KaloCyte Relocates to Downtown Baltimore as Co-Founders Join University of Maryland Faculty


BALTIMORE, Sept. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- KaloCyte, a preclinical-stage healthcare biotechnology company developing a synthetic, bio-inspired red blood cell substitute for use in settings when stored red blood cells are not available, has joined Baltimore's growing biotech community as a University of Maryland (UM) BioPark affiliate. KaloCyte's relocation from St. Louis brings it closer to major stakeholders and funders, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) Small Business Program and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Army Combat Casualty Care Research Program, as well as the outstanding research and clinical communities at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) campuses.

KaloCyte is developing a synthetic blood product for use in trauma settings

"We welcome KaloCyte as a BioPark affiliate as the company is another important healthcare startup joining the University of Maryland's and Baltimore's vibrant biotechnology community. We appreciate the value the KaloCyte team is bringing to innovations in healthcare and the contributions the founders will make to the University," said James Hughes, Chief Economic Development Officer and Vice President at UMB.

KaloCyte's move follows the formation of the University of Maryland School of Medicine's (UMSOM) new Center for Blood Oxygen Transport & Hemostasis (CBOTH), directed by KaloCyte's Chief Science Officer and Co-Founder Allan Doctor, MD. Immediate aims for CBOTH are to establish the core team and laboratories, engage with the UM community, and transition current entrepreneurial activities to the region, starting with KaloCyte. Dr. Doctor's interdisciplinary team at the new Center will support further development of KaloCyte's ErythroMer red blood cell substitute through collaboration on new and existing grants and via services provided by the CBOTH core labs. CBOTH will provide unique resources related to nanoparticle fabrication and characterization, blood product pharmacokinetics and toxicology, red cell and hemostasis benchmarking, vascular immunology, and preclinical models of oxygen transport and hemostasis.

Importantly, Dipanjan Pan, MS, PhD, the chemist and bioengineer behind ErythroMer's invention as well as Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of KaloCyte, has also been named the Director of the Nanofabrication Core at CBOTH, Professor of Radiology at the UMSOM, and Professor of Chemical and Biochemical and Environmental Engineering at UMBC. As an expert in nanomedicine, molecular imaging, and drug delivery, Dr. Pan oversees a lab that uniquely merges fundamental chemistry, biology, and engineering to bring solutions to today's healthcare problems. Dr. Pan will also lead development of the new Imaging Probe Development and Characterization Resources as well as the UMB-UMBC engineering and medicine cooperation initiative.

"We are extremely excited to advance ErythroMer and to expand our company in the vital life sciences hub of Baltimore and the BioCapital region. We are particularly grateful for UMSOM's vision in creating CBOTH and the climate for innovation this novel center creates," noted KaloCyte's Chief Executive Officer Elaine Haynes. "A key feature of our bio-inspired artificial red blood cell is that it can be freeze-dried, making it easy to store and transport. Once reconstituted, the artificial red cells can potentially be used at the scene of injury, on prehospital transport vehicles, and to supplement hospital blood supplies during complex procedures or periods of high demand."

Drs. Doctor, Pan, and Philip C. Spinella, KaloCyte's third Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer, demonstrated proof-of-concept for ErythroMer at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. ErythroMer is composed of purified human hemoglobin and small molecules encapsulated within a bio-mimetic synthetic polymer shell. Just like a normal red blood cell, ErythroMer captures oxygen in the lungs and releases it to tissues. Importantly, based on studies to date, ErythroMer exhibits minimal toxicity, does not trigger an immune response, and is the only red blood cell substitute currently in development that can be dried for long term storage and easy portability. Additionally, ErythroMer is a universal option for all blood types. Both civilian and military patients may benefit from the use of ErythoMer to increase oxygen delivery in the context of hemorrhagic shock. 

After successful proof-of-concept studies, KaloCyte has advanced ErythroMer to preclinical safety and efficacy testing in anticipation of human trials, which the company expects to begin within two to three years.

Today, KaloCyte has two full-time employees at its Baltimore location, and expects to grow to five by the end of 2019.

About KaloCyte
KaloCyte, a preclinical-stage healthcare biotechnology company, was founded by a distinguished team of researchers in physiology, bioengineering, and trauma care. The company is poised to deliver ErythroMer, a freeze-dried, bio-inspired synthetic red blood cell, to market, with the expectation of starting human trials in two to three years. ErythroMer is envisioned for use when stored red blood cells are unavailable, undesirable or in short supply. KaloCyte, supported by nearly $6M in federal awards and investor funding, is a University of Maryland BioPark affiliate company located in Baltimore, Maryland. Learn more at www.kalocyte.com.


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