UAB testing new drug to prevent deaths due to blood loss

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Scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are carrying out the first Phase 1 human trials of a drug developers hope will keep patients with traumatic injuries from dying due to severe blood loss.

The ambitious new pharmaceutical – a synthethic molecule derived from the female hormone estrogen – can help stop hemorrhaging in arenas like overseas battlefields or dangerous domestic settings.

The study comes with a three-year, $10 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Combat Casualty Care Research Program and is a boon to the university’s medical and health programs.

The study is based off the original work of a UAB faculty researcher and Department of Surgery professor Dr. Irshad H. Chaudry

Chaudry, co-principal investigator on the prized DoD contract, drew praise from his colleague as the institution announced the ongoing clinical work on the drug, called EE-3-SO4 for purposes of the study.

“The work of Dr. Chaudry and colleagues showed that EE-3-SO4 is extremely effective in improving cardiovascular functions and boosting survival rates following injuries with extreme hemorrhage,” said principal investigator Mansoor Saleh, M.D., professor in the in the university’s Department of Medicine.

 “This drug could have major implications for treating trauma, from battlefield injuries to life threatening hemorrhage following any injury. We are excited to be launching the first-in-human studies of this drug that was developed by one of our own here at UAB. This is a classic example of bench-to-bedside translational research,” said Saleh, who also directs UAB’s Phase 1 Clinical Trials Program.

According to the University, the prospective drug works in three ways:

  • It helps the heart beat more efficiently, enabling it to fully expand and contract while pumping to maximize blood flow.
  • It lowers resistance to blood flow to vital organs, and then gradually elevates blood pressure and promotes sufficient blood flow throughout the body.
  • It recruits fluid from surrounding tissue, increasing blood volume to compensate for blood loss from the wound or injury.

The contract also has a tie-in with the school’s business college. UAB’s B.L. Harbert Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is managing two pending U.S. patent applications of EE-3-SO4, on which Dr. Chaudry is listed as an inventor. Securing such a patent would be a landmark for the institution.

The UAB press center has put together a backgrounder on the research science that led to the invention of the potentially game-changing drug, which can be found here.

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