Somatogen Inc. on Tuesday received U.S. patent No. 5,028,588covering blood substitute products based on hemoglobin thathas been genetically engineered to improve its ability todeliver oxygen to tissues.

The patent, which covers hemoglobin produced in E. coli andyeast, includes claims for hemoglobin variants and theirmethod of use as a blood substitute. Somatogen of Boulder,Colo., and the Medical Research Council in Great Britain jointlydeveloped the technology.

Somatogen, which filed for an initial public offering in June, isamong a group of companies hoping to tap the $8 billion to $10billion world market for blood substitutes. Other companiesinclude Biopure Corp., Enzon Inc., DNX Corp. and BiosourceGenetics Corp.

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