Press Release Details

Cerus Receives $800,000 NIH Grant for Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant Research

October, 05 1999
Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq: CERS) announced today that it has been awarded an $800,000 federal grant to be administered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research relating to its allogeneic cellular immune therapy (ACIT) program. The company's ACIT research is being performed to develop systems to improve the outcomes of bone marrow transplantation procedures.

The grant will provide funding over three years for pre-clinical research relating to the use of Cerus' proprietary technologies in conjunction with bone marrow transplantation as a treatment for blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia. The studies will be performed at Cerus' laboratory facilities, as well as at two other medical research institutions, Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital Oakland.

“This grant will enable us to expand the development of our ACIT technology and explore new areas in which bone marrow transplantation may be an effective therapy,” said Cerus Vice President of New Science Opportunities John Hearst, Ph.D. “We hope our technology can reduce the associated risks to the point where transplantation therapy can be an option.”

“John and his group continue to actively investigate new applications for our S-59 technology,” said Cerus President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Isaacs. “Although in the early stages, this pre-clinical research with the NIH will help strengthen the foundation of Cerus' ACIT program.”

The Cerus ACIT program is based on the company's proprietary light-activated psoralen compound, S-59. This compound has been developed to target and prevent the replication of DNA and RNA, which are required for cellular replication. The company is currently conducting a Phase 1 clinical trial in leukemia patients receiving allogeneic bone marrow transplants.

Cerus Corporation is also developing proprietary systems to improve the safety of blood products through the inactivation of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. Programs for platelets, plasma and red blood cells intended for transfusion are currently in clinical trials. Cerus is also developing a system to treat source plasma prior to fractionation into various plasma products. Cerus has collaboration agreements with Baxter Healthcare and the Consortium for Plasma Science.

Statements in this news release regarding product development and pre-clinical development are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from the above forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including the uncertainty of the timing and results of any animal studies and clinical trials, regulation by the FDA, the uncertainty of replication of animal data in humans, the uncertainty of market acceptance of any products, competitive conditions, the uncertainty of future financing and other factors discussed in the company's 1998 Annual Report on Form 10-K.

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