Technology and Products
Aurum Biosciences is using Oxycyte, an injectable perfluorocarbon (PFC) based oxygen carrier, to develop their proprietary Glasgow Oxygen Level Dependent (GOLD) technology. GOLD offers unique benefits for use as a novel stroke management product through combined diagnostic and therapeutic properties for acute ischaemic stroke (AIS). The clinical benefits of GOLD in AIS will come from:
The GOLD diagnostic technique, which Aurum has verified in pre-clinical stroke models, would help identify patients who are suitable for thrombolytic therapy. Crucially this would be based on definitive evidence for the presence of salvageable brain tissue (penumbra) meaning many more patients could benefit from thrombolysis irrespective of stroke onset time. Diagnostic GOLD comprises:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI is a non-invasive, medical imaging technique that does not use ionising radiation. It is widely employed by physicians to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of medical and surgical conditions.
- Oxycyte: Using the oxygen carrying capacity of PFCs in conjunction with GOLD MRI imaging technology it is possible to image tissue metabolism and thus clinically define tissue at risk.
- Proprietary software: Automated image analysis software will enable rapid and accurate analyses of images of the stroke patient’s brain produced by specific MRI sequences, which are enhanced through the extra oxygen delivered to the tissue by Oxycyte.
Death of brain tissue following occlusive stroke occurs primarily due to a lack of oxygen. By combining the use of Oxycyte with increased oxygen delivery and GOLD technology we have preclinical evidence supporting the survival of salvageable brain tissue (penumbra) in the hours following stroke onset. The therapeutic property is dependent on:
- Superior oxygen carrying capacity of PFC: PFCs are chemically inert compounds, formulated as emulsions, with a high capacity to dissolve and deliver oxygen to organs and tissues of the body when injected systemically.
- PFC particle size: PFC particles are significantly smaller (30-40 times) than red blood cells and are thus more capable of bypassing arterial clots.
- Oxygen delivery: When oxygen is inhaled at higher levels than air using a face mask, significantly more oxygen can be delivered to tissues at risk thereby enhancing the likelihood of tissue survival.
The benefits of GOLD technology are not limited to AIS. GOLD has potential applications in disease where the ability to deliver oxygen is critical but compromised or where measurement of tissue metabolism is required. In addition, tumor hypoxia has been associated with resistance to standard cancer therapies (radiotherapy, chemotherapy). Enhancing oxygenation of tumors using PFC’s could oxygenate the tumor making them more susceptible to current therapies. Therefore a number of potential pipeline product developments exist in cardiology, oncology and in neurodegenerative diseases.