Sepsis is the number one cause of hospital deaths in Western countries. The number of people that die from sepsis is increasing at an average of 8% per year. It is the single most expensive hospital condition in the US, representing 6% of total costs and 4% of hospital stays. Furthermore, antibiotic resistance is increasing, complicating sepsis treatment. Standard treatments for sepsis are often ineffective, The mortality rate lies between 20-30%.
There is demand and huge opportunity for therapies that can complement current treatment plans and result in better outcomes for patients and lower costs.
Bloodborne pathogens that may cause sepsis are predominantly bound to red blood cells (RBCs). Sanquin, one of the leading blood banks and plasma providers in Europe, has developed an innovative patented method to remove these RBC bound pathogens from the blood using a special filter combined with apheresis.
This filtering results in the reduction of the pathogen load in blood of sepsis patients. The reduction of living and dead bacteria
as well as fragments of pathogens is expected to prevent at early stages the development of full blown sepsis, and at later stages of the disease to support the recovery of patients with less permanent health damage. Evidence suggests this filter works for a broad spectrum of complement opsonized pathogens which can give rise to sepsis. The technology can be incorporated in existing apheresis units and is based on inexpensive filter material. Furthermore, filtering these RBC/pathogen complexes from a patient’s blood could be
used for diagnosing imminent sepsis and help to discriminate quickly between bacterial and other causes. In which case the treatment can be optimized for the great majority of sepsis patients.
The technology has been demonstrated in vitro and will soon be validated in clinical trials.
Meet the team
Robin van Bruggen