Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq: CERS) announced today that the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) Working Party on Global Blood Safety issued a new document titled "Points to consider in the preparation and transfusion of COVID-19 convalescent plasma." The document was authored by Dr. Jay Epstein and Dr. Thierry Burnouf, two key opinion leaders in the field of transfusion medicine.
"Convalescent plasma has emerged as a promising potential therapeutic to treat acutely ill COVID-19 patients," said Dr. Laurence Corash, Cerus’ chief scientific officer. "These just issued recommendations by the ISBT Working Party on Global Blood Safety provide a framework for institutions involved in collecting, manufacturing, and transfusing COVID-19 convalescent plasma. We applaud the issuance of these recommendations which should help assist blood centers and hospitals in delivering this new treatment to patients and the inclusion of pathogen reduction as an important step in ensuring the safety and availability of this important therapy for patients."
The document indicates that following the donation of the convalescent plasma, the use of a licensed pathogen inactivation technology is "highly desirable" to reduce the risk of transfusion transmitted infections and alleviate concerns about "possible superinfections with SARS-CoV-2". Importantly, with the use of INTERCEPT, blood centers and hospitals may have the ability to access convalescent donors earlier post the resolution of their disease, which could increase the overall availability of donor convalescent plasma during the coming weeks.
"Given ISBT’s recommendation to transfuse convalescent plasma from at least two donors, to potentially achieve a more effective immune protection due to the diversity of antibodies, we believe pathogen reduction can play an important role in minimizing the risk of transfusion transmitted infections," continued Dr. Corash.
The complete document can be referenced on the ISBT website at the following URL. http://isbtweb.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Points_to_consider_in_the_preparation_of_COVID_convalescent_plasma_-_200331_ISBT_WP_GBS_Final.pdf
ABOUT CONVALESCENT PLASMA:
Passive immunity has been demonstrated effective for treatment of infections caused by cytomegalovirus (CMV), hepatitis B virus, rabies, tetanus, varicella, prior SARS viruses, Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever, and various other illnesses. Convalescent plasma has been cited as a potential therapy for viral infection dating back to the 1918 Spanish influenza A (H1N1) pandemic. Since that time, convalescent plasma as passive immune therapy has been evaluated in the treatment of: Ebola, SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1), Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever, CMV, Parvovirus B19, and others. Two preliminary clinical series from China reported that transfusion of COVID-19 convalescent plasma resulted in improved clinical status for patients requiring mechanical ventilation (Shen, Wang et al. 2020) and significant improvement in clinical symptoms, blood oxygen saturation, and clearance of SARS-CoV-2 virus (Duan, Liu et al. 2020). The transfusions were well tolerated in both studies. Use of convalescent plasma is supported by a February 2020 WHO report which states "The cellular infectivity of the isolated viruses could be completely neutralized by the sera collected from convalescent patients." [Source: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf ]
Cerus Corporation is dedicated solely to safeguarding the world’s blood supply and aims to become the preeminent global blood products company. Based in Concord, California, our employees are dedicated to deploying and supplying vital technologies and pathogen-protected blood components for blood centers, hospitals and ultimately patients who rely on safe blood. With the INTERCEPT Blood System, we are focused on protecting patients by delivering the full complement of reliable products and expertise for transfusion medicine. Cerus develops and markets the INTERCEPT Blood System, and remains the only company in the blood transfusion space to earn both CE Mark and FDA approval for pathogen reduction of both platelet and plasma components. Cerus currently markets and sells the INTERCEPT Blood System 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. 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.
Tim Lee – Investor Relations Director