added.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 4 million admissions to non-federal hospitals nationwide in 1999 where active bleeding was the primary or secondary diagnosis. In addition, tens of thousands of deaths are estimated to occur nationwide each year due to issues related to bleeding.

"We see tremendous implications for this technology," said Basile. "Our primary focus, ultimately, is to bring doctors and other health-care professionals a new tool in dealing with the very serious medical challenges associated with clinical bleeding. We also see this as a means to strengthen our nation's biodefense efforts."

The current standard of care, liquid-stored platelets, does not provide immediate responsiveness after reinfusion, is vulnerable to viral or bacterial infection and can be stored for only five days.

The technology licensed to Hemocellular modifies human platelets to be a hemostatic agent that has a long shelf life (as long as five years), is safe and sterile, and provides immediate response to platelet-related bleeding.

"Carolina's partnership with Hemocellular represents a best-case model of how promising research discoveries can ultimately translate into solutions to some of our nation's most critical challenges," said Mark Crowell, associate vice chancellor for economic development and director of technology development at UNC. "Our state benefits tremendously, as well, with research and the company based in North Carolina, and the possibility of hundreds of new jobs when this product prepares to enter the marketplace."

From 1997 through 2002, UNC spawned 22 new spin-off companies based on faculty research. Fifteen launched in 2001-2002,

Contact: Deb Saine
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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