The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has awarded Velico Medical, Inc., a development contract worth up to $38.6 million for a device that could revolutionize emergency blood storage and shipment for use in chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) or natural disaster emergencies.
The spray-dry device would convert fresh liquid blood plasma into a sterile powder for more effective shipment and storage. Current practices of utilizing frozen plasma pose logistical limitations in a mass casualty care situation.
“The new device would enable hospitals and blood centers to convert individual plasma units into single-use packages of powder. Each package also would include a unit of rehydration fluid, separated from the powder through a connector with a breakable plug,” stated a press release from the Department of Health and Human Services. “When the plasma is needed for transfusion, the two components can be mixed by breaking the plug to reconstitute the plasma in a matter of minutes.”
Initially funding will be $8.9 million over 18-months in which Velico Medical will optimize and validate prototypes for the spray drying device and single-use plasma drying chamber. Based on performance, additional funding up to the $38.6 million total may be awarded over five years for conduct of safety and efficacy research as well as comparative studies to frozen plasma.
BARDA is seeking additional proposals for products that potentially could be used to treat illnesses and improved diagnostic tools during a CBRN incident. Proposals are accepted through the current Broad Agency Announcement, BARDA-CBRN-BAA-12-100-SOL-00011.