Baxter International Inc.'s acquisition of Somatogen Inc. could be more important for the potential it provides for creating second generation hemoglobin products than for the future of SMTG's first generation Optro recombinant hemoglobin.

Tom Smith, general manager of Baxter's Hemoglobin Therapeutics division, told BioCentury that no decisions have been made as to whether Baxter will move forward with the first generation versions of its HemAssist cross-linked human hemoglobin or SMTG's Optro. "If one of either Optro or HemAssist