Oxygen Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq: OXBT) plans to expand its traumatic brain injury clinical trial to India, and the drug development company is now looking for a pharmaceutical partner who could help take its experimental treatment through clinical trials.

Morrisville, North Carolina-based Oxygen Biotherapeutics has been studying a treatment that enhances the delivery of oxygen to injured tissue, a candidate the company calls Oxycyte. Oxygen Biotherapeutics has been conducting mid-stage clinical trials on Oxycyte for traumatic brain injury, or TBI, in Switzerland and Israel. The trials started in 2009. Now regulators in India have approved Oxygen Biotherapeutics' plans to conduct trials there. The company says conducting trials in India should allow it to do clinical work on Oxycyte faster and at less cost. Dr. Tim Bradshaw, executive vice president of clinical development, said in a statement that traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in India; an estimated 150 incidents of TBI occur for every 100,000 people.

CEO Chris Stern said in a statement that the company is exploring whether to amend the study to include patients with milder forms of TBI. He added that Oxygen Biotherapeutics is looking for a partner on this trial.

Oxygen Biotherapeutics' research focuses on proprietary perfluorocarbons, compounds that hold and carry oxygen. The company says that its perfluorocarbons hold more oxygen than hemoglobin, the blood's natural oxygen-carrying protein.

Besides Oxycyte, the company is also developing its perfluorocarbon technology in a preclinical program that targets wound care. Oxygen Biotherapeutics has already launched Dermacyte, a cosmetic product aimed at the skin care market.

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