Glycosorb® UBP is designed to enable access to universal blood plasma – one of healthcare’s most important tools
Blood donor plasma is one of the most important tools healthcare has at its disposal to treat patients. The plasma is used not only in transfusions in connection with surgeries, transplants and severe trauma, but also to produce other blood products, proteins and immunoglobulins. Today, hospitals have to deal with blood plasma from all blood groups, which means extensive logistics. In addition, there is a constant risk of shortage situations where plasma for one or more blood groups is missing or exists to an excessively limited extent. The need for continuous and safe access to universal blood plasma that can be given to all patients regardless of blood type is therefore very big.
In 2020, Glycorex launched the product Glycosorb® UBP for the treatment of donor blood, which means that blood plasma produced at blood donor centers may be converted to so-called universal blood plasma that can be given to all patients regardless of their blood group. Glycosorb® UBP has the potential to provide significant improvements in logistics, security and accessibility.
Large global market for Glycosorb® UBP
Glycosorb® UBP is a high-volume product. It is estimated that approximately 30 million units of blood plasma are produced globally annually. In the EU alone, the demand for universal blood plasma amounts to around one million units every year. The pricing for plasma in the German market is today around 1200 Swedish Kronor per unit, which applied to the EU market corresponds to a market size of more than 1 billion Swedish Kronor annually.
Limited access to AB plasma
AB plasma is currently used as universal plasma for all blood groups, as it does not contain anti-A or anti-B antibodies. The AB plasma is often used in acute situations where the patient’s blood group is unknown or when there is a lack of plasma matching the recipient’s blood group. The downside is that AB plasma only accounts for about 5 percent of available blood plasma, which means that access to compatible plasma can be very limited. In addition, AB-plasma contains soluble AB antigens, which can react with blood group-specific antibodies and cause side effects.
Positive clinical results with Glycosorb® UBP
At the conference “The 40th American Society for Apheresis (ASFA)” in Portland, USA, held in May 2019, the results of the clinical study conducted at St. Anna Kinderspital UKKJ in Austria were presented. The results show that Glycosorb® UBP, just as intended, lowers the level of blood group antibodies to non-detectable levels. The results also show that important blood components such as coagulation proteins and complement factors were not significantly affected. A potential for use for Glycosorb® UBP in blood group-compatible bone marrow transplants is also identified.
Glycosorb® UBP contributes to the care of patients with COVID-19
One way to improve the medical prognosis for patients with COVID-19 may be to use so-called convalescent plasma, i.e. blood plasma from people recovering from COVID-19. This plasma contains antibodies against the current coronavirus and can therefore potentially help the patient’s immune system to fight the disease more quickly. In spring 2020, Glycorex delivered Glycosorb® UBP to hospitals in Europe and India to be tested in conjunction with convalescent plasma.
Glycosorb® UBP can help to increase the availability of convalescent plasma by removing the blood group barrier. In addition, a potential problem with immune complex formation with, for example, AB plasma (containing soluble AB antigen) can be avoided. Convalescent plasma is also of interest in the treatment of other viral diseases.
How to use Glycosorb® UBP
The production of universal blood plasma is done by the donor’s blood plasma being treated with the UBP product that selectively removes the blood group-specific antibodies. Universal blood plasma is a great advantage at times when a patient is in need of large amounts of blood plasma as a result of, for example, road accidents.