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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
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
"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
"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
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.


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,