$5m private funding for PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals downstream tech

By Fiona BARRY

- Last updated on GMT

PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals uses a filtration process with a higher yield of proteins. (Image: ec-jpr/CC)
PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals uses a filtration process with a higher yield of proteins. (Image: ec-jpr/CC)

Related tags Blood

A company which filters human blood plasma to make biologic drugs has raised $5m to develop its (factor-making) tech.

PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals (PTBI) announced a private placement of stock with Knoll Capital Management. The company will use the financing to develop its Salt Diafiltration plasma protein tech. 

"We are pleased to add another leading healthcare and biotechnology investor to our shareholder base, and the additional capital enables the company to build out its innovative, and potentially disruptive, technology platform in the high-growth plasma biologics arena,​" said Executive Chairman Steven Rouhandeh. "We appreciate the vote of confidence from Knoll Capital.​”

Plasma Proteins​ 

Plasma protein fractionation extracts biologics for therapeutic uses, such as albumin, clotting factors, alpha-1 antitrypsin (a protease inhibitor), and intravenous immune globulin. 

The market for these drugs is more than $15m annually. 

PTBI claims its proprietary extraction process, salt diafiltration, yields more proteins with better margins than other techniques.

The standard method, used for over 70 years, is known as the Cohn Cold Ethanol Fractionation Process (“Cohn Process”) and was developed before World War II and used to treat haemorrhagic shock on the battlefield. It separates the plasma by precipitation using different concentrations of ethanol adjusted by pH, ionic strength and temperature.

PTBI’s salt diafiltration method instead uses “a short two-step optimized salt precipitation process​” to extract useful proteins, ​a technique the company says is much less denaturing.

The process “may fundamentally change the economics of blood plasma fractionation, and makes possible the extraction of several additional therapeutically useful plasma proteins,​” it added. The company has rights to license its tech to other pharma firms. 

PTBI’s human plasma-derived therapies include the alpha-1 protease inhibitor SDF Alpha (alpha-1 antitrypsin) and mucositis treatments MuGard and ProctiGard. 

Alpha-1 antitrypsin “will offer a potentially high-revenue, short time-to-market respiratory product for treatment of inherited COPD (pulmonary emphysema), among other indications,​” it said. 

Additionally, the ability to extract several additional therapeutically useful and important proteins, due to the process being less destructive than historical fractionation processes, may enable the Company to seek new therapeutic applications and address high-value-added orphan indications.​”

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