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October 18, 2011
Michelle Juntunen | University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth | (218) 726-6876
Cheryl Reitan | University of Minnesota Duluth | (218) 726-8996


Scientific Discovery on UMD Campus Takes Major Step Toward Commercial Use

Tamiasyn™ could offer first responders, emergency department staff and military medics a simple, safe and reliable productTamiasyn™ could offer first responders, emergency department staff and military medics a simple, safe and reliable product.
DULUTH / MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL/ (10/18/2011) — A new potentially life-saving therapy discovered by scientists on the UMD campus of the University of Minnesota has taken a major step toward commercial use. The University of Minnesota's Office for Technology Commercialization has signed a license agreement with Denver-based Ariel Pharmaceuticals authorizing the private company to develop and commercialize a blood loss therapy developed by research scientists Matthew Andrews, Ph.D., director of UMD's Bio Translational Research Center and Lester Drewes, Ph.D., professor and biomedical scientist in the University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth.

Andrews and Drewes designed a low-volume resuscitation fluid, Tamiasyn™, that may increase the survival rates of people who die from hemorrhagic shock. The therapy is based on their studies of the biological process of hibernation in ground squirrels (gophers) and testing on rats. They further developed it with Gregory Beilman, M.D. professor and vice chair of Perioperative Services and Quality Improvement, chief of Surgical Critical Care, and director of the Surgical Critical Care Fellowship Program at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, who tested the therapy on pigs.

Tamiasyn™ could offer first responders, emergency department staff and military medics a simple, safe and reliable product that prevents life-threatening complications due to severe blood loss. At the same time, it could help prevent organ damage during resuscitation.

"This is a major step in moving our discovery from research bench to the bedside where it can do the most good, "commented Drewes. "Licensing with a private pharmaceutical company is the next step in bringing this drug to the marketplace and, more importantly, in bringing this drug to the hands of the military personnel in harm's way," added Andrews. "This transition from academia to corporate America should accelerate the process of this important drug development."

"We're excited to have the opportunity to further develop the technology and we're confident this unique therapeutic approach will provide patients with a better chance of survival," said Steve Orndorff, president and CEO of Ariel Pharmaceuticals.

UMD Chancellor Lendley Black said, "UMD is proud of these scientists. Drewes' and Andrews' work promises to save lives, and there is no greater goal for biomedical researchers." He added, "UMD is proud of this and other scientific breakthroughs discovered on our campus where teaching, learning, and research are priorities."



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