Minnesota med-tech company developing freeze-dried plasma


It sounds like a prop in a science fiction movie, but it's all true. A Minnesota med-tech company has an agreement with the U.S. Army to research and develop a freeze-dried plasma product that could be a game-changer in treating battlefield injuries.

The Business Journal reports that Vascular Solutions has already built a prototype of the product. The Maple Grove company will package its freeze-dried plasma kits in a ruggedized tube to protect it during transport to remote areas.

The Pharmaceutical Business Review explains that the Army has prioritized the development of the freeze-dried product for battlefield treatment of severe hemorrhage. "The early administration of plasma has an important role in reducing battlefield mortality rates," the story noted. The product could supplement or replace the fresh frozen plasma currently in use. The traditional product is cumbersome in field settings because it must be stored frozen until used and requires a lengthy thawing process.

The Army’s medical material development activity unit will fund clinical trials needed for regulatory approvals, which is expected in 2018. The agreement allows the company to sell the product to the civilian market as well. Vascular Solutions CEO Howard Root believes that product will offer important benefits for both the U.S. military and the general public.

"Freeze-dried plasma would be a natural option for rural treatment facilities and private first-responder organizations with advanced life support capabilities," Root said.

Meanwhile, TwinCitiesBusiness reported that Vascular Solutions reported record sales for its latest quarter, with revenue up by 15 percent to reach a record $29.9 million for the quarter that ended March 31.

The story went on to say that the company expects legal costs to impact earnings growth this year. Last May, Vascular Solutions sued Boston Scientific allegedly infringing on three of its patents. In December, Vascular Solutions won a preliminary injunction that temporarily barred Boston Scientific from selling its “Guidezilla” guide extension catheter. Earlier this month, Vascular Solutions said that the injunction had been lifted.

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