North Carolina biotechnology company Entegrion is in line to receive up to $9.84 million from the U.S. Navy, which wants to develop two of the company’s investigational blood products into a life-saving fluid for use in combat situations.

The Navy extended has extended an existing contract with Research Triangle Park-based Entegrion in order to develop the new resuscitation fluid. The Navy’s Office of Naval Research will pay for the R&D work, which will take place over the next two years.

The resuscitation fluid will incorporate two investigational products Entegrion currently has in development: Resusix and Stasix. Resusix is freeze-dried human plasma that is intended to be a shelf-stable alternative to fresh-frozen plasma, a product that poses storage issues and is difficult to use in emergency situations because it must be thawed first. Stasix is a freeze-dried product made from blood platelets. It can be rehydrated quickly and used on patients whose bleeding is caused by low platelet counts. Entegrion said that the resuscitation fluid may also incorporate oxygen-carrying and anti-inflammatory components.

“Fresh whole blood is considered the gold standard for resuscitating trauma patients after massive hemorrhage,” Joseph DaCorta, Entegrion’s vice president and chief technology officer said in a statement. “We hope to develop an engineered construct that has similar beneficial effects, but without allergic and infectious risk, while overcoming storage limitations.”

Entegrion spun out of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002 as Hemocellular Therapeutics, a company that initially focused on developing Stasix. The company, which later changed its name to Entegrion, shifted its attention to a bandage that promotes clotting because that product could be commercialized more quickly.

The Stasilon bandage, made from a proprietary weave of bamboo and glass fibers, received Food and Drug Administration clearance in 2007. In April of this year, Entegrion announced a licensing deal with Chicago company Beeken BioMedical, which is marketing the bandage.

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