Coalition seeks to eradicate Rh Disease/HDFN globally
Inaugural meeting to be held today at Stanford University
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Capnia, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAPN), a diversified healthcare company that develops and commercializes innovative diagnostics, devices and therapeutics addressing unmet medical needs, today announced that it has joined the Consortium for Universal Rh Disease Elimination (CURhE) as a Founding Member. CURhE is a global consortium that has been established to eradicate Hemolytic Disease of the Fetus and Newborn (HDFN), a potentially fatal disease that is caused by an incompatibility between a mother’s and her baby’s blood due to differing blood proteins called Rh Factors. CURhE estimates that HDFN affects over 300,000 newborns globally every year.
“Rh Disease has been largely eradicated from many parts of the world, and we believe the same is possible in those regions where it continues to pose a threat,” said Anish Bhatnagar, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Capnia. “We are eager to join forces with these leading institutions and apply our expertise in neonatology to help raise awareness and funding to combat a disease that is easily preventable. Detecting hemolysis is an important part of the CURhE strategy to eliminate Rh Disease. Our ETCO monitor, as the only point of care device available to do so in neonates, can play an important role in the identification of hemolysis in babies and therefore lead to earlier treatment based on AAP Guidelines.”
At CURhE’s inaugural planning meeting, which is being held today at Stanford University, the founding members of the Consortium are gathering to formulate a global strategic plan, outline tactics and develop fund-raising activities. Pediatricians and neonatologists from 16 countries around the world will be joining the meeting together with International Federation of Obstetric and Gynecologists and the International Pediatric Association.
Among CURhE’s other founding members are the Stanford University School of Medicine, the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, Siena University in Siena, Italy, and two other companies in the medical field: Kedrion Biopharma, based in Lucca, Italy, which produces the most widely known preventative treatment for HDFN, and Eldon Biologicals, a Danish company that produces a quick and simple method to determine Rh blood group.
About HDFN/Rh Disease
HDFN or Rh disease is the result of a mismatch between a pregnant woman’s blood and that of her developing fetus. One characteristic of a person’s blood is whether it has a protein called an Rh Factor. If you have this protein – and most people do – your blood is called “Rh Positive.” People whose blood does not have this protein are said to be “Rh Negative.” For the most part people with Rh Negative blood suffer no ill consequences – many people never know their Rh type. But if a woman who is Rh Negative is pregnant with an Rh Positive fetus (as a result of having an Rh Positive father), the baby - and especially subsequent pregnancies – could be in great danger because the mother’s blood type is not compatible with the baby’s blood type. Due to this incompatibility, the mother’s immune system attacks and destroys the fetus’ or baby’s red blood cells. As a result, the fetus may die in the womb or the newborn may die or have brain damage. A severe form of brain damage called kernicterus may occur due to bilirubin build up in the baby’s body and deposition in the brain. The manifestations are varied, and may include cerebral palsy, hearing, visual impairment, digestive, sleeping and dental problems.
Capnia, Inc. is a diversified healthcare company that develops and commercializes innovative diagnostics, devices and therapeutics addressing unmet medical needs. Capnia's lead commercial product, CoSense®, is based on the Sensalyze™ Technology Platform. It is a portable, non-invasive device that rapidly and accurately measures carbon monoxide (CO) in exhaled breath. CoSense has 510(k) clearance for sale in the U.S. and has received CE Mark certification for sale in the European Union. CoSense is used for the monitoring of CO from internal sources (such as hemolysis, a dangerous condition in which red blood cells degrade rapidly), as well as external sources (such as CO poisoning and smoke inhalation). The initial target market is newborns with jaundice that are at risk for hemolysis, comprising approximately three million births in the U.S. and European Union. CoSense may play an important role in detecting the rate of hemolysis that occurs in newborns with Rh disease. The Company's commercial, neonatology-focused product line also includes innovative pulmonary resuscitation solutions, including the NeoPIP™ Infant T-Piece Resuscitator and Universal T-Piece Circuit consumables. Capnia's proprietary therapeutic technology uses nasal, non-inhaled CO2 and is being evaluated to treat the symptoms of allergies, as well as the trigeminally-mediated pain conditions such as cluster headache, trigeminal neuralgia and migraine.
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