Sangart Gets $50M Infusion for Oxygen-Carrying Blood Adjunct

4/19/11Follow @bvbigelow

San Diego-based Sangart, which has been developing an oxygen-carrying compound to counter blood loss in traumatic injuries, says today it has raised more than $50 million in a Series G round of new equity funding. That’s a big deal these days in San Diego, which raised a total of slightly more than $100 million in venture capital for 22 deals of all kinds during the first quarter of 2011

Sangart says the funding, which was led by Leucadia National (NYSE: LUK), the diversified New York holding company, also includes warrants that could provide an additional $50 million in future funding. The G Series round brings the company’s total funding to more than $230 million since Sangart was founded 13 years ago.

Sangart CEO Brian O’Callaghan told me five months ago that he was looking ahead to the possibility that the company would eventually proceed to Phase III trials of both MP4OX, the company’s oxygen-carrying blood adjunct, and MP4CO, a related product developed to carry carbon monoxide to patients suffering a sickle cell crisis. In its statement today, the company says only that the funds will be used to advance the development of both products.

Using a novel pegylation approach, Sangart has designed its MP4 molecule for optimal oxygen affinity, diffusion potential, and molecular size to perfuse capillaries and target oxygen delivery to oxygen-deprived tissue. The company also uses its MP4 molecule to deliver precise amounts of carbon monoxide to help stabilize the hemoglobin of patients with sickle cell disease. Once the carbon monoxide has been delivered, Sangart says its MP4OX compound is used to oxygenate the lungs and to carry oxygen to tissues.

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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