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Fenwal Scientist Receives Research Award for Work on Photopheresis Therapy
Date:5/27/2010

LAKE ZURICH, Ill., May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Fenwal, Inc., a global medical technology company focused on improving blood collection, separation, safety and availability, announced today that on Friday, May 29, 2010, the American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) will present Fenwal biomedical engineer Katherine Radwanski with the prestigious Junior Investigator Award for her research on photopheresis.  

Photopheresis is a medical therapy where blood is collected from patients and treated with photo-sensitive drugs.  The drugs are then activated outside the body by exposing the blood to ultraviolet light before returning the blood to the patients.

Radwanski's research demonstrates early feasibility for photopheresis methods used in Europe, but not yet approved for use in the United States. Her work is being used to develop photopheresis as a therapeutic protocol for Fenwal's Amicus® system, a machine used to collect platelets, mononuclear cells, and other blood components.  Fenwal is working to expand the clinical uses for its automated-collection technologies, including new therapeutic plasma exchange methods.

Radwanski will present her award-winning abstract, "The Effects of Cell Concentration, UV Dose and 8-Methoxypsoralen Concentration on Human Lymphocyte Apoptosis Post Photopheresis," on Thursday, May 27, 2010 in a plenary abstract session during the 2010 ASFA Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

The ASFA Junior Investigator Award is given to the primary author of an outstanding abstract submitted by an ASFA member who has worked in the transfusion field for less than 10 years. The award will be presented to Radwanski at an ASFA luncheon Friday, May 29, 2010 at 12:30 p.m. Central Time at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

"Receiving the ASFA Junior Investigator Award is a great honor and testament to Katherine Radwanski's talents as a biomedical researcher," said William H. Cork, Fenwal chief technology officer and senior vice president.  "Her work is of great benefit to the transfusion-medicine community, and may lead to more options for U.S. clinicians as well as cancer patients."

Radwanski is the first recipient of ASFA's junior investigator award who works for a commercial organization.  Past recipients include Gregory Pomper, M.D., from Yale University; and Jeffrey Winters, M.D., from Mayo Clinic.  

Radwanski earned her master's degree in biotechnology from Northwestern University, where she also earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering.  She leads research at Fenwal on next-generation blood collection technologies and storage solutions.  Her previous publications include studies on the assessment of red blood cells and platelets stored with additive solutions.  

About the study

Photopheresis is primarily used to reduce skin symptoms associated with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), with research underway for other cell-related diseases. Apoptosis refers to programmed cell death, which is thought to be the first step in the mechanism of action of photopheresis treatment.

While photopheresis is performed in Europe and the United States, variation exists between the two methods in the amounts and concentrations of white cells (or leukocytes), chemotherapy drugs and ultraviolet radiation used.  Radwanski's abstract found that photopheresis was effective at causing programmed cell death over a 72-hour period under differing concentrations of cells, drugs and radiation, suggesting clinicians may have more flexibility than previously thought in providing this therapy to cancer patients.

For more information about ASFA, please visit www.apheresis.org.

About Fenwal

Fenwal, Inc. is a global medical technology company focused on improving blood collection, filtration, separation, storage and transfusion to ensure the availability, safety and effectiveness of blood components.  Fenwal is unique in the depth of its experience and commitment to transfusion medicine.  The company offers the broadest range of products for the automated and manual collection of blood and blood components.  Fenwal became an independent company in 2007, but its roots go back to 1949 with the founding of Fenwal Laboratories.  Fenwal developed the first flexible, single-use container for blood collection, eliminating complications associated with glass containers and allowing blood to be separated into therapeutic components.  Today, the company's products and advanced collection and separation technologies are used to help treat patients on six continents.  Fenwal, Inc. is based in Lake Zurich, Illinois.  For more information, please visit www.fenwalinc.com.


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SOURCE Fenwal, Inc.
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