Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies (Terumo), a medical technology company, and Eliaz Therapeutics Inc. (ETI), a medical device company, today announce an exclusive collaboration to help combat AKI and sepsis-induced AKI (S-AKI) by focusing on the selective removal of an upstream inflammatory protein called Gal-3 from blood plasma.
The in-hospital mortality rate for patients with AKI has been estimated at 20% to 25%1, while critically ill patients with dialysis-requiring AKI have mortality rates exceeding 50%2. Patients who survive an episode of AKI face a life-long increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), cardiovascular events and reduced quality of life. Treatment for AKI/S-AKI is primarily supportive as no therapeutic modalities have shown efficacy.3
Terumo and ETI will initially conduct studies on large animals followed by human clinical trials. Large animal studies are scheduled to start later this year. The collaboration will use Terumo's Spectra Optia® Apheresis System with ETI's novel XGal-3® column that is designed to selectively remove Gal-3 from blood plasma. XGal-3 is being developed as a platform technology. XGal-3 will be initially tested in AKI and S-AKI.
Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies specializes in a portfolio of technology, software and services for blood component collection, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies. The company has other collaborations that use its Spectra Optia system with other columns that are designed for triple-negative breast cancer and COVID-19. The company focuses on innovation and development and spends three times the industry average on this part of the business.
"Over 13 million people globally are affected by AKI, with nearly 2 million lives lost every year.4 This collaboration leverages the widely available Spectra Optia platform to bring the XGal-3 treatment to patients worldwide," says Veerle d'Haenens, General Manager, Therapeutic Systems, Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies.
In the U.S. alone, AKI and S-AKI affect 4 million people with annual healthcare costs of up to $24 billion USD. Patients who require dialysis face reduced quality of life, while each hospitalization can incur bills totaling $42,000 per incident.5 Current therapeutic options are limited.
"This collaboration will enable us to support the advancement of the XGal-3 device," says Isaac Eliaz, MD, founder and chief executive officer of ETI. "The XGal-3 column device is designed to improve health outcomes for critically ill patients and reduce the incidence of chronic kidney disease and hospital mortality, while potentially reducing the need for dialysis and shortening intensive care stays. Working with Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies could bring broad availability of this therapy to the global marketplace."
ETI recently received its second grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The SBIR-II $1.7 million USD grant will focus on large animal safety studies of the XGal-3 column device, allowing ETI to proceed with clinical trials in sepsis and S-AKI patients. ETI will use Terumo's Spectra Optia in both the large animal studies and human clinical trials. ETI plans to report results from the human clinical trial in approximately three years.
Gal-3 is postulated to be a mediator and driver of inflammation in a wide range of acute and chronic conditions. Increased plasma Gal-3 levels are associated with more severe AKI and sepsis development in critically ill patients.6 In turn, blocking of Gal-3 has significantly decreased AKI rates and increased survival in animal models.7
Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies' customers include blood centers, hospitals, therapeutic apheresis clinics, cell collection and processing organizations, researchers and private medical practices. Our customers are based in over 130 countries across the globe. We have 750+ granted patents, with more than 150 additionally pending.
We have global headquarters in Lakewood, Colo., U.S.A., along with five regional headquarters, seven manufacturing sites and six innovation and development centers across the globe. Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is a subsidiary of Terumo Corporation (TSE: 4543), a global leader in medical technology.
Terumo (TSE: 4543) is a global leader in medical technology and has been committed to “Contributing to Society through Healthcare” for 100 years. Based in Tokyo and operating globally, Terumo employs more than 28,000 associates worldwide to provide innovative medical solutions in more than 160 countries and regions. The company started as a Japanese thermometer manufacturer, and has been supporting healthcare ever since. Now, its extensive business portfolio ranges from vascular intervention and cardio-surgical solutions, blood transfusion and cell therapy technology, to medical products essential for daily clinical practice such as transfusion systems, diabetes care, and peritoneal dialysis treatments. Terumo will further strive to be of value to patients, medical professionals, and society at large.