New Zealand grant success for blood research clinical trial

06 April 2023

Congratulations to ANZCA fellows Dr Shay McGuiness and Professor Michael Reade on being awarded an NZ$1.4 million Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand grant to run CLIP-II in New Zealand.

The Australian CLIP-II trial (Cryopreserved vs Liquid Platelet) was awarded $A1.8 million in 2018 from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to study a group of 800 cardiac surgery patients requiring blood transfusions in 12 Australian hospitals. This definitive trial aims to determine if cryopreserved platelets are as safe and effective as liquid-stored platelets in high-risk adult cardiac surgery patients.

The CLIP-II NZ protocol is identical to the original CLIP-II protocol aside from a modification in the platelet preparation protocol. CLIP-II NZ will run in five tertiary hospitals in New Zealand, building the research capacity of hospital sites in the network. Results from the separate Australian and New Zealand studies will be compared to assess if the method of platelet production has any effect on patient outcomes.

Professor Reade said it was hoped the frozen platelet study would lead to frozen blood platelets being registered by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and New Zealand Medsafe for widespread use.

"If the study shows frozen platelets are safe and effective it will change the way blood is stored worldwide, and make transfusions possible in the many small hospitals that currently have no platelet blood bank."

“Freezing platelets extends their shelf life from seven days to between two and four years which would make them available in both military hospitals and small to medium sized civilian hospitals.” he said.

"Both defence and the civilian community would benefit enormously if frozen platelets could be introduced into widespread practice."

The success of the HRC grant will mean that the trial can be completed within budget and on time with the additional NZ hospitals recruiting to the trial.

For more info, visit the trial webpage.

Last updated 12:24 6.04.2023