SANGUINATE (PEGylated Carboxyhemoglobin Bovine): Mechanism of Action and Clinical Update

Artif Organs. 2017 Apr;41(4):346-350. doi: 10.1111/aor.12934.


Historically, blood substitutes were under development that would provide oxygen carrying capacity as well as fluid replacement for both trauma and surgical indications. Their development was halted by the inability of the products to deliver therapeutic amounts of oxygen targeted to hypoxic tissue as well as from the inherent toxicity of the molecules. This led to the concept of an oxygen therapeutic that would be targeted for indications caused by anemia/ischemia/hypoxia but would not exhibit the toxicity that plagued earlier products. The complex pathophysiology of diseases such as sickle cell and hemorrhagic stroke not only has hypoxia as a pivotal event but also includes inflammation and vasoconstriction that perpetuate the oxygen deprivation. There is a need for an effective therapeutic that addresses the multiple events of inflammation and oxygen deprivation. SANGUINATE acts as a dual mode carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen delivery therapeutic. SANGUINATE is designed not only to treat hypoxia but also to act on concurrent pathologies such as inflammation and reperfusion injury. This expands the potential therapeutic utility of SANGUINATE beyond anemia into indications such as early brain injury and delayed kidney graft function, where inflammation plays a pivotal pathological role as well as in indications such as sickle cell disease where the inflammation and hypoxia contribute to the development of comorbidities such as vaso-occlusive crisis. Clinical trials in multiple indications are underway.

Keywords: -Clinical trial; -Hypoxia; Oxygen carrier.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / drug therapy
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / drug therapy
  • Animals
  • Blood Substitutes / administration & dosage
  • Blood Substitutes / chemistry
  • Blood Substitutes / pharmacology*
  • Blood Substitutes / therapeutic use
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Carbon Monoxide / metabolism*
  • Carboxyhemoglobin / administration & dosage
  • Carboxyhemoglobin / chemistry
  • Carboxyhemoglobin / pharmacology*
  • Carboxyhemoglobin / therapeutic use
  • Cattle
  • Delayed Graft Function / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / drug therapy*
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry
  • Reperfusion Injury / drug therapy
  • Stroke / drug therapy
  • Vasoconstriction / drug effects*


  • Blood Substitutes
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Carboxyhemoglobin
  • Oxygen