January 21, 2011
HemAssist: A drug you’ll never use, but you’ll be hearing more about
The most damaging allegation in the SI piece is that in the late 1990s, Armstrong gained access to an investigational drug called HemAssist. That drug, an experimental hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier, was in clinical trials during the time frame SI identifies.
HBOCs, as they’re known, are essentially blood substitutes devised for use in trauma medicine. They’re recombinantly engineered, stabilized hemoglobin molecules that replace the oxygen-transport capabilities of normal human blood, at least for a short time.