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Cerus says study shows safety of platelet system


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 Europe.

Shares of Concord, Calif.-based Cerus were down 3/8 at 55 on Nasdaq.

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.


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Information in this article was accurate in August 22, 2000. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.