How to stop traumatic bleeding: At Haima, fake blood produces real results

The 511

Back in the 20th century, we called 411 for information. Today, information’s aplenty, so you’re looking for something more. The 511 includes: 

  • ~5 short paragraphs about medtech, biotech, or another science-y thing
  • 1 sentence for reflection (and maybe a laugh), and 
  • 1 track I’ve currently got in heavy rotation.

NSF $ Goes to the Dogs

It’s been quite a summer for Haima Therapeutics, a CLE-based biotech company developing treatments for bleeding and other blood-related ailments. On July 8, the Ohio Third Frontier Technology Validation and Start-Up Fund — one of many OH-incubator-related awards in the (bio) tech sector — awarded Haima a $150,000 Phase II grant to further evaluate their signature product, SynthoPlate (pictured above). (And this is not Haima’s first rodeo on the $$ circuit: they’ve previously cashed checks from NIH, NSF, Dept. of Defense.) This award allows the Haima brainiacs to test SynthoPlate, which boosts the body’s ability to clot, on human’s best friend, canine lupus. 

Wait: My Tax Dollars are Getting Lapped up by Lhasa Apsos? 

Not exactly. Yes, it’s about the health of Fidos across the country, as well as the fighting soldiers of the US armed forces. (We’ll get there shortly.) As Haima notes: 

“SynthoPlate [is], a novel, fully-synthetic hemostatic technology that mitigates bleeding by acting at the site of injury and amplifying your body’s natural clotting mechanisms.”

Okay: back to the dogs. Americans love their canine companions, to the tune of 75 million. Unfortunately, we also love automobiles, and 1.2M dogs get hit by cars, suffer uncontrolled internal bleeding, and, well … you know. Plus, vets perform 5M surgeries annually and, since dogs have 12 different blood types — you: “whoa!” Me: “I know!” — so maintaining a canine blood bank is just impossible. (Oh yeah: humans have eight blood types. (And the global emergency vet services market is $5.7B.)

Super. But how Does SynthoPlate Work?

SynthoPlate can be “stored as a dry powder for months-to-years and rapidly re-suspended and injected via IV to any dog, regardless of blood type, after traumatic injury.” For comparison’s sake: human blood platelets last for all of seven days. For a few years now, that problem has driven the hypothesis-testing curiosity of Haima co-founders Anirban Sen Gupta and Christa Pawlowski. At present, they’re working with researchers to develop artificial red blood cells and, in turn, the first biosynthetic whole blood surrogate. Yes, it’s a big deal. “If they solve that problem,” Christian Zorman, PhD, “they basically revolutionize emergency medicine” — in ambulances, helicopters, and on the battlefield. For upwards of 90% of survivable battlefield casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, uncontrolled blood loss was the leading cause of death.

“We want to be sure [SynthoPlate] can be used by people and to save people’s lives.”

Christa Pawlowski, Ph.D., Haima co-founder

In a 2018 study, they confirmed in a pig model that bolus administration of SynthoPlate could reduce blood loss, stabilize blood pressure and significantly improve survival following a traumatic injury to the femoral artery.

So, what’s next for Haima? Well, they also received a $3.8M Dept. of Defense grant to collaborate with researchers at the University of Pittsburgh on “Field-Deployable Dried Platelet Surrogate Nanotechnology for Hemorrhage Control in RDCR.” The key task? Evaluate “intravenous and intraosseous administration of liquid and lyophilized (dried powder form) SynthoPlate in small and large animal models of traumatic injury.” The crux, then, is the lyophiliation (which might be a word) and its portability: SynthoPlate has already been subject to long-term storage (12 months), and demonstrated its integrity following quick reconstitution in water. The next step entails field deployability: will it work as a procedure in Remote Damage Control Resuscitation (RDCR)?

Everything else Haima’s done has turned up blood-red roses, so I figure they’ll ace this test, too.

5(1)1 — On gender and science

“A study by the American Association of University Women found that around the age of nine, girls were confident and assertive, but by the time they reached high school less than a third of girls felt this way … Londa Schiebinger, author of Has Feminism Changed Science? (1999) calculates that it takes 400 9th-grade boys, but 2,000 ninth-grade girls, to produce one PhD scientist.”

Cristal Glangchai, PhD, in Venture Girls (2018)

(Note: things have changed since 1999, but “prestige segregation” and “field segregation” persist along gender lines. See Inside Higher Ed.)

51(1) — In rotation

How has the pandemic changed your listening habits? Something in these past two weeks has made the task of finding music fitting for this moment so much more difficult than usual. Plus, it’s Joe Strummer birthday this week (b. 1952, d. 2002).

I know you’ve been doing a fair share of cooking, so how about a song about food?

Here’s Strummer and the Mescaleros doing the best song ever about mushy peas: “Bhindi Bhagee.”

A fine, fine LP. Thanks Mr. S., for the good times and the good tunes.

If you like this stuff, and you know someone interested in health, leadership, and music, all mixed up with a dash of humor, please spread the word.

I’m also on this thing called Twitter (@randaldoane). While it may be a passing fad, drop me a note, if you like what you see.

If you want to talk about a project with words, drop me a line over here. Cheers!


Haima Therapeutics

Case Alumnus Winter 2020

Intravenous synthetic platelet (SynthoPlate) nanoconstructs reduce bleeding and improve ‘golden hour’ survival in a porcine model of traumatic arterial hemorrhage.

The Prestige Gap

The THOR Network

Stealing All Transmissions: A Secret History of The Clash

Published by Randal Doane

Living the good life in NE Ohio. I dig science and the written word. Let's build something amazing together.

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