Therapy Areas: Respiratory
ExThera's Affinity Blood Filter Is Used to Treat COVID-19 Patients
30 March 2020 - - A treatment of COVID-19 with US- and -Dutch medical device company ExThera's Seraph100 Microbind Affinity Blood Filter (Seraph 100) has begun in hospitals in Germany and Italy, the company said.

Seraph 100 treatments of COVID-19 are also expected to begin soon in France and the USA.

Seraph 100 is the only 'hemoperfusion device' approved for the reduction of pathogens in blood. In recent EU clinical cases improved lung function and rapid reduction of drug-resistant bacterial pathogens occurred with Seraph 100 treatment.

Stabilization of blood pressure has also been observed, including during COVID-19 treatment. Another potential benefit of Seraph 100 treatment of COVID-19 is reduction in bloodborne virus/RNA, and the simultaneous treatment of bacterial and fungal 'secondary infections'.

Clinical results and virus binding studies suggested that Seraph 100 treatment should help in the treatment of COVID-19, and in future epidemics, before vaccines are available.

More clinical results are needed to confirm patient benefit in COVID-19, but lab studies with cytokines and other pathogens have accurately predicted Seraph 100 clinical results in other bloodstream infections.

One consideration is whether SARS-CoV-2 is present in the bloodstream of infected patients in measurable concentrations, and if so, at what stage of the infection. Very recent publications and clinician feedback confirm the presence of the virus in the blood of critically ill COVID-19 patients.

The measured binding capacity of a single Seraph 100 filter (about the size of a 12-ounce soda can) is huge in comparison to the amount of virus present in the bloodstream of critically-ill patients.

Seraph 100 has CE Mark approval in the European Union but is not currently approved by the FDA for use in the United States. ExThera has received clinician interest in individual emergency use of Seraph 100 in the USA and we expect COVID-19 treatments to begin here soon, when they meet the criteria outlined in the FDA Guidance.

ExThera will report on ongoing EU COVID-19 cases and related case studies as soon as they are available, while adhering to HIPAA and GDPR requirements for patient confidentiality.

Related peer-reviewed publications are in preparation or in press.

The Seraph 100 blood filter provides a needed option for treating life-threatening bloodstream infections using new technology.

Whereas first-generation hemoperfusion devices remove only molecules, Seraph 100 also quickly lowers the concentration of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in whole blood.

Seraph 100 is able to significantly reduce the bloodstream concentration of both drug-susceptible and drug-resistant pathogens, providing a long-awaited adjunctive therapy that addresses the severe problem of drug-resistance, and new and future bacterial, fungal and viral threats like COVID-19.

Seraph 100 received CE Mark approval for the broad indication of pathogen reduction during bloodstream infections in adjunction with antibiotic therapy. Seraph 100 distributors in the EU include Heinz Meise GmbH in Germany, Burke and Burke in Italy, and TOP Medical in the Benelux countries. Distributors have recently been named in several other regions.

Working with Gorta, Ireland's oldest NGO, ExThera has also entered a public-private partnership designed to strengthen public health systems in developing countries by making world-class medical devices available at affordable prices.

As a patient's blood flows through the Seraph filter, it passes over tiny beads with receptors that mimic the receptors on human cells that pathogens target when they invade the body. Harmful substances are quickly captured and adsorbed onto the surface of the beads and are thereby removed from the bloodstream.

Seraph does not add anything to the blood, which is returned to the patient with blood cells and proteins intact. Seraph targets the pathogens that cause the infection, while it also binds and removes harmful substances generated by the pathogen and by the body's response to the infection.

Seraph's adsorption media (the beads) constitute a flexible platform that uses immobilised (chemically bonded) heparin for its well-established blood compatibility and its unique ability to bind bacteria, viruses, fungi, and important sepsis mediators reported to contribute to organ failure during sepsis.

The 'anti-thrombogenic' heparin media can be combined with other ExThera-proprietary media to tailor the capability of future Seraph products for the treatment of specific diseases, or to further broaden Seraph's capability.

Based in Martinez, California, near San Francisco, and in Vaals, The Netherlands, ExThera Medical Corp. is a privately held medical device company developing innovative blood filters capable of removing a range of harmful substances from the blood.

The company develops therapeutic products to treat patients in the hospital or clinic, during epidemics, or on the battlefield.
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