Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ:CERS) and Ilex BioTech Ltd. announced today that the INTERCEPT Blood System has received regulatory approval in Israel for the treatment of platelets and plasma intended for transfusion. The INTERCEPT Blood System is designed to provide increased protection from a broad range of transfusion-transmitted pathogens, including bacteria and emerging pathogens such as the dengue and chikungunya viruses.
“Ilex has a history of successfully implementing innovative blood safety technology, and we see INTERCEPT as the next logical step to safeguard patients from transfusion-transmitted infections,” said Dr. Moshe Benshaul, chief executive officer of Ilex.
Under an agreement signed last year, Ilex is responsible for sales, deployment and support of the INTERCEPT platelet and plasma systems in Israel and South Africa. Approximately 35,000 platelet units and 75,000 plasma units are collected annually in Israel.
“Ilex’s rapid regulatory progress in Israel shows the value of working with experienced local distribution partners,” said Carol Moore, Cerus’ vice president, regulatory affairs, quality and clinical. “These achievements are also a testament to the extensive INTERCEPT regulatory dossiers and the accumulated clinical trial data from multiple phase 3 studies and routine use in Europe. This has facilitated our approvals in France, Germany and Switzerland and we believe it will continue to be a critical asset as we pursue additional regulatory approvals globally.”ABOUT CERUS Cerus Corporation is a biomedical products company focused on commercializing the INTERCEPT Blood System to enhance blood safety. The INTERCEPT system is designed to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted diseases by inactivating a broad range of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites that may be present in donated blood. The nucleic acid targeting mechanism of action enables INTERCEPT treatment to inactivate established transfusion threats, such as hepatitis B and C, HIV, West Nile virus and bacteria, and is designed to inactivate emerging pathogens such as influenza, malaria and dengue. Cerus currently markets and sells the INTERCEPT Blood System for both platelets and plasma in 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. See http://www.cerus.com for more information. ABOUT ILEX Ilex BioTech is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ilex Medical Ltd., specializing in blood banks and molecular diagnostics. Ilex Medical (since 1977) is a part of Ilex group, which is publicly traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange since 1995 (TASE:ILX). Ilex Medical’s main focus is in in-vitro diagnostics equipment, reagents, laboratory management software, blood bank diagnostic kits, and diagnostic support services to the healthcare establishment in Israel as well as in emerging markets like Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia and CIS. Ilex serves major clients including the Israeli Ministry of Health, all four major Israeli HMOs (serving seven million members), diabetes clinics and medical research institutions, the Israeli Defense Forces Medical Corps, major public and private health organizations in South Africa and blood banks in Israel, South Africa and Russia.
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