Overview

Transfusions of red blood cells are among the most common medical procedures in the world. Globally, approximately 85 million units of blood are used in blood transfusions every year. One unit of blood is about 450-500 mL.

Blood transfusions are given to patients to treat blood loss as a result of serious injuries, surgeries, or childbirth. In addition, red blood cell transfusions are used for illnesses that cause bleeding (e.g., a bleeding ulcer); inherited or acquired hemolytic anemia; anemia as a result of kidney disease or cancer; liver disease; and sickle cell disease.

 

Currently, there is no viable substitute for red blood cells. All red blood cells are supplied by human donors. Donor-derived red blood cells have a number of limitations: There are safety concerns. For example, extensive screening for viruses and other infectious agents of donor-derived blood is required. In addition, red blood cells must be placed in storage at a temperature between 1 and 6 degrees Celsius immediately after the plasma is separated, but they can only be safely stored for up to 42 days at that temperature. After that period, health risks to patients increase, such as the risk of increased extravascular hemolysis, saturated serum transferrin, and produced circulating non transferrin-bound iron. Finally, because red blood cells are dependent on human donors, blood shortages happen frequently, and a complex supply chain must be maintained.

 

Our cell therapy program is focused on developing human red blood cells (erythrocytes), as well as platelets (thrombocytes), from human (non-embryo) iPSCs and producing them at scale in a highly cost-effective matter in order to overcome these limitations of donor-derived packed red blood cells and platelets.

Current Developments

We are developing human red blood cells (erythrocytes) from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) using our proprietary HD-DOE™ research and development platform.

We are also pursuing the development of human platelets (thrombocytes) for therapeutic uses.

We are also developing an automated production to scale the production of these cells.

Explore Our Other Cell Therapy Programs

Diabetes

Bone Marrow Failure

Huntington's Disease

Parkinson's Disease