In case of serious injuries, the first hour is considered the ‘golden hour’, within which it is critical that the victim has access to basic medical care. However, in most cases victims do not have access to such care, and very often, they bleed to death. And by the time they reach the hospital it is too late.
A similar accident back in 2006, inspired Leo Mavely to create a product that could stop high pressure bleeding. “I did some research, and didn’t find any product in India that stopped such bleeding. First responders only used gauze with high pressure, which is not enough for severe accidents,” Leo said.
To address that, Leo founded Axio Biosolutions in 2008 as a part of incubator NirmaLabs to develop a product that can immediately stop bleeding, thus giving the victim a much higher chance of survival.
After getting the required clearance to build the product for the Indian market, Axio launched its flagship product, the Axiostat–a smart bandage that can stop profuse bleeding within just 2-3 minutes, right at the interventional stage.
The smart bandage
Axiostat is a sponge-like dressing made using a biomaterial platform based on 100% chitosan technology that works on charge interactions between negatively charged blood components and positively charged Axiostat. Chitosan is a natural biomaterial that is modified for medical application.
So the moment Axiostat is applied to an open wound, it reacts with the blood and becomes a very sticky substance that clots the blood and stops the bleeding. Axiostat can be kept on the wound for 24 hours. Once the patient is taken to the hospital and receives medical attention, Axiostat can be removed by just applying water. It absorbs the water to become a gel like substance that can be easily peeled off the wound.
For an end consumer, Axiostat is a ready-to-use product that can be cut into different sizes to suit the wound. The idea was to create a product that can even be used by someone with no medical knowledge.
Nursing wounds across the world
Since its launch, Axio Biosolutions has been a B2B model and has been catering to the military, emergency, cardiovascular and dental segments.
The biggest use of Axiostat has been in the military segment. “Axiostat has also had a major impact on the Indian Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces. Almost 50% of the soldiers die due to uncontrollable bleeding, and about 30% of these deaths are preventable. This variant stops profuse bleeding and is capable of being folded and stuffed into deep bullet and blast wounds,” Leo says.
Axiostat has become the standard suppliers for the Indian Armed Forces. It has supplied 25,000 to 40,000 units to the Indian armed forces across 75 battalions.
Additionally, it is being used by defence forces, paramilitary forces and armies across India, the Middle-East and Europe. It was also used in the Russia-Ukraine war front in 2014.
The emergency variant is used in ambulances, road accidents and trauma centres. It stops moderate to severe bleeding due to cuts, abrasions, lacerations, and venous or arterial bleeding.
The vascular variant can be used to stop bleeding during vascular procedures, where bleeding can be stopped within five minutes compared to traditional compression methods that can take up to 30-40 minutes.
And the final variant is the dental one, which is its smallest product designed to optimally fit into a bleeding cavity and control severe bleeding during dental procedures.
The pricing differs for every segment but the per-unit cost varies from Rs 75 for the dental variant to Rs 3,000 for the military variant.
While there are three to four other companies across the world making products that control profuse bleeding, Axio Biosolutions is the only one in India. The company claims to be growing at 300% every year and is set to double this figure by next year.
Axiostat is available across eight states in India and 12 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa. So far, it has sold around 200,000 units across the world
In India, apart from the Indian army, its clientele includes government and private hospitals such as Apollo, St John’s, Manipal, Breach Candy and Fortis.
The road ahead
Going forward, Axio plans to target every field where there are frequent bleeding hazards. In fact, it is in the process of launching 'ASK'- Advanced Stop- bleeding Kit that will cater to the industrial segment where deaths due to machine injuries are common. It also plans on introducing it in schools
“We don’t want to limit ourselves to hospitals and battlefields, we aim to focus on factories, mines and even households at some point. Axiostat is equipped to tackle any situation that involves profuse bleeding, be it accidents in school, where a child is hurt from falling off a jungle gym or where workers are injured in manual labour professions. Our goal is to bring Axiostat in everyone’s first aid kit, and the sole product to be used to stop bleeding,” Leo says.
It also has plans of entering the B2C segment where it might introduce the product in pharmacies abroad first as the price points are much more attractive. Leo says that in India, there will be an inevitable direct comparison with the low-priced Band-Aids, which made the company stick to B2B.
In the next five years, Axio plans to build the brand in a way so as to hit the market with an IPO.