California Biotech Company Uses USD Research Lab to Commercialize New Drug

NanoBlood LLC Seeking FDA Fast Track For Blood Substitute

VERMILLION, S.D. – A California bio-tech company is moving to Sioux Falls where it will use University of South Dakota facilities to commercialize a next-generation blood substitute that could help save lives in critical care and transfusion cases.

NanoBlood LLC will receive funding from the state of South Dakota and will use USD’s Graduate Education and Applied Research Center to prepare its product for clinical trials. If the new drug receives approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, NanoBlood plans to build a commercial manufacturing plant in USD’s Discovery District.

“We are pleased that the Good Manufacturing Practice services at the GEAR Center helped attract this innovative company to South Dakota,” said USD President James W. Abbott. “This is exactly the role we envision for our facilities in Sioux Falls -- to help bring bio-medical companies to our state. We look forward to helping them find a permanent home in the USD Discovery District.”

The Irvine, Calif., company has a patent on its product and has performed tests on animals. Once in South Dakota the company hopes to begin human trials. “This is a major breakthrough, especially after many failed attempts to develop such a therapeutic agent for un-met medical needs during the past half century,” says the company’s website.

The blood substitute is designed to deliver fluids and oxygen to critical patients suffering from inadequate blood flow without damaging the patients’ nerves and blood vessels. The product could save the lives of people suffering massive blood loss, traumatic brain injury, stroke and sickle cell disease. It would serve not only as an alternative to blood transfusion but also as a treatment for diseases where transfusion is not normally used.

According to the company’s website, the blood substitute can be made from outdated blood that otherwise would be discarded by the blood bank, which would help extend the global blood supply. The company says the product has a long shelf life, is stable at room temperature and does not require the matching of blood types. “This would be particularly important in case of a national disaster,” the company says.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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