Hemarina (Morlaix, 30 employees) has developed a molecule of purified haemoglobin from the lugworm, a marine worm, to improve the preservation of human grafts, including renal grafts.

Hemarina has demonstrated the effectiveness of its first Hemo2life medical device in a one-year study of 60 renal transplant patients in 6 hospitals in France, including Brest. These patients received kidney grafts preserved in a solution containing Hemo2life. Their results were presented at the American Transplant Congress in Seattle. According to Franck Zal, founder of Hermarina, no graft has been lost, while about 50% of the kidneys preserved before transplantation without using this blood substitute, which acts as an oxygen transporter, cannot be used.

The solution created by the young company thus allows to preserve the graft for 7 days, compared to the previous 6 hours. Hemarina has already filed 60 patents to protect its innovations. Hemo2Life is CE marked and could be marketed in 2019.

In order to secure its raw material and the traceability of all its products, Franck Zal has opened a seaweed farm on the peninsula of Noirmoutier with an annual capacity of 30 tonnes.

It should be noted that Hemarina received the prize of the start-up of the year during the national EY Entrepreneur Award.


Sources : Les Echos – 06/06/2018 & 02/10/2018

Photo credit :  Claude Prigent / PHOTOPQR / Le Télégramme / MAXPPP