CONCORD, Calif., Aug. 22 (Reuters) - Cerus Corp. (NasdaqNM:CERS
- news), a developer of products to make blood supplies safer,
reported on Tuesday successful results from an advanced patient
safety trial of its system of inactivating pathogens --
including viruses like HIV and hepatitis -- in blood platelets.
The company's proprietary technology uses ultraviolet light to
inactivate blood-borne pathogens while leaving the therapeutic
properties of the blood component intact.
Cerus, along with development partner Baxter Healthcare Corp.
(NYSE:BAX - news), said results of the European Phase 3
clinical trial of the Intercept Platelet System support plans
to apply for regulatory approval to market the system in
Shares of Concord, Calif.-based Cerus were down 3/8 at 55 on
In addition to platelets, blood components for transfusions are
plasma and red blood cells. A spokesman for Cerus said the
company is also developing systems to inactivate pathogens in
those blood components.
Cerus said the 103-patient study showed that the performance of
treated platelets was similar to that of the untreated
platelets. In addition, the platelet count dose per transfusion
and the platelet count increment one hour after transfusion
were within the typical therapeutic range reported in medical
literature for untreated platelets.
The company said the number of patients with a major bleeding
episode and the number of red blood cell transfusions were
comparable for the treated and untreated platelets.
Cerus and Baxter said they are conducting a 600-patient Phase 3
clinical trial of the platelet system in the United States, as
well as a Phase 3 trial of the Intercept Plasma System and
Phase 1 trials of the Intercept Red Blood Cell System.