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New U of M startup may save lives of victims of massive blood loss and trauma

October 18, 2011

A new technology from the University of Minnesota has resulted in a startup that may help prolong the lives of victims suffering from massive blood loss or trauma. The university's Office for Technology Commercialization has signed a license agreement with Denver-based Ariel Pharmaceuticals authorizing the private company to develop and commercialize the therapy.

Researchers at the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses — including surgeon Gregory Beilman, biologist Matthew Andrews and biomedical scientist Lester Drewes — designed a low-volume resuscitation fluid that may increase the survival rates of people who die from hemorrhagic shock. They developed the therapy, called Tamiasyn, based on their studies of the biological process of hibernation in ground squirrels (gophers).

“We’re excited to have the opportunity to further develop the technology and we’re confident this unique therapeutic approach will provide patients with a better chance of survival,” said Steve Orndorff, president and CEO of Ariel Pharmaceuticals.

The technology could offer first responders, emergency department staff and military medics a simple, safe and reliable product that prevents life-threatening complications due to severe blood loss. At the same time, it could help prevent organ damage during resuscitation.

“Licensing with a private pharmaceutical company is the next step in bringing this drug to the marketplace and, more importantly, in bringing this drug first into the hands of the military personnel in harm’s way,” said Andrews. “Ariel Pharmaceuticals’ expertise will shepherd our proposed therapy through the clinical approval to the point that our research begins to save lives.”

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Researchers at the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses — including biologist Matthew Andrews (right) and biomedical scientist Lester Drewes (left) — designed a low-volume resuscitation fluid that may increase the survival rates of people who die from hemorrhagic shock.

Twin Cities Campus: