Worldwide, 10 million platelet concentrates are transfused each year. Platelets are small blood cells whose function is to stop bleeding. Today, patients can only rely on blood donations. These life-saving transfusions face recurring shortages and the risk of complications for multi-transfused patients, due to the risk of bacterial and viral contamination and costly and potentially fatal complications related to immune refractoriness. These issues are becoming even more important as the demand for platelets increases due to the ageing population and the growing prevalence of cancer. At the same time, blood donation is declining.
Inspired by the mechanisms of platelet generation in the bone marrow, HemostOD has developed an innovative solution to produce platelets ex vivo, allowing the generation of large quantities of platelets in a short time. The solution is standardised, universal, safer, more efficient and available on demand. By democratising access to platelet therapy and minimising risk, HemostOD's solution will enable faster recovery and better clinical outcomes at a reduced cost. At first, the startup's solution will target the prevention of immune refractoriness in patients with blood disorders.
Founded in Switzerland in 2020, HemostOD has strong support from academic, public and private institutions. The startup is based at EPFL innovation park in Lausanne and has six full-time employees. To develop its technology, the company is running an InnoSuisse project with UNIL/CHUV and UNIGE, and has already been granted no less than 3 patents, along with a provisional patent. In May 2021, HemostOD closed its Seed fundraising for an amount of 650'000 Swiss Francs.
The Tech Seed loan from FIT will enable the company to achieve its technical goals in its InnoSuisse project, co-financed by InnoSuisse and HemostOD. The two-year project will aim to demonstrate the startup's ability to produce platelets ex vivo in large volumes. Going into 2022, HemostOD is also conducting a Series A to finance its development.