Cerus expands Intercept blood product line with new set for platelets

23 April 2009

Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ:CERS) has received CE mark approval for a new configuration of its INTERCEPT Blood System, allowing a single treatment procedure to produce two pathogen inactivated platelet units for transfusion. Use of the new double-dose platelet set will significantly decrease blood centre cost and labour associated with production of INTERCEPT platelets.

“Cerus is committed to offering an inactivation treatment that is not only highly effective against pathogens, but also cost-effective and user-friendly for blood centers,” said Claes Glassell, president and CEO of Cerus Corporation. “We believe that INTERCEPT pathogen inactivation is already an affordable solution for improved blood safety. The further cost-savings resulting from the double-dose platelet processing set will make INTERCEPT an even more attractive choice compared to alternative blood safety technologies such as bacterial detection.”

The double-dose platelet processing set facilitates economical treatment and storage of double-dose platelet collections, which are estimated to account for approximately half of European apheresis platelet collections, and for the majority (60 – 100%) of apheresis collections in key markets such as Germany, UK, Ireland, Switzerland and the United States.

Double-dose procedures help blood centers maximize yield from their donor pools and reduce their operating costs by collecting the equivalent of two platelet doses during a single donation. The new platelet set can also be used to treat double-dose units prepared from whole blood-derived platelet pools.

Bacterial contamination of platelets is the most frequent transfusion-transmitted infection, with an estimated contamination rate of approximately one in 2000 platelet units. Platelet recipients often receive multiple transfusions, potentially increasing a patient’s risk of receiving contaminated platelets to one in several hundred.

Though other blood components may also harbour bacteria, platelets carry special risk due to room-temperature storage that allows bacteria to multiply in the interval between collection and transfusion. The INTERCEPT Blood System inactivates high levels of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, as well as providing protection against a broad range of other transfusion-transmitted pathogens and also white blood cells.

About the intercept blood system

The INTERCEPT Blood System is designed to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted diseases by inactivating a broad range of known and emerging pathogens, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, as well as harmful white blood cells that may be present in donated blood intended for transfusion.

The system inactivates pathogens using a proprietary illumination device, process and active compound. The INTERCEPT Blood System is designed for easy integration with routine blood center operations, and treated platelets are approved for storage up to seven days according to local guidelines.

 The INTERCEPT Blood System has received CE mark approvals for both the platelet and plasma systems, and may replace gamma irradiation for protection against transfusion-associated graft-vs.-host disease. The INTERCEPT Blood System has customers in 18 countries.

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