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FDA Reviewing First Shipment of Synthetic Blood From Arteriocyte – Umbilical Cord Yields 20 Units of Blood

Posted Jul 09 2010 6:48am

This is a DARPA project and the price is a bit steep for $5000.00 per unit right now, but if FDA approved and the company can get production costs down a bit, this could be a real product and first area to see the blood would be the military since this is a DARPA project.  The time is not bad either, 3 days. 

This could certainly stand to help hospital blood supplies as well.  BD  image

Perhaps ranking behind only bullets and water, blood is one of those things you really don't want to run out of on the battlefield. But better battlefield medicine -- as well as some of the more malicious combat techniques employed by insurgent guerrilla fighters -- mean more soldiers are surviving their injuries, and that puts military blood banks in a bind. But a DARPA program launched in 2008 is coming to fruition, potentially providing medics an endless stream of universally accepted O-negative blood through a process known as blood pharming.

A company awarded nearly $2 million to develop this genetically engineered blood product has shipped off the first shipment to the FDA, hoping the regulators will approve it for use in trauma wards everywhere. The biotech company, Arteriocyte, can turn an umbilical cord into 20 units of blood in about three days at a cost of about $5,000 per unit. That's a bit steep, but if the FDA approves the blood product and the company is able to scale the production method, fake blood could be the real deal.

If Arteriocyte can get the cost down, pharmed blood could replace the donated stuff within five years, though the brass may push the FDA to fast-track it if necessary. Hopefully the coming years will see a reduced need for large quantities of battlefield blood, but it's good to know we could churn out a vast supply in a pinch.

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