ProMetic, The American Red Cross and Macopharma to Market the First Product for the Selective Adsorption of Prions out From Blood and Blood Derivatives

    Cambridge, England, Montreal, Canada. Washington D.c. and Lille, France (ots/PRNewswire) -

    - Initial European Roll out Planned for 2005

    - Strategic Alliance to Include Development of Filters for Viruses

    - MacoPharma to Market and Distribute the Products

    - Financial Arrangement Based on Revenue Sharing

    Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc. (PRDT), the joint venture company of ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI) and the American Red Cross, announced today the formation of a strategic alliance with MacoPharma, one of the largest distributors of blood collection bag sets with complementary expertise and technologies, to market and further develop products for the selective adsorption of pathogens (prions and viruses) out from blood and blood-derived products.

    The first product addressing prions is targeted to be launched in 2005 in Europe. Over the next few months the parties will be working on the implementation of their commercial strategy, in order to provide the first commercially available prion filter for red blood cells. The parties will also finalise the last remaining steps in anticipation of the launch.

    "PRDT's technology is an innovative breakthrough for the blood industry and our market position in Europe will be consolidated," said Hervé Dubly President, of MacoPharma. "We look forward to penetrating other key markets with this highly-visible product and leveraging our own expertise with the development of additional products with PRDT, for the benefit of patients," added Mr. Dubly.

    PRDT's prion removal ligands are the sole products that specifically address the selective adsorption of infectious prion proteins. The product has been successful in recent preliminary studies and is proceeding on schedule for its expected launch in 2005.

    "This strategic alliance capitalises on the strengths of the parties and will accelerate the development and commercialisation of this urgently-needed first product, to be followed by next-generation devices" said Pierre Laurin, President and CEO of ProMetic Life Sciences. "MacoPharma and PRDT will combine unique and proprietary technologies, share in the development costs and in the revenues of additional filters."

    This announcement follows a series of achievements by PRDT scientists, who recently confirmed that they had identified lead ligands capable of specifically targeting certain types of viruses that remain a challenge to the blood industry. The forthcoming product line extension might ultimately target viruses, by the on-site filtration of donor blood supplies in blood transfusion centres, to reduce the potential risk of transmission of different types of viruses such as West Nile Virus and Hepatitis C (flavivirus and parvovirus families respectively).

    Over 40 million blood units are collected annually and therefore, filters designed to reduce the risk of transmitting prions and viruses via blood transfusion, represent a significant market for the parties.

    "PRDT's pathogen products are designed to assist blood transfusion services around the world in maintaining the safety of blood and blood-derived products by targeting prions and hopefully viruses in the future" stated Christopher Lamb, Senior Vice President, American Red Cross, Plasma Services. "Safety of the blood supply is a top priority for the Red Cross", added Mr. Lamb.

    Further information about this release is available at:

    More about PRDT

    Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc. is specialised in bringing to market breakthrough solutions in the field of pathogens reduction from blood, blood derivatives, biological, food and cosmetic products and environmental components. Geared towards targeting unmet medical needs worldwide and assuring the continued safety of consumables, PRDT is building a vast portfolio of different products based on the technology and expertise of its core team, its founders and partners: the American Red Cross and ProMetic Life Sciences.

    More about MacoPharma

    MacoPharma is an innovator in global healthcare with expertise in the fields of Transfusion and Infusion. They have become the largest supplier of in-line leucoreduction filtration sets in Europe and are expanding their efforts into the Cellular Therapy field by developing products for cell expansion, in addition to cell/organ processing and freezing. Headquartered in the Lille Metropolitan area (France), MacoPharma has three Manufacturing facilities in Europe and their products are sold in more than 55 countries worldwide. One of MacoPharma's aims is to provide a comprehensive range for the pathogen reduction in Plasma, Platelets and Red cells. This is consistent with the MacoPharma Product Development Strategy of the continuous quest, through partnerships, for improved safety, efficacy, and quality of Transfusion, Infusion and Cellular Therapy.

    More about the American Red Cross

    The American Red Cross provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply (collecting more than 6 million units a year from volunteer donors) to patients in 3,000 hospitals across the country through its national network. Every two seconds, someone in America needs blood. The Red Cross must collect blood donations each and every day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients and children with blood disorders, and the organisation works to accomplish this through its 36 Blood Services regions. Please call today to make your appointment to give the gift of life. Call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE to schedule your donation or to sponsor a blood drive. Marsha J. Evans is the President and CEO of the American Red Cross.

    More about ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

    ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company specialised in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of a variety of commercial applications from its proprietary platform technologies, which are used in the development of therapeutics, large-scale purification of biologics and the elimination of pathogens/viruses. Headquartered in Montreal (Canada), ProMetic has additional facilities in the UK and the USA.

    This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to the ability of the partners to develop, manufacture, and successfully commercialise value- added products and to obtain contracts for its products and services and commercial acceptance of their products. Shareholders are cautioned that these statements are predictions and these actual events or results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements.

Im Internet recherchierbar:

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.: Media inquiries: Dominic Sicotte,
President, Echoes Media Relations Inc., +1-514-842-9551,
Analysts & Investor inquiries: Nicole Blanchard, President, Sun
International Communications, +1-450-627-6600,; Renmark Financial Communications:
Investors Relations - Brokers, John Boidman, +1-514-939-3989,,; Beattie
Financial Investor Relations: Ursula Delaney, +44-207-398-3307,; MacoPharma: Iwona Walicka, Strategic
Marketing, +33-320-11-8531,

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