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Innovative Device Looks to Filter Viruses

Aethlon Medical is developing its proprietary Hemopurifier, which is a therapeutic device designed for the single use depletion of circulating viruses.

One of the most interesting aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the pace of medical innovation. New therapies, investigative vaccines, and devices are all being developed at an unprecedented speed. Entrepreneurial companies have found their way into the market and bring unique ideas.

San Diego, Calif.,-based Aethlon Medical is one such company. They have developed their proprietary Hemopurifier, which is a therapeutic device designed for the single use depletion of circulating viruses.

“The Hemopurifier is an extracorporeal cartridge meaning that it filters blood outside the body similar to a dialysis cartridge,” Tim Rodell, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Aethlon, said.

Aethlon is studying its Hemopurifier in viral diseases under an open Investigational Device Exemption from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With an approved supplement from the FDA, Aethlon is going to start a new feasibility study to treat COVID-19 patients with the Hemopurifier.

The Hemopurifier has previously been tested in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and in one patient with Ebola virus infection. A laboratory version of the Hemopurifier has also been shown to clear multiple other viruses in vitro including a model version of the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus which is a coronavirus from the same family as the SARS-CoV-2.

The feasibility study, which is the device equivalent of a phase 1 trial, will enroll up to 40 subjects at up to 20 centers in the US. Participants for the study will have established laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19, be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and will have acute lung injury and/or severe or life-threatening disease among other criteria.

Contagion® recently spoke to Rodell about the device and provided an update on the feasibility study.