Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ:CERS) announced today that it has signed a two-year purchase agreement with two regional Swiss Red Cross Blood Services for deployment of the INTERCEPT Blood System for plasma in Lausanne and Zurich. These two pilot centers supply an estimated 15,000 plasma units annually. "We are committed to providing patients in Switzerland with the highest quality blood components available," said Dr. Beat M. Frey, director of the Swiss Red Cross Blood Service in Zurich. “Considering the escalating threats to the blood supply from emerging infectious agents, we need to adopt proactive measures in addition to the traditional testing strategies in order to maintain transfusion safety. Based on our extensive experience with INTERCEPT platelets, we expect a simple and successful implementation of the INTERCEPT plasma process.” Prof. Jean-Daniel Tissot, chief physician of the Swiss Red Cross Blood Service in Lausanne, added, "The implementation of INTERCEPT for plasma will further safeguard the blood supply, and is the next logical step in the paradigm change of pathogen inactivation for all blood components in the future.” “We are honored that Swiss Red Cross centers in Zurich and Lausanne have chosen INTERCEPT as their pathogen inactivation technology for plasma,” said Caspar Hogeboom, president of Cerus Europe. “We look forward to meeting their high standards and potentially extending the implementation of INTERCEPT plasma to other Swiss Red Cross centers in the future.” The INTERCEPT platelet system is currently used by all 13 Swiss Red Cross blood centers. Switzerland produces approximately 35,000 platelet units and 50,000 plasma units for transfusion annually. To date, the INTERCEPT Blood System is the only technology approved in Switzerland for pathogen inactivation treatment of platelet and plasma components on a single platform. 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. INTERCEPT and the INTERCEPT Blood System are trademarks of Cerus Corporation.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements relating to the number of plasma units that may be treated by the Swiss Red Cross using the INTERCEPT Blood System, the expected implementation schedule for the Swiss Red Cross centers in Zurich and Lausanne and the success thereof, potentially extending the implementation of INTERCEPT plasma to other Swiss Red Cross centers in the future, and other statements related to future pathogen inactivation for blood components. These forward-looking statements are based upon Cerus’ current expectations. Actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including, without limitation, risks associated with demand for the INTERCEPT Blood System, including the risk that its plasma supply agreement with the Swiss Red Cross does not contain minimum purchase requirements and that the volume of purchases may be less than anticipated thereunder, risks respecting Cerus’ ability to meet its supply obligations, risks respecting adverse decisions or actions by regulatory agencies, risks associated with Cerus’ ability to achieve broader market acceptance of its INTERCEPT Blood System products, and other risks detailed in the Cerus' filings with, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including in Cerus' quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, filed with the SEC on November 8, 2012. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Cerus does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events, changed assumptions or otherwise.