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Reliance Group to Develop Specialty Blood Products

New Delhi: Reliance Life Sciences, the biotechnology venture of Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Group, is developing specialty plasma proteins or blood products and building// a world class manufacturing unit to produce them.

It has been encouraged to set up a manufacturing unit due to the response to its Factor VII product, which is proving a boon for hemophiliacs who have deficiency of Factor VII in their blood that leads to serious blood clotting disorders.

"Encouraged by the market response, we are now developing specialty plasma proteins as well as building a large scale plasma protein manufacturing facility," K.V. Subramaniam, president and CEO of Reliance Life Sciences said in a statement Monday.

Plasma is the storage and transport medium of clotting factors. Its protein content is necessary to maintain the oncotic pressure of the blood, which 'holds' the serum within the vessels.

Until recently plasma proteins including Factor VII were mostly being imported.

Reliance Life Sciences is now meeting this demand through indigenous research and development.

It is manufacturing many of the plasma proteins - Albumin, Intravenous Immunoglobulin G, Factor VII, Fibrin sealant and Virus inactivated plasma - in its pilot scale facility in Mumbai.

The new facility is expected to be operational in the second half of 2007, said Subramaniam.

On Nov 29, a hemophiliac patient was able to undergo a total knee replacement at a hospital in the capital using 40,000 international units of Factor VII manufactured by Reliance Life Sciences, he said.

The availability of indigenously manufactured plasma protein, particularly Factor VII which was earlier totally imported, has helped patients due to the lower prices, and also removed uncertainty in supplies and the short expiry of imported products.

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