CONCORD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq: CERS) announced today that Health Canada has approved the commercialization of INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets. The INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets is intended for the ex vivo treatment and storage of platelet components. The system is used to inactivate a broad range of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and protozoan parasites, thus reducing the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections (TTI). Contaminating donor leukocytes are also inactivated by the INTERCEPT treatment, reducing the risk of transfusion-associated graft versus host disease (TA-GVHD). Health Canada’s approval of INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets is the Company’s second pathogen inactivated system to be approved in Canada following the approval of INTERCEPT Plasma in May 2016.
“The approval marks another important step in our mission to establish INTERCEPT as the global standard of care for transfused blood components,” said Carol Moore, senior vice president of regulatory affairs and quality at Cerus. “INTERCEPT provides an important, proactive safety measure to reduce the risk of transfusion transmitted infections from known and emerging pathogens.”
“The approval provides blood centers the flexibility to pathogen inactivate platelets derived from whole blood or apheresis collections, and stored in either platelet additive solution or plasma. In addition, Canadian blood centers will be able to create larger platelet pools from whole blood collections and use our double dose INTERCEPT kits to yield two therapeutic platelet doses to realize improved operational efficiencies and economics,” continued Moore.
Approximately 150,000 units of platelets are shipped annually in Canada.
The Canadian Blood System is comprised primarily of two provincially funded agencies, Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec. The organizations were formed in 1998 as a result of the Krever Commission’s recommendation to create a new national blood authority. Canadian Blood Services operates in nine provinces and all three territories, schedules more than 18,000 collection events annually through permanent and mobile collection sites, and operates two blood testing facilities and nine manufacturing sites. Héma-Québec operates in Quebec with two blood collection sites.
The expert panel at the 2007 Canadian Consensus Conference on Pathogen Inactivation of blood components recommended universal implementation of pathogen inactivation upon the technology’s availability.
Cerus Corporation is a biomedical products company focused in the field of blood transfusion safety. The INTERCEPT Blood System is designed to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections by inactivating a broad range of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites that may be present in donated blood. The nucleic acid targeting mechanism of action of the INTERCEPT treatment is designed to inactivate established transfusion threats, such as hepatitis B and C, HIV, West Nile virus and bacteria, as well as emerging pathogens such as chikungunya, malaria and dengue. Cerus currently markets and sells the INTERCEPT Blood System for both platelets and plasma in the United States, Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and selected countries in other regions around the world. The INTERCEPT Red Blood Cell system is in clinical development. See http://www.cerus.com for information about Cerus.
INTERCEPT and the INTERCEPT Blood System are trademarks of Cerus Corporation.