Life-saving compound developed, patented at UT licensed to Prolong Pharmaceuticals

December 6, 2013 | News, Research, UToday, Medicine and Life Sciences
By Jon Strunk

A compound developed at The University of Toledo that can be used to prevent blood vessels from leaking fluid into surrounding tissue following a traumatic injury to the human body has been licensed to Prolong Pharmaceuticals LLC, South Plainfield, N.J., for continued development and commercialization.

The invention uses polyethylene-glycol (PEG) to modify albumin, a protein found in blood, to expand the blood’s volume and prevent it from escaping through holes in blood vessels.

“The University of Toledo is proud of our role in developing this technology that has the potential to save lives and limit the internal fluid leakage that can lead to multi-organ dysfunction and failure, and even death,” UT President Lloyd Jacobs said. “This technology is an example of the great contribution the science developed and patented at The University of Toledo can have on people around the globe.”

The technology — developed by Dr. Ragheb Assaly, professor of medicine, Dr. David Dignam, professor of biochemistry and cancer biology, and Dr. Joseph Shapiro, professor of medicine — promises to become the optimal blood volume expander to prevent decreased blood volume caused by severe burns, hemorrhagic shock, sepsis, anaphylaxis, traumatic brain injury, adult respiratory distress syndrome and other injuries.

PEG-albumin has been tested in animal models and in all cases has demonstrated superiority to regular albumin as a plasma expander, according to the researchers.

“The University is excited to enter into this license with Prolong Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialization of this technology,” said Stephen Snider, vice president of technology transfer and associate general counsel. “This collaboration with Prolong will serve to bring this life-saving treatment to patients and further UT’s mission to improve the human condition.”

Prolong Pharmaceuticals is developing products to treat several diseases and their debilitating co-morbidities that reduce quality of life ande increase medical cost and mortality.

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