Manufactured by Biopure, Oyglobin solution is the first and only oxygen therapeutic to be both US FDA and European Commission approved for veterinary use. The solution consists of chemically stabilized bovine hemoglobin in a balanced salt solution and contains no red blood cells. The cross-linked hemoglobin, several tetramers bound together, works by circulating in the plasma and supplying oxygen to tissues.
Introduced to veterinary clinics and hospitals in March of 1998 and nationally distributed by October 1998, Oxylobin has been used primarily for blood transfusions and for treatment of anemia in dogs. Anemia could be caused by blood loss, trauma/accident, flea or parasite infestation, surgery, ingesting toxic chemical, kidney failure, bone marrow disease, iron deficiency, and immune system malfunction. The Oxyglobin solution is administered by an intravenous set and catheter through a central or peripheral vein. While varying with patient, the usual dose is a one time dose of 10-30mL/kg at a rate of 10/mL/kg/hr. Due to a half life of 18-26 hours, Oxyglobin should be cleared of the body within 4-5 days. The only contraindications are a predisposition to volume overload and advanced cardiac disease. Discolorations of sclera, urine, plasma, and mucous membranes as well as vomiting are the major side effects.
Image of a dog's blood before (left) and after (right) Oxyglobin administration
Advantages of Oxyglobin
Biopure cites many advantages of Oxyglobin over a regular allograft blood transfusion. Oxyglobin could be stored for up to 3 years at room temperature and does not require any heating or cooling before transfusion. The blood of the recipient does not need to be typed, for Oxyglobin is compatible with all blood types. All Oxyglobin products have been tested for and removed of potential contaminants such as viruses, bacteria and TSE agents.
Bio pure takes many precautions to ensure that Oxyglobin is free of pathogens, infectious agents (BSE) and chemically pure. The process is the same as Hemopure.
Prior to market approval, Biopure conducted an extensive controlled, randomized clinical study at 6 major institutions: Animal Medical Center in New York City, University of Pennsylvania, Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, the Ohio State University, and Tufts University. At each place, dogs with anemia that required a transfusion were treated with Oxyglobin or cage rest. The parameters measured were plasma hemoglobin concentration and physical condition score. Treatment was considered a failure if the condition worsened to where a transfusion was needed. The results of the trial alarmingly demonstrated that Oxyglobin helped the dogs. They found a 95% efficacy in the Oxyglobin treated animals compared to 32% for the control group. Oxyglobin transported oxygen to tissues 3 times more efficiently than red blood cells and also increased the oxygen carrying efficiency of the already circulating blood cells. The study found side effects of transient discoloration of sclera and urine, vomiting, and over-expanded vascular volume at high dosage rates. Diarrhea, fever, arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm), and tachypnea (rapid breathing rate) may or may not were a result of Oxyglobin.
Where Oxyglobin is Now
Currently, Oxyglobin can only be used in canines and not in humans. So far Biopure has sold over 173,000 units and treated nearly 90,000 dogs. The current supply of Oxyglobin is low, for the company is spending most of its resources on Hemopure, a blood substitute for human use.
In 2004, cyclist Jesus Manzano admitted to using Oxyglobin for a Spanish National time trial championship and the Tour de France. He became sick and crashed during the Tour de France.
Jesus Manzano at the 2003 Tour De France