Lör 26 nov / År 40 / Nr 4 2022

Enabling transplants across blood groups is no longer science fiction

Glycorex’s unique molecular level technology that specifically selects and removes antibodies in the blood has opened up for revolutionary treatments and solutions in healthcare.

CEO Geert Nygaard joined Glycorex in December 2021. Since then, he has worked together with his team to define the way forward for the company. In this interview, Geert talks about Glycorex’s unique technology and outlines the company’s many opportunities going forward.

How would you describe Glycorex as a company?

“Glycorex is founded on a unique technology which makes it possible to specifically select and remove antibodies in the blood. Our technology has a wide range of potential usage and Glycorex has several untapped opportunities that we intend to explore. Our current product portfolio consists of our transplant product Glycosorb® ABO, which enables transplantations across the blood group barrier and the newcomer Glycosorb® UBP, which is used to produce universal blood plasma, i.e., blood plasma that can be given to all patients regardless of their blood group.”

“Europe is our largest market and makes up roughly 80% of our turnover. As with our technology, I see many untapped sales opportunities. We want to grow our sales significantly in Europe as well as expand our presence to new geographies around the world.”

Going back to your products, can you tell us a bit more about Glycosorb® ABO and Glycosorb® UBP?

“Absolutely! Glycosorb® ABO is our transplant product. Since it was first launched in 2001, this product has enabled more than 5.000 kidney transplants where the blood group of the donor and the recipient do not match. In other words, our product has enabled kidney transplantations that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. Glycosorb® ABO has also been used in a variety of other organ transplants such has heart, lung, liver, and stem cells. Glycosorb® UBP is quite a different product. It is used to produce universal blood plasma. Blood plasma is used to replace a patient’s loss of blood in different types of surgery and trauma. Having a plasma that can be given to all patients has many benefits. Safety is of course one aspect. If you have a plasma that can be given to all patients, you eliminated the risk of giving the wrong plasma to the wrong patient. In the case of trauma, time is often of the essence, and with a universal blood plasma you do not need to find out which blood group the patient has. Universal blood plasma also comes with several logistical benefits.”

You mentioned untapped opportunities in Glycorex’s technology. Can you expand a bit on this?

“This is one of my favorite topics. Our technology platform is fantastic. The ability to selectively remove antibodies in the blood opens up for a wide range of applications. Our current focus in our research and development is autoimmune diseases, most notably rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and myasthenia gravis (MG). In our RA project, the preclinical development has been finalized, and we are currently preparing for the clinical studies in close collaboration with a prestigious partner in Europe. The MG project is currently on hold but will be reactivated as soon as our resources allow. Both projects hold a promise of a more effective treatment of these two severe diseases.”

You also mentioned untapped market opportunities.

“I did. This is another favorite topic of mine. Glycorex’s clinical track record is very strong with 5,000 successful kidney transplants, and successful transplants of other organs as well. Our ambition is now to build on this and expand and intensify our sales efforts on a global basis. We are currently working to strengthen our presence in markets such as India, Mexico, and Turkey, among others. We are also working on a long-term plan to enter into the US market, the world’s largest market.”

It seems like Glycorex has a lot on its plate.

“We do and we will be very careful of how we manage our progress. Many of the things we are working on will take time to realize, but the most important thing is that we now are on the right track and know in which direction we are headed.”