Sangart Raises $50 Million For Blood Substitute

Xconomy San Diego — 

San Diego-based Sangart, a biopharmaceutical company developing artificial blood products based on human hemoglobin, says it has raised $50 million in funding that completes its Series F round.

Sangart says the $50 million was raised when its investors exercised warrants the company had issued in 2007 as part of its Series F round, and bring total funding collected in that round to about $100 million. The company plans to use the proceeds to fund continued clinical development of its products, which are based on a molecule Sangart calls MP4.

MP4 is an oxygen-carrying molecule that Sangart makes by chemically modifying human hemoglobin purified from outdated donated blood. Late-stage clinical trials of MP4 in orthopedic surgery patients completed last year didn’t show the oxygen carrier improved clinical outcomes for those patients, so the company is pursuing other indications for the molecule under guidance from its scientific advisory board.

Sangart was founded in 1998 to commercialize research conducted at the Letterman Army Institute of Research and U.C. San Diego. Sangart’s founder, UCSD professor of medicine Robert M. Winslow, died on Feb. 2 after battling brain cancer. Winslow served as Sangart’s president, CEO and chief medical officer until June 2008 and as chairman until December.