Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) announced today that the German Red Cross in the Baden-Württemberg–Hessen region (DRK Frankfurt) has agreed to collaborate in the development of the company’s INTERCEPT Blood System for red blood cells. Terms of the agreement call for the DRK Frankfurt to invest both expertise and personnel in support of commercial system design, commercial system validation, and activities directed toward German regulatory approval. In return, the agreement provides for DRK Frankfurt to receive royalties on potential sales of the INTERCEPT red blood cell system in Europe.
The collaboration provides Cerus with direct access to DRK Frankfurt’s scientific and operational expertise in relevant areas. The contract commits resources from the DRK Frankfurt to support the development of the commercial product and design of a system compatible with blood processing procedures in Europe. Under the agreement, the two organizations will also work together on planning for Phase 3 and Phase 4 clinical trials of the red blood cell system in Europe.
“Cerus is pleased that the largest region of the German Red Cross is committed to developing the INTERCEPT red blood cell system,” said Claes Glassell, president and CEO of Cerus Corporation. “This collaboration reflects DRK Frankfurt’s recognition of the importance of pathogen inactivation and the merits of the INTERCEPT Blood System. The collaboration will help guide the development of the INTERCEPT red blood cell system to meet the operational and validation requirements in large blood centers.”
As a leading reference center for transfusion medicine globally, the DRK Frankfurt actively collaborates with transfusion medicine professionals within Germany and around the world, sharing with them data on best practices in blood banking. The DRK Frankfurt collects and processes 1.2 million units of red blood cells annually and has a research group that has conducted translational research in transfusion medicine for many years.
Cerus Corporation is a biomedical products company focused on commercializing the INTERCEPT Blood System to enhance blood safety. The INTERCEPT Blood System is designed to inactivate blood-borne pathogens in donated blood components intended for transfusion. Cerus currently markets the INTERCEPT Blood System for both platelets and plasma in Europe and the Middle East. The company is also pursuing regulatory approvals in the United States and other countries. The INTERCEPT red blood cell system is currently in clinical development.
INTERCEPT and the INTERCEPT Blood System are trademarks of Cerus Corporation.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements concerning the development of a commercial red blood cell system, the conduct and outcome of clinical trials, and the level of resources to be provided by DRK Frankfurt under the collaboration agreement. Actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including, without limitation, risks associated with early termination of the collaboration agreement or failure of the collaboration to attain its goals, as well as other risks detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007, and the quarterly report of Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2008. No pathogen inactivation system has been shown to inactivate all pathogens. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events, changed assumptions or otherwise.
William J. Dawson
Vice President, Finance & CFO
Porter Novelli Life Sciences
Jason I. Spark