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Baxter and Cerus Enter Agreement with Asian Partner for Commercialization of Intercept Blood System for Platelets - Agreement to Help Address the Need for a Safer Blood Supply in Asia
DEERFIELD, Ill., and CONCORD, Calif. (ots) - Subsidiaries of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX) and Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement with BioOne Corporation for commercialization of the INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets in parts of Asia. The INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets is designed to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted diseases by inactivating certain pathogens that may be present in donated platelets, such as bacteria, HIV and the hepatitis C virus, as well as potential emerging and migrating pathogens including West Nile Virus, SARS and malaria. The technology is approved for use in Europe for platelets, with blood centers in several European countries applying the INTERCEPT technology to provide an additional layer of safety to their platelet supply.
Under the terms of the agreement, BioOne, headquartered in Tokyo, will market and distribute the INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets in Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore, following their receipt of regulatory approval in each of those countries. The agreement is subject to approval by the shareholders of BioOne following completion of an independent appraisal of the transaction in accordance with Japanese law. "Patients remain at risk for transfusion-transmitted diseases despite the introduction of blood donor screening and advanced testing measures. This is evident through recent reports of patients receiving the Hepatitis B virus, HIV as well as bacteria-related sepsis through blood transfusions in certain parts of Asia," said Dr. Akihiro Shimosaka, president and chief executive officer for BioOne. "We welcome the opportunity to address this critical patient safety need by partnering with Baxter and Cerus to offer a pathogen inactivation system for platelets as a solution for a safer blood supply in Asia."
More than one million platelet transfusions are performed annually in the Asian territory covered by the agreement. Platelets support blood clotting, which helps to prevent or stop bleeding, and are usually transfused to patients undergoing chemotherapy, heart bypass surgery and other major surgical procedures.
"Through this agreement, we are advancing toward our goal of
global availability of the INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets and
helping to further enhance the safety of the blood supply for
patients worldwide," said Claes Glassell, president and chief
executive officer, Cerus Corporation.
- Under the terms of the agreement, Baxter and Cerus each received
an up-front payment of $2.5 million. Each company will receive
an additional $7.5 million upon approval by BioOne shareholders,
as well as contingent milestone payments and royalties on future
product sales. In connection with this agreement, Cerus has
also made an approximate $1.2 million dollar equity investment
- BioOne was formed with the mission of improving the safety of
blood products in Asia. The founder, Dr. Akihiro Shimosaka, was
formerly head of licensing for Kirin Pharmaceuticals and was
instrumental in the formation and management of the highly
successful Kirin-Amgen joint venture, which developed and
commercialized EPO and G-CSF in Asia. BioOne is being funded by
equity investments from major Japanese venture capital firms and
Cerus Corporation is collaborating with subsidiaries of Baxter International Inc. on the INTERCEPT Blood System, designed to enhance the safety of the world's blood supply by inactivating viruses, bacteria, other pathogens and white blood cells. The INTERCEPT Blood System is based on the company's Helinx technology for controlling biological replication. The Concord, California-based company is also pursuing a novel therapeutic vaccine platform to harness the power of the immune system against cancer and infectious disease. In collaboration with MedImmune, Inc., Cerus is developing a therapeutic vaccine designed to target antigens expressed in breast, prostate and colon cancer, as well as metastatic melanoma. About Baxter
Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, assists health-care professionals and their patients with the treatment of complex medical conditions, including cancer, hemophilia, immune disorders, kidney disease and trauma. The company applies its expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to make a meaningful difference in patients'lives.
Baxter and INTERCEPT are trademarks of Baxter International Inc. Helinx is a trademark of Cerus Corporation
Statements in this news release regarding potential future payments under the agreement and fulfillment of contractual commitments, as well as statements concerning potential efficacy and safety of products, potential regulatory approvals and product development and commercialization are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from the above forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including the risks and uncertainties concerning the appraisal procedure, BioOne shareholder approval and the limited resources of BioOne and risks and uncertainties related to the timing and results of clinical trials and other development activities, the acceptability of any data by regulatory authorities, actions by regulatory authorities at any stage of the development process, manufacturing, market acceptance of any products, competitive conditions and other factors discussed in each company's most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Cerus' Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2004.
ots Originaltext: Baxter International Inc.
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