The future of healthcare has been radically reshaped by the events of 2020 and 2021. While it has accelerated some pre-existing trends, such as the adoption of telehealth, it has also highlighted previously unforeseen threats and the need to develop new tools. The capacity to meet future healthcare challenges lies in developing new technologies and treatments.
Today’s Healthcare Challenges
The advent of Covid-19 has set off many warning bells in the healthcare community. Here are three of the main takeaways from the pandemic:
There are continued biological threats in our interconnected world. We need methods for slowing the spread of disease and improved treatments for patients, especially biological tools to address the threats.
We need to socially distance. Although many restrictions will be lifted, many people will remain careful about crowds and travel. Zoom and other virtual measures will remain popular—as will telehealth.
Future threats will place a significant and rapid demand on key resources. The ability for governments and businesses to deliver key resources rapidly and with high quality will save lives.
As you know, I’ve recently taken the CEO role at Cellphire Therapeutics. I took this position because I believe we have a real opportunity to provide solutions aligned to the first and third healthcare challenges. Together with the Cellphire team, I’m confident we can have a positive impact on healthcare.
At Cellphire Therapeutics, our work particularly focuses on developing biological products and tools to help patients affected by life-threatening conditions. Cellphire has developed a process to stabilize platelets for years. Platelet products are transfused to manage uncontrolled or life-threatening bleeding due to trauma, disease, or platelet disorders.
Platelets are transfused in the United States every 17 seconds to treat or prevent bleeding, but currently platelets have a shelf life of five days. Cellphire is working on revolutionary new ways to store platelets for much longer periods of time, freeze drying to extend their shelf life to three years and allow transport at room temperature. Cellphire has two investigational products in Phase 2 clinical trials, including Thrombosomes®, a platelet-based freeze-dried hemostatic, and Cryopreserved Platelets (CPP).
If a platelet-based hemostatic to stop bleeding is available for all patients, whenever and wherever they are needed, trauma deaths from hemorrhage could be reduced by 36 percent. More than 50,000 lives could be saved in the United States per year with balanced early transfusion of blood products, including platelets.
Cutting-Edge Platelet Research
Cellphire is exploring other uses for its treatments, including to deliver drugs and help patients taking anticoagulants. Loaded Thrombosomes or CPP could circulate within the body and target a bleeding area (brain injury, bleeding tumor, etc.). They then deliver their cargo (drug) through platelet release mechanisms as well as cell fusion. The loaded platelets would deliver a high concentration of the drug at the target site to eliminate the side effects by reducing the presence of the drug in the rest of the patient’s body.
Treatment with anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents is increasingly common for patients with cardiac and vascular diseases. Patients taking these drugs are at a greater risk of bleeding from accidents or if they need emergency surgery. Cellphire is exploring next-generation platelet products to be able to stop bleeding in the presence of anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs.
For more information, visit Cellphire’s website.