Pets as well as people may benefit from artificial blood products, asevidenced in an agreement between Enzon Inc. and AmericanVeterinary Products Inc. announced last Friday.

Under the licensing agreement, the companies will develop Enzon'sblood substitute for potential transfusion in animals that have sufferedaccidents.

Specific details of the agreement were not disclosed. At the FifthInternational Symposium on Blood Substitutes this week, however,reports were delivered on animal research showing Enzon's bloodsubstitute has superior oxygen-carrying capacity to whole blood, andhas successfully replaced 70 percent of animal blood without evidenceof toxicity. Enzon (NASDAQ-NMS:ENZN) is located in Piscataway,N.J.

When dogs and cats are injured in accidents, they may sometimesreceive transfusions from donor animals, if available. Due to theinability to always provide a fully compatible blood type, there is a 25percent chance the animal will reject the transfused blood. Also, freshblood has a short shelf life compared with blood substitutes. Enzon'ssubstitute has demonstrated a shelf life of at least 16 weeks.

The substitute is based on cow hemoglobin, modified by chemicallyattached polyethylene glycol, which may extend circulating time inthe bloodstream, decrease the need for additional blood substitute andreduce potential for developing allergic reactions.

-- Nancy Garcia Associate Editor

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