New TBI Medication Turning Heads

New TBI Medication

Doctors and researchers alike express enthusiasm for the potential of Oxycyte, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) medication. The drug is still in its test phase but is showing impressive results thus far. Research suggests that the medicine, developed by Oxygen Biotherapeutics, will be a groundbreaking drug for treating patients with TBI.

Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. The military’s interest in Oxycyte is helping to fuel the medicine’s clinical development. Researchers hope these studies will lead to faster approval of the drug so that more patients may benefit.

History of Oxycyte
Oxycyte is a new type of artificial blood. The idea of synthetic blood is more than 100 years old. The interest in blood substitutes began in the late-1800s and escalated during the onset of AIDS in the 1980s. A viable substitute for blood has the potential to help overcome the problem of tainted or insufficient blood supplies.

How Oxycyte Works
The most common cause of brain injury is suffocation of brain cells, and Oxycyte can deliver the needed oxygen 50 times more efficiently than human blood.[1] Research also suggests that Oxycyte can work its way through swollen or injured vessels that red blood cells cannot. The studies show promising results with fewer deaths and greater recovery rates for victims of TBI.

Navy Study Results
The U.S. Navy performed a study on Oxycyte using two groups of pigs with decompression syndrome. The illness often occurs to scuba divers who decompress too quickly. The current recommended first aid is to administer 100% oxygen as soon as possible.

The Navy released the study’s results in June 2010. Compared to the control group, which received no Oxycyte, the pigs saw a substantial increase in the rates of both 24-hour survival and functional recovery. A full 72 percent of the pigs treated with Oxycyte lived longer than 24 hours, compared to the control group’s 45 percent. Functional recovery increased from 28 to 52 percent.[2]

Will Oxycyte Be the First TBI Drug?

With results like these, it is easy to see why the medicine draws so much attention from the military. From 2002-2008, there were roughly 380,000 military blast injuries (MBIs),[3] one of the leading causes of TBI. Traumatic brain injuries are the biggest threat to soldiers in the Middle East, and they are caused mainly by roadside bombs.

Other groups who may benefit include athletes, especially teen males, who are the most susceptible to head injuries among the civilian population. Car crashes are another common cause of head injuries. A drug like Oxycyte may dramatically increase survival rates and healing outcomes for patients with traumatic brain injury. If Oxycyte proves successful, it will be the first FDA-approved drug treatment for TBI.

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If you or someone you care about suffers from traumatic brain injury, contact our office. Our knowledgeable attorneys will meet with you free of charge to discuss the facts of your case. If appropriate, we will guide you through filing a claim for injuries and help you secure compensation for damages.


[1] http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2006-11/better-blood

[2] http://www.dailymarkets.com/stock/2010/09/20/military-interest-in-oxycyte-continues/

[3] http://www.biotechday.ch/media/biotechday/downloads/oxygen.pdf

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