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Drugs Today (Barc). 2007 Aug;43(8):547-61.

Recombinant human serum albumin.

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School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


Human serum albumin (HSA) is responsible for 80% of the colloid osmotic pressure of plasma (25-33 mmHg). Its main clinical use is in maintaining colloid oncotic pressure and increasing circulating plasma volume with the typical dosage in excess of 10 g per dose. HSA is isolated by fractionating human plasma, which entails possible contamination by viruses or prions. Recombinant HSA (rHSA) has been successfully produced using a methylotrophic yeast, Pichia pastoris. Due to the fact that the clinical usage of HSA infusion often exceeds 10 g, rHSA preparation requires a high level of purity. rHSA purified by means of Streamline technology is identical to plasma-derived HSA (pdHSA) with no detectable mannan component from P. pastoris. The structural and functional properties of rHSA are similar to those of pdHSA. Preclinical and clinical trials have confirmed the safety and efficacy of using this rHSA preparation in different disease conditions, such as hemorrhagic shock, cirrhosis with ascites, and other critical clinical conditions related to plasma volume and oncotic pressure. In addition to its use as a plasma expander, rHSA has great potential as a biomaterial for other medical and pharmaceutically related applications.

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