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BAXTER FIRST TO TEST BLOOD SUBSTITUTE IN TRAUMA PATIENTS

 DEERFIELD, Ill., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Baxter International announced today that its hemoglobin-based blood substitute will be tested for the first time in hospital settings as a treatment for victims of trauma and shock. The new study will be a patient safety assessment conducted under a Baxter-sponsored Investigational New Drug Application filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The product, DCLHb(TM), has been previously tested for safety in a clinical study involving healthy volunteers.
 Baxter's blood substitute is derived from human hemoglobin extracted from outdated or indate units of blood collected by the American Red Cross and other agencies. The product is free of cellular antigens -- the molecules that can cause an immune system reaction and require the matching and typing of blood -- allowing the solution to be administered immediately to trauma victims of any blood type.
 "Our initial safety trials with our cross-linked, hemoglobin-based blood substitute were successful and confirmed the findings of our extensive preclinical studies. There were no surprises," said Thomas Schmitz, Ph.D., general manager of Baxter's blood-substitute program. "We are now moving forward with further safety and dose-ranging studies in the treatment of hemorrhagic shock."
 In the clinical study, DCLHb(TM) will be administered to trauma victims in hospital emergency and operating rooms. "Treatment of trauma patients with this product represents a significant medical milestone," said Schmitz.
 Because of recurring blood shortages and potential disease transmission through blood transfusions, Baxter has been actively involved since the late 1970s in the development of an oxygen-carrying alternative to blood. Research and development have been conducted at Baxter's Technology Park in Round Lake, Ill., and in partnership with more than a dozen university laboratories in the United States and Europe. Baxter's research program has focused on harnessing the therapeutic properties of hemoglobin, the protein that delivers oxygen to tissues throughout the body and gives blood its red color.
 Baxter's hemoglobin solution is produced by a patented chemical cross-linking process designed to stabilize the hemoglobin solution, enabling it to circulate in the body for 24 to 48 hours and to deliver oxygen to tissues in a manner similar to fresh blood. The chemical stabilization also permits the hemoglobin to withstand a patented viral-inactivation process, effective against HIV and hepatitis.
 Blood-substitute products are expected to augment the current blood supply and may be used in a variety of new clinical applications including the pre-hospital treatment of shock, replacement of blood lost unexpectedly in surgery, as an adjunct to balloon angioplasty, and in the treatment of stroke. The potential worldwide market for oxygen-carrying solutions in multiple therapeutic applications is estimated to exceed $2 billion by the year 2000.
 Separately, Baxter is working with HemaGen/PFC Ltd., San Francisco, to develop a synthetic perfluorocarbon blood substitute.
 The blood-substitute research program builds on Baxter's extensive experience in the blood-therapy market. Baxter, through its biotechnology businesses, also is involved in other research initiatives that focus on blood-component therapy, including the development of Recombinate(TM) AHF, a bio-engineered blood-clothing protein for people with hemophilia. Recombinate(TM) AHF received FDA marketing approval on Dec. 10, 1992.
 Headquartered in Deerfield, Baxter is the leading manufacturer and marketer of health-care products, systems and services worldwide. The company offers more than 120,000 products to health-care providers in 100 countries and has research and development programs in biotechnology, diagnostics, cardiovascular medicine, renal therapy and other medical fields.
 -0- 1/12/93
 /CONTACT: Thomas Schmitz, Ph.D., 708-20-5300, or Geoffrey D. Fenton, 708-948-3436, both of Baxter International; or Mary Curtin for Baxter International, 212-685-1900/
 (BAX)


CO: Baxter International ST: Illinois IN: MTC SU: PDT

TS -- NY060 -- 3874 01/12/93 09:24 EST
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Date:Jan 12, 1993
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