Haemoglobin based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) have applications in wound healing, perfusion of donated transplant organs and ultimately in trauma. A patent filed by Spheritech in 2017 has now been granted in the US (patent number US 10,471,130 B2). The company has, in effect, created microparticles which mimic artificial red blood cells comprised entirely of fatty acids and haemoglobin. These microparticles have the advantage that they are the same order of magnitude as red blood cells and as such do not pass through capillary walls in the same way as other HBOCs in development. This new HBOC, termed SpheriSome Hb has already been shown to maintain porcine kidneys in ex-vivo perfusion models and is currently under development for transplant organ perfusion.
A key player in HBOC development (26th November 2019)
Artificial blood is no longer a pipe dream
Since early announcements ( https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/health/scientists-created-artificial-human-blood-11759287 ) the haemoglobin based oxygen carrier (HBOC) under development at Spheritech is moving forward rapidly. The first biological study to turn this novel HBOC into a perfusion fluid for transplant organ maintenance has begun in a 3 year study funded by a UK charity. A formal announcement will follow in due course.
Joint Venture with Aquacheck Engineering (21st November 2019)
Spheritech are developing novel biopolymers for removal of toxic heavy metals such as lead from domestic water supplies. A cartridge designed to be installed in domestic households and schools at the points of use such as kitchens and drinking fountains will be launched early in 2020. Aquacheck Engineering Ltd based in Rochdale, a major supplier to the water utility companies has entered into a joint venture with Spheritech to market the cartridges and future developments in water purification. The level of lead in many older domestic properties and schools often exceeds current limits of 10ppb. The new lead filter has already been shown in laboratory trials to have a lifetime equivalent to 8-12 months in a domestic household where it has reduced lead to undetectable levels. Spheritech has also invented a simple point of use lead sensor which will eventually allow householders to test the lead levels in their own water supplies. Spheritech are seeking funding to develop the new device but anticipate that it will detect lead at levels far below current analytical techniques.
Blood substitute to maintain transplant organs (30th October 2019)
Spheritech is working with the NHS and Kidney Research UK to optimize its blood substitute, SpheriSome Hb, for the maintenance of transplant organs. Donated organs deteriorate on storage and must reach the recipient in the shortest possible time. The organs can often be maintained by perfusion with autologous blood but this is not practical or cost effective. The company has already proven that SpheriSome Hb can fully oxygenate kidneys and maintain function ex-vivo. This newly funded project starting this month will allow the company to fully optimize this unique blood substitute to extend the storage of donated organs, with kidneys being the first target.
Removal of lead from domestic water supplies (30th October)
The level of lead in domestic water supplies regularly exceeds the legal limits of 10ppb in domestic households and worryingly in many schools. Spheritech have invented and patented technology for the removal of lead from domestic water supplies and are looking for collaborators to develop this range of novel biopolymers already proven to remove lead from bore hole water down to undetectable levels.
Artificial blood US patent approved for grant (23rd September 2019)
SpheriSome Hb, the novel blood substitute under development at Spheritech has now been approved for grant in the US. This is an extremely important stage following on from our successful kidney perfusion and functional maintenance early this year.
CAR T-cell therapy (27th August 2019)
Chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CAR T cells) are T-cells where the DNA has been engineered to produce a modified T-cell receptor for use in immunotherapy. The T-cells are normally captured and activated using polystyrene based magnetic microparticles, which are expensive and can cause issues during T-cell isolation for return to the donor. At Spheritech we are developing a macroporous biopolymer cartridge with immobilised antibodies for T-cell activation. This simplifies the whole process from activation through to T-cell recovery. We hope to launch a range of T-cell activation cartridges in the next 6-8 months.
Removal of Arsenic from bore hole water (20th August 2019)
The high levels of arsenic in some domestic water supplies is beginning to raise concerns with water companies. In a number of rural areas where water often originates from bore holes or ground water wells the arsenic levels have on occasion exceeded the WHO maximum recommended levels. Spheritech are developing scalable, environmentally safe technology to reduce arsenic levels in domestic water supplies.
Linkage grant (19th August)
Spheritech has been awarded a $583,000 grant to work with the University of Melbourne on water based peptide synthesis