CytoSorbents Corporation (OTCBB: CTSO) is a critical-care focused therapeutic device company using blood purification to treat life-threatening illnesses. These are common, major conditions seen in the intensive care unit (ICU), such as sepsis and infection, severe trauma, burns, lung injury, and pancreatitis, that afflicts millions of people each year yet lacks effective therapies, leading to a mortality rate that often exceeds 30%. Failure of multiple organs, such as the lungs, heart, kidneys and liver, is the leading causes of death from these conditions, for which very little can be done today. Hospital acquired infections are another leading cause of death in the ICU. CytoSorbents is developing novel and advanced blood purification therapies designed to actively prevent, mitigate, or reverse the development of organ failure and infection, thereby potentially reducing illness severity and helping patients to heal and recover faster. Ultimately the goal is to improve patient outcome and save healthcare costs. Nearly 1% of the US gross domestic product (GDP), or approximately $90 billion, is spent on critical care annually in the US, and billions of dollars are lost by hospitals each year due to a lack of effective therapies.
Recently, the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report on the epidemiology of sepsis in the US after examining hospital admission data from 2000 to 2008 from the National Hospital Discharge Survey. According to the researchers, “the number of hospitalizations for sepsis more than doubled between 2000 and 2008, resulting in much longer, costlier hospital stays and more fatal outcomes”. The jump in sepsis rates were attributable to several factors, including the aging population, a rise in invasive procedures, and the increased use of catheters. Read more report highlights here.
But in particular, the elderly were driving the statistics. Patients 65 and older:
- Have other conditions that put them at high risk of infection such as diabetes, cancer, and implanted medical devices like artificial hips and knees.
- Are driving the incidence of sepsis hospitalizations, recently accounting for two-thirds of all patients hospitalized with sepsis in the U.S.
- Have a 13-fold relative risk of death compared to patients younger than age 65.
- Are the ones dying of sepsis, predominantly from multi-organ failure and hospital acquired infections, rather than the original infection itself.
"Unfortunately, most of us know someone who has died from sepsis and other complications of serious infections like pneumonia, urinary tract infections, abdominal infections, and influenza. Although sepsis kills thousands of babies, children, teens, and young adults each year, it is unquestionable that older patients, particularly those 65 and older, have the highest risk of both developing a serious infection and dying from it. Despite antibiotics, approximately one-third of patients in the U.S. and Europe still die each year from severe sepsis each year, making it a top ten leading cause of death in the U.S. and elsewhere. And to make things worse, there are no available therapies in the U.S. or the European Union that are approved to specifically treat sepsis."
Dr. Chan continued,
"CytoSorbents has developed a blood purification therapy called CytoSorb™ that works with antibiotics, and targets the underlying fundamental reasons why people die of sepsis, which are multi-organ failure and additional infections. An inadvertent overproduction of cytokines, or ‘cytokine storm’, by the immune system is a key driver of the severe inflammation that then leads to cell death and organ failure, and a paralysis of the immune system. By reducing ‘cytokine storm’, CytoSorb™ aims to reduce or mitigate organ failure and additional infecitons, thereby helping patients to get better, faster. Based on data from our European Sepsis Trial, CytoSorb™ appears to have a unique protective effect on patients 65 and older, preventing death to 14 days. If we can extend this treatment benefit in future studies, CytoSorb™ has the potential to revolutionize not only sepsis treatment in this patient population, but other life-threatening illnesses where cytokine storm plays a deadly role."