Renewed attack on blood substitutes

The area of blood substitutes has been contentious, with both strong proponents and detractors. The detractors had their turn last week, as Walter Reed Army Institute of Research scientist John Hess and colleague Robert Reiss published two articles highly critical of the field.

Based on the articles, UBS Securities analyst Paul Kelly reiterated "sell" recommendations on both Somatogen Inc. (SMTG, Boulder, Colo.) and Northfield Laboratories Inc. (NFLD, Evanston, Ill.), which are developing hemoglobin-based blood substitutes. Although the authors focus on the use of blood substitutes in trauma, Kelly said their criticisms apply to other settings.