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Working Paper

Date of this Version



Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion units are considered one of the most essential healthcare components in the world. In the United States alone, approximately 21 million transfusion units are required every year. Despite this high demand, RBC units are becoming increasingly scarce since only a fraction of eligible donors provide RBCs to for medical use. Additionally, RBC transfusions are limited to immune compatibility in patients, making it difficult to serve all patients with such a limited supply. This proposed design provides a method in which RBCs of any blood group can be converted into the universal blood type, O, to eliminate any concerns regarding blood type compatibility between donor and patient. This conversion process uses bacterial glycosidades to cleave the sugar groups on the surface of RBCs that defines our blood type. This process will help increase hospitals’ supply of readily usable RBCs for any situation while also providing a solution to hospitals’ struggle to use their blood bags before they expire.

This proposal seeks to design a start-up scale plant that will both prepare the glysocidases needed for the treatment process and execute the conversion. This project design expects a production capacity of 200,000 tranfusion units of successfully converted RBCs per year and will be located in Medford, MA. With an initial investment of $25.6 million, the designs yields a a twelve-year net present value of $8,461,700 and has an investor’s rate of return of 21.73%. A limited twelve-year lifespan was chosen in an attempt to more accurately represent the lifespan of a start-up and to more strictly analyze its financial feasibility. The proposed project is forecasted to breakeven in early 2028, at the beginning of its eighth year of its operation, with a return on investment of 17.17%. With initial evidence of profitability, this project design is recommended. Furthermore, the financial analysis performed in this report limits the scope of this project to satisfying the blood demands of one major hospital in a metropolitan area. In reality, however, it is expected that the start-up will expand to other major hospitals or blood collecting organizations within the first several years of operation, further increasing its potential value. It should be noted, however, that investors exercise caution as the blood market has been in constant flux for the past seven years, making it difficult to predict how valuable RBC transfusion units will be compared to other blood components. The process should be executed only if an acceptable pricing can be established to sustain the large costs associated with guaranteeing endotoxin and contamination free products.



Date Posted: 04 May 2018