What was the first recombinant hemoglobin blood substitute?

Updated: Dec 11, 2018
  • Author: Sara J Grethlein, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
  • Print


The first recombinant hemoglobin product, rHb 1.1 (Optro, Somatogen and Eli Lilly) was a genetically engineered variant of human hemoglobin, Hemoglobin Presbyterian, with modifications to decrease its oxygen affinity. The product was produced in Escherichia coli and had an intravascular half-life of 2-19 hours and a shelf life of 18 months when refrigerated. The adverse effect profile was similar to DCLHb and consisted of vasoconstriction, GI distress, fever, chills, and backache. Currently, the production of this compound has been discontinued due to significant adverse effects. Similarly, rHb 2.0, a recombinant hemoglobin produced by Baxter Healthcare had an adverse safety profile that resulted in discontinuation of production.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!