New Study Looking at Viability of Frozen Platelets to Start at Hoxworth
Published July 2010
The U.S. Department of Defense, through the U.S. Army Materiel Command, has recently funded a process development and a phase I clinical trial at Hoxworth Blood Center to test the viability and function of frozen platelets.
Representatives came to Hoxworth at the University of Cincinnati July 29, 2010 to tour the facilities in preparation of beginning the study.
Platelets are responsible for blood clotting and ease the ability to heal bleeding injuries in war casualties. Platelets, unlike other types of blood cells, are stored at room temperature for a maximum of five days after a rigorous testing, and therefore, are hard to manufacture in war zones.
Chilling or freezing of platelets, although increasing the shelf life of platelets, have been shown to decrease platelet viability when administered to humans and are not licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for their clinical use. A revised method of freezing may represent a change in this paradigm.
A FDA-approved study initiated in Hoxworth and Darmouth Medical School intends to test the possibility of long-lasting platelet circulation after administration of frozen/thawed platelets in humans. If successful, it will be continued with a study on thrombocytopenic patients at Puget Sound Blood Center and application for FDA licensure for therapy in patients with low platelet count or platelet dysfunction when normal platelets are not available.