The work of two UMD research scientists will be featured this weekend in a CNN national television special produced by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for the health and medical unit at CNN. Called Cheating Death – The Doctors and Medical Miracles that are Saving Lives Against All Odds, the special includes the work of Matt Andrews, Ph.D., professor and head of the UMD Department of Biology, who has been studying hibernating animals, specifically ground squirrels, for 16 years. Dr. Andrews is considered an international expert on the molecular biology of hibernation.
Lester R. Drewes, Ph.D. head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth worked with Andrews on the research but is not featured in the program. Drewes is internationally known for his research related to the blood-brain barrier and neuroprotection.
A third collaborator on the research, who will be included in the program, is Gregory Beilman, M.D. professor of Surgery and Anesthesia, chief of Surgical Critical Care/Trauma at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis.
The three scientists designed TamiasynTM, a low volume resuscitation fluid that may extend the "golden hour" – those critical minutes after traumatic hemorrhagic shock -- and increase the survival rates of victims because it will allow the human body to endure severe blood loss longer and inhibit human organ damage during resuscitation.
The long-standing treatment during hemorrhagic shock, hydrating a patient with an IV of solutions, does not slow blood loss nor does it keep the organs and brain oxygenated. Motor vehicle crashes, gunshots wounds and military field care hold the most promising applications for TamiasynTM. Each year the lives of 33,000 people in the United States alone could be saved with this new treatment.
The University of Minnesota's Office for Technology Commercialization in Minneapolis has authorized a development stage company to hold an exclusive license to market the product. VitalMedixTM intends to market TamiasynTM in combination with a hemorrhagic shock treatment system. The company expects FDA approval in three years, with clinical trials tentatively beginning in the second year.