In fires, highly toxic gases such as carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN) are generated simultaneously during the combustion of building materials. When inhaled, these two gases bind strongly to hemoglobin, cytochromes and other hemes in living organisms, inhibiting aerobic respiration. To date, there is no therapeutic approach to overcome simultaneous CO and HCN poisoning.
An international team including Roberta Foresti and Roberto Motterlini of the PROTECT team and coordinated by Hiroaki Kitagishi (Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan) have invented here a synthetic model heme compound (hemoCD-Twins) to provide an emergency life-saving treatment. This compound captures inhaled CO and cyanide in animals in a single injection and is rapidly eliminated by urinary excretion.
With its immediate antidotal effect, high safety and storage stability, hemoCD-Twins has great potential as a ready-to-use antidote for fire gas poisoning.