Bloodstream Infection: Seraph® Removes CMV from Spiked Blood in Tests

ExThera Medical Corporation, a pioneer in the development of broad-spectrum, biomimetic devices for treating life-threatening bloodstream infections, points us at a study in which its Seraph® Microbind® Affinity Blood Filter quickly removed Cytomegalovirus from CMV-spiked whole blood.


Over a million new cases of sepsis are identified in the U.S. annually, with an equally large case population in Europe and Asia. It is one of the top-ten causes of death in the U.S., killing over 225,000 Americans each year, more than lung and breast cancer combined. Severe sepsis has reported mortality rates ranging from 30 to 60 percent, at an average treatment cost of $22,000 per case, representing 40% of all ICU costs

Since 2008, privately funded ExThera (short for Extracorporeal Therapy) has been developing new tools to treat a wide range of bloodstream infections caused by both bacteria and viruses. The company’s Seraph® Microbind® Affinity Blood Filter, now fully developed and about to enter clinical trials, is a broad-spectrum ‘hemoperfusion’ device with demonstrated ability to bind and remove a long list of disease-causing agents, including toxins, fungi and inflammatory cytokines.

A dialysis-like therapy, Seraph is potentially useful in treating cytomegalovirus reactivation during severe sepsis, and in patients with compromised immune systems from other causes. In late-stage sepsis, 24% percent of the patients test positive for CMV viremia.


Study results, presented at the 2015 44th Critical Care Congress of the Society for Critical Care Medicine, demonstrated that after only about 30 seconds of total contact with Seraph ‘adsorption media’ 82% of CMV was removed from blood samples spiked with the virus.

A typical 4-hour clinical treatment involves 300 seconds of contact, so it seems reasonable to claim that a 99+% reduction is possible in that time. In addition the CMV binding capacity of the Seraph device was found it to be very high, exceeding the entire bloodstream virus load in viremic patients .

Company comments

Bob Ward, CEO of ExThera stated; “ExThera’ s mission is to offer simple, device-based therapies for rapid treatment of bloodstream infections— including those caused by agents for which there are no effective therapeutic drugs. We are pleased to report these encouraging in vitro results against a virus that affects patients whose immune systems are compromised by disease or cancer treatment, or chronically suppressed because of organ transplantation.”

Source: ExThera Medical Corporation

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