Japanese devicemaker Terumo has been awarded $17.4 million in initial funding from the U.S. government to study its Mirasol pathogen reduction system for the treatment of patients with hypoproliferative thrombocytopenia.
The grant from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) could be worth up to $168 million in total funding over 10 years if additional research options are approved, the company said.
The company touts the Mirasol system as able to improve the safety of blood supplies by reducing the infectious levels of disease-causing agents in platelets and plasma while still maintaining quality blood components. Hypoproliferation is a common mechanism in anemias of renal disease, hypometabolic or endocrine deficiency states such as hypothyroidism and hypopituitarism, and protein deprivation.
"The funding for this program shows how important blood safety and availability are for agencies like BARDA that are charged with providing support to technologies that have major health care impact and importance for the United States constituency," said Ray Goodrich, vice president and chief scientific officer of pathogen reduction technologies at Teruma.
The study, dubbed Miplate, will take place at up to 15 hospitals and blood centers in the U.S. and involve 556 patients, and is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of standard platelets in plasma versus Mirasol-treated platelets in plasma in patients with hypoproliferative thrombocytopenia. The study is expected to run for 3 and a half years.
Earlier this month, Terumo paid $280 million up front for California-based startup Sequent Medical, which is working on a minimally invasive device to treat intracranial aneurysms. An additional $100 million will be paid out if development or commercial milestones for the device are reached.
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