Contributor Since 2010
Cerus, a biomedical products company, and New York Blood Center (NYBC), one of the country's largest nonprofit, community-based blood centers, announced they have entered into a research collaboration. The two entities will join forces to explore the potential for creating a red blood cell (RBC) biologic product that has improved uniformity compared to a standard unit of red blood cells.
Since RBC units are currently prepared from a single blood donation, there can be significant differences in the volume and hemoglobin content of individual units due to broad variability across the population of blood donors. The collaboration between Cerus and NYBC will explore whether small- to medium-scale pooling of RBC units can result in a product with more consistent characteristics - at the same time maintaining compatibility with major and most minor blood group antigens. Cerus' INTERCEPT Blood System red cell pathogen inactivation process will be included as a step in the preparation of the novel red cell product, providing heightened protection against transfusion-transmitted disease. The use of advanced RBC storage solutions will also be explored for extending storage time and optimizing characteristics of the stored red cells.
The ultimate aim of the collaboration is providing a better, safer, and more uniform method of treating patients with anemia. Under the collaboration agreement terms, both organizations will support their own research effort costs. The commercialization terms for the end product will be negotiated once proof of principle has been established.
The Cerus INTERCEPT pathogen inactivation system has been designed to minimize the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections through inactivation of a wide range of pathogens, such as the viruses, bacteria and parasites that can be present in donated blood. The system has been approved in Europe for treating platelets and plasma and is being used by more than 100 blood centers in Europe, CIS, and the Middle East. Under development to treat individual RBC units, the INTERCEPT red cell system is scheduled to begin phase III trials in Europe later this year. The collaboration between Cerus and NYBC marks a new application for INTERCEPT technology - applying the pathogen inactivation treatment process to the novel red cell biologic product in development.
Cerus Corporation is a biomedical products company currently focused on commercializing the INTERCEPT Blood System, which Cerus presently markets and sells for both platelets and plasma in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East, and selected countries in other regions across the globe.
For more information, visit www.cerus.com
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