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Removing endotoxins during sepsis: a blood purification platform using magnetic nanoparticles


Hemotune is a Swiss academic spin-off company founded in 2017 to commercialize proprietary blood purification technology using uniquely designed magnetic nanoparticles, developed at ETH Zürich. Hemotune is financially supported by Wyss Zurich and the Gebert Rüf foundation to develop a product to treat sepsis. Sepsis affects 19 million people each year, and with a mortality rate of 30% it is the most common cause of death in intensive care units. Currently, no cure for sepsis exists, and treatment focuses on relieving symptoms. Therefore, a huge market opportunity exists for curative sepsis treatments, which is estimated to reach €4.3 billion by 2026.

Using its proprietary blood purification technology, hemotune aims to capitalize on this market opportunity by developing a dialysis-like device that removes endotoxins (molecules responsible for sepsis) from the blood. This device employs magnetic nanoparticles to selectively capture endotoxins, which are subsequently filtered out of the blood by a magnetic filter. By removing these endotoxins, the septic response is halted, stabilizing the patient. This technology was successfully tested in small-scale animal models, and now R&D activities will focus on developing a human-sized prototype product, ready for clinical evaluation.

Financial support from the SMEi phase 1 will be used to assess the technical and commercial feasibility of the nanoparticle-based blood purification platform as a treatment strategy for sepsis. Technical feasibility includes usability engineering, and feasibility studies into the upscaling, and into regulatory feasibility to receive market authorization. Commercial feasibility entails a freedom to operate analysis, and composition of solid IP and commercialization strategies. This SMEi phase 1 feasibility study, combined with the ongoing R&D delivering the prototype product, put hemotune in an excellent position to rapidly move forward towards clinical trials.

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C/o Eth Zurich Weinbergstrasse 35 Weh F14
8092 Zurich
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
EU contribution
€ 50 000