Cerus Corp. (NSDQ: CERS) said this week that the American Red Cross inked a multi-year purchase agreement for its Intercept blood system designed to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections in blood plasma and platelets.
The American Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood products in the U.S., collecting and processing approximately 40% of the blood supply, according to Cerus.
“The Red Cross is dedicated to blood safety vigilance including pathogen reduction. The Intercept Blood System will serve as an intervention to protect patients against infection from emerging and potentially unknown blood-borne viruses, bacteria and parasites,” Red Cross biomedical services veep Dr. Susan Stramer said in a press release.
The Intercept blood system uses ultraviolet light and a chemical called amotosalen to inactivate viral pathogens in the blood. The plasma is then purified to remove the chemical and its byproducts.
“This agreement with the Red Cross represents a pivotal step toward making Intercept-treated components available to a majority of patients throughout the U.S. Working closely with the Red Cross as part of the TRUE study in Puerto Rico has provided both organizations with important operational experience that we will be able to leverage as the Intercept Blood System is broadly deployed at Red Cross sites nationally,” Cerus CEO William Greenman said in prepared remarks.
Cerus won FDA approval for the Intercept blood system in December 2014.