CONCORD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq: CERS), a leader in safeguarding the global blood supply, is proud to announce its celebration of this year’s World Blood Donor Day.
World Blood Donor Day, first established by the World Health Organization in 2005, highlights the critical role safe blood and blood products play in treating a wide variety of patients throughout the world and recognizes the donors who help make these products regularly available. As blood centers compete for the time and attention of donors around the globe, the pool of donors remains relatively small. This year’s “Give blood and keep the world beating” campaign reinforces the global call for more people, especially younger demographics, all over the world to donate blood regularly and contribute to better health.
According to the WHO, more than 118.5 million blood donations are collected each year worldwide with 40% collected in high-income countries, which is home to 16% of the global population and typically has an older pool of regular donors.1 In the U.S., only 5% of eligible donors present for donation and among that group, roughly one-fifth are subsequently deferred.2
“World Blood Donor Day is an annual reminder of the teamwork that exists between blood centers and the donors who are so critical in supplying blood products for patients in need around the globe,” stated William ‘Obi’ Greenman, president and chief executive officer of Cerus Corporation. “As we saw over the last year, disruptions in the blood supply create a significant strain on health systems and their patients who rely on these lifesaving therapeutics. At Cerus, we are focused on providing blood centers with an ‘always on’ technology that will protect patients from known and unknown contaminants and expand donor eligibility.”
June 2021 also marks 40 years since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.3 While acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and the underlying human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) would not be defined and fully understood for several more years, this report is widely viewed as the first official description of AIDS.
“The AIDS pandemic was the impetus for Cerus,” stated Dr. Laurence Corash, Cerus’ chief scientific officer and co-founder. “With over 75 million cases and 32 million deaths over the last four decades, HIV/AIDS fundamentally changed medicine, and in particular, transfusion medicine. While the development of testing has helped restore security to the blood supply against HIV/AIDS, in the years since, there have been several other novel pathogens that have emerged. With COVID-19 as the most recent, we are constantly reminded that the blood supply needs protection from a wide range of pathogens, including those that have not yet been identified.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of our everyday lives, but it also had a significant impact on transfusion medicine as blood centers and hospitals faced blood component shortages,” continued Greenman. “This ongoing reminder of the importance blood donors play is cause to celebrate their direct contributions to patients who rely on these lifesaving blood products even amid a pandemic.”
During the month of June, Cerus Corporation is hosting or sponsoring various events to mark these two milestones, including a sponsored in-house blood drive and social media awareness campaign on LinkedIn.
- World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blood-safety-and-availability
- Lennie To, MS, Tyler Dunnington, MS, Christy Thomas, MS., et al. The United States’ potential blood donor pool: updating the prevalence of donor exclusion factors on the pool of potential donors. Transfusion. 2019. doi:10.1111/trf.15573
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Pneumocystis pneumonia—Los Angeles. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1981;30:250–2.PubMed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6265753/]
Cerus Corporation is dedicated solely to safeguarding the world’s blood supply and aims to become the preeminent global blood products company. Headquartered in Concord, California, the company develops and supplies vital technologies and pathogen-protected blood components to blood centers, hospitals, and ultimately patients who rely on safe blood. The INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets and plasma is available globally and remains the only pathogen reduction system with both CE mark and FDA approval for these two blood components. The INTERCEPT red blood cell system is under regulatory review in Europe, and in late-stage clinical development in the US. Also in the US, the INTERCEPT Blood System for Cryoprecipitation is approved for the production of INTERCEPT Fibrinogen Complex, a therapeutic product for the treatment and control of bleeding, including massive hemorrhage, associated with fibrinogen deficiency. For more information about Cerus, visit www.cerus.com and follow us on LinkedIn.
INTERCEPT and the INTERCEPT Blood System are trademarks of Cerus Corporation.