Massachusetts Patent of the Month – June 2023

Blood transfusion is a life-saving therapy that requires careful consideration of blood quality and patient safety. However, conventional blood storage methods have limitations that affect the quality of stored blood and its components. Hemanext Inc., a pioneering research and development company, has developed a novel solution to address these limitations. Their invention, the Oxygen Reduction Disposable Kit (ORDKit), revolutionizes blood collection and storage by significantly reducing oxygen levels, improving the quality and safety of blood transfusions.

Currently, stored blood expires after approximately 42 days of refrigerated storage at temperatures above freezing. This limited storage time contributes to the scarcity of high-quality blood for transfusions. Stored blood undergoes a gradual deterioration process, leading to storage lesions and reduced oxygen-carrying capacity. Transfusing blood with these storage lesions can result in negative clinical outcomes, increased morbidity, and longer hospital stays for patients.

The ORDKit provides a solution to these challenges. It consists of an outer receptacle impermeable to oxygen, an inner collapsible blood container with oxygen-permeable chambers, and an oxygen sorbent within the outer receptacle. The device effectively depletes oxygen from the collected blood before anaerobic storage, preserving its quality and reducing the risk of storage lesions.

One of the key advantages of the ORDKit is its ability to initiate oxygen reduction at the time of blood collection, allowing for earlier preservation. By starting the oxygen reduction process as early as possible, the ORDKit maximizes the quality of stored blood within the existing infrastructure and regulatory time limits. This innovation ensures that the blood’s oxygen saturation remains below 20% or even below 10%, providing transfusion-ready blood with high oxygen-carrying capacity.

Hemanext has been making great steps in the past year. Between this newly granted patent, strategic partnerships, and bringing their product to market, the company is working diligently to bring their technology to the industry and improving blood storage on a large scale. The strategic partnership, announced in early June, is with Vitalent. Vitalent is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit blood and biotherapies healthcare organizations. The partnership will include an initial investment by Vitalant and collaboration in research through the new Vitalant Innovation Center.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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