” The creatures outside looked from pig to
man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which. George Orwell: Animal Farm (1945) A potential treatment for haemophilia GPCR Compound Library was first identified in 1937 when a component of human plasma called ‘antihaemophilic globulin’ was described . Although blood transfusion was routine at that time, the separation of plasma from donated whole blood on the large scale required to permit commercial fractionation only became a reality in the 1970s. Biggs, Macfarlane and Bidwell in Oxford estimated that every haemophilic patient would need the plasma from 1000 donors each year for the production of enough material for maintenance treatment. In recognition of the fact that this was ‘wildly impractical’, the group pursued the development of antihaemophilic globulin derived from animals as a potential treatment . The first material purified was bovine factor VIII, extracted from plasma collected from animals sent to an abattoir for slaughter [3,4]. Approximately 3–4 L were obtained from each animal and the globulin
was purified by fractionation in the presence of potassium phosphate and sodium citrate. Early reports were encouraging, but it soon became apparent that repeated treatment with LBH589 mouse this product was frequently complicated by severe allergic reactions and thrombocytopenia. Furthermore, patients also soon became refractory to the product, a phenomenon which was attributed to the development of alloantibodies against the bovine factor VIII protein. Porcine plasma was first used to treat a patient in 1954. The first recipient was a 22-year-old man from Norwich, who worked in a gun shop and who got shot in the loin by mistake by a customer who was trying out a rifle [2,5a]. He required surgery and was initially treated with bovine material. This was initially successful in controlling the bleeding, but soon the patient developed severe allergic reactions and the bleeding was no
longer controlled owing to the appearance of inhibitory antibodies against the bovine material. In some desperation, porcine plasma was obtained from an abattoir in the neighbouring Norfolk village on a Sunday. By Wednesday of the following week, the Oxford group had prepared an extract of porcine antihaemophilic globulin, which saved this young man’s life. Porcine antihaemophilic Ureohydrolase globulin turned out to be generally better tolerated than bovine material, although allergic reactions and resistance caused by antibody formation were still a problem after repeated infusions. A lyophilized concentrate of porcine antihaemophilic globulin was subsequently manufactured by S. Maw and Sons Ltd of north London [Fig. 1] and remained in use in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It must be emphasized that porcine and bovine preparations were initially used to treat all patients with haemophilia A, and not just those who had developed inhibitors to factor VIII.