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Starches

HES - From maize to infusion

FILL INThe most important application of Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) is in the field of volume therapy, where it helps to improve the rheological properties of human blood. It is one of the colloidal solutions used in plasma expanders. HES-containing products are used in emergency medicine to treat hypovolaemia due to acute blood loss, in cases where crystalloids alone are not considered sufficient.

In Linz the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) HES is manufactured out of waxy corn starch, existing in special maize varieties. The supplied starch is modified in a controlled chemical process under strict surveillance. This modification adjusts the ability of the molecule to decompose under physiological conditions. Subsequently the chains of the natural polymer are cut to the desired length in a chemical degradation process. In the final step, the product is carefully purified, dried in a clean room and immediately packed.

The production procedure of HES complies with EU-GMP and US-cGMP regulations and is approved by national and international regulatory authorities including the US FDA. With an annual production output of several hundred tons of HES, Fresenius Kabi's plant in Linz is among the world‘s largest producers of this active pharmaceutical ingredient.