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BAXTER TO BEGIN CLINICAL TESTING OF BLOOD SUBSTITUTE

 BAXTER TO BEGIN CLINICAL TESTING OF BLOOD SUBSTITUTE
 DEERFIELD, Ill., April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Baxter Healthcare


(NYSE: BAX) announced today that its Blood Substitutes program will begin a Phase I clinical trial of a hemoglobin-based intravenous solution this summer. The testing will begin with healthy volunteers to evaluate product safety. If the study is successful, Baxter expects to begin Phase II tests during the fourth quarter of 1992, to be conducted at both U.S. and European sites.
 "The scientific and medical communities have been searching for a safe and reliable blood substitute for more than a century," said Thomas Schmitz, Ph.D., general manager of Baxter's Blood Substitutes program. "The development and availability of a modified human hemoglobin-based product will provide significant new therapeutic options and be virtually free from the risk of viral infection."
 Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. Baxter's hemoglobin solution undergoes a patented viral inactivation process as well as chemical modification. The modification is designed to enable the hemoglobin solution to circulate in the body for 24 to 48 hours and deliver oxygen to tissues in a manner very similar to fresh blood. In addition, cellular antigens are removed, eliminating the need for blood typing and cross-matching. These advances could allow medical personnel to administer the solution immediately in emergency situations.
 Blood substitute products are expected to augment the current blood supply and may be used in a variety of new clinical applications, such as pre-hospital treatment of shock, unexpected surgical blood loss, 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.
 The red blood cells used in the Baxter product are collected from voluntary donors by the Red Cross and other agencies. The product can be made from outdated cells and in-date (current) units of any blood type.
 Baxter has been involved in blood substitute research since the late 1970s. In 1985, the company was awarded a contract for blood substitute production by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command. Extensive research on the blood substitute project has been conducted at Baxter's Technology Park in Round Lake, Ill., and at more than a dozen university laboratories in the United States and Europe.
 Separately, Baxter is developing a synthetic perfluorocarbon blood substitute in a joint venture with HemaGen/PFC Ltd. Baxter is also involved in other research initiatives focusing on blood-component therapy, including the development of Recombinate(TM)AHF, a genetically engineered blood-clotting protein for people with hemophilia.
 Baxter Healthcare Corp. is the principal U.S. operating subsidiary of Baxter International Inc. Baxter is the leading worldwide marketer and manufacturer of health-care products and services.
 -0- 4/9/92
 /CONTACT: Les Jacobson, 708-948-4555; or Tom Schmitz, 708-270-5300, both of Baxter/
 (BAX) CO: Baxter Healthcare Corp.; Baxter International Inc. ST: Illinois IN: MTC SU:


TS -- NY018 -- 6621 04/09/92 09:25 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 9, 1992
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