Toray Announces Innovative Fiber Adsorbent for Purifying Blood
2018-06-29    [Source:TORAT]
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Toray Industries, Inc. (head office: Chuo-ku, Tokyo; President: Akihiro Nikkaku; hereinafter referred to as "Toray") today announced that it has created an innovative fiber adsorbent for purifying blood that selectively eliminates bio-targets*1, such as cells and proteins, by controlling the surface morphology and chemical structure of sea-island composite fiber*2 through the application of synthetic fiber spinning technology. This new fiber adsorbent is expected to improve performance and safety compared with conventional fiber adsorbents. Toray will pursue research with the goal of beginning clinical trials in fiscal 2019.

The fiber adsorbent developed by Toray can selectively eliminate only the cells that induces inflammation (activated leukocytes*3), as well as proteins (cytokines*4) without eliminating the cells and proteins essential for maintaining health. The types of cells and proteins that are eliminated can be independently controlled by changing the surface morphology of the fiber or by chemical modification. Using its innovative spinning technology, NANODESIGN®, Toray successfully controlled, on a nanoscale, the arrangement of highly reactive polymers susceptible to structural change and chemical modification with stable polymers that maintain fiber strength.

Toray has developed TORAYMYXIN®, the world’s first blood purification device for the elimination of endotoxins*5, which was covered by health insurance for cases of septic shock in 1994. The device has mainly been sold to emergency centers and intensive care units. TORAYMYXIN® uses an adsorbent that removes the bacterial toxin called endotoxin. However, in response to numerous requests from clinicians asking for the removal not only of endotoxins, but also of more pathogenic substances with a single column, Toray created this adsorbent, the world’s first, the fruition of more than 20 years of research.

Circulating the blood through the column consist of the adsorbent, the highly selective adsorption performance effect produced shows promise in removing only those pathogenic substances that cause a severe inflammatory reaction associated with sepsis, acute lung injury, and cancer treatment, and not reacting with essential proteins. Toray will test the new technology with animals in collaboration with universities inside and outside Japan and will consider commercialization to provide new treatments for numerous patients.

In the Medium-Term Management Program, "Project AP-G 2019," Toray is working on the Life Innovation Business Expansion (LI) Project, which seeks to improve the quality of healthcare, reduce the burden on healthcare workplaces, and expand businesses that contribute to health and longevity. It has set the goal of expanding the scale of this business to \300 billion by fiscal 2020. Toray seeks to contribute to society and continue to grow even more rapidly by delivering on its corporate philosophy of "contributing to society through the creation of new value with innovative ideas, technologies and products."


Terminology
*1: Sea-island composite fiber
A composite fiber produced when one fiber is spun from two or more types of polymer materials and arranged in such a way that the fiber enables an artificial "island" to float in the "sea," as illustrated in the cross-sectional drawing on the right.

*2: Bio-targets
Substances that are to be removed by adsorbent utilizing biological bodies such as blood purification materials (dialysis and blood purifying adsorption columns) through extracorporeal blood circulation. Examples include substances derived from biological bodies such as cells, proteins, or lipids and sugars.

*3: Activated leukocytes
Leukocytes, which are immune cells for maintaining human health, are activated by the stimulation of illness and injury and attack foreign bodies and external invaders. If the external invasion is too strong, the leukocytes are excessively activated and cannot be controlled, causing a severe inflammatory reaction. Because the inflammatory reaction attacks the patient’s body, its negative effects are well known.

*4: Cytokines
These are proteins secreted from cells involved in immunity and the generic term for a physiologically active substance responsible for communicating information between cells. Cytokines induce diverse cellular responses such as proliferation, protein secretion, and differentiation. Many cytokines are related to immunity and inflammation.

*5: Endotoxins
A substance that is a structural component of the Gram-negative bacterial cell wall and is composed of lipids and polysaccharides (lipopolysaccharides). The invasion of endotoxins into the body may cause shock (endotoxic shock) and multiple organ failure.

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