Press Release Details

Cerus U.S. Phase 3 Trial of Platelet Pathogen Inactivation System Moves Forward on Monitoring Board Report

August, 17 2000

CONCORD, Calif., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ --

Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq: CERS) today announced that it has received clearance from an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board to continue its U.S. Phase 3 clinical trial of the Intercept(TM) Platelet System, designed to protect against the transmission of infectious diseases through platelet transfusions. The company, in collaboration with Baxter Healthcare Corporation, is developing the Intercept Blood Systems for inactivating viruses, bacteria and other pathogens in transfusion blood products. The Intercept Platelet System is the only pathogen inactivation system for platelets to enter human clinical trials.

The scheduled review by the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) is intended to provide an independent evaluation of study data to identify potential safety or efficacy issues that might warrant modification or early termination of ongoing studies. The DSMB reviewed study data from the first 200 patients who received platelets as part of the 600 patient U.S. Phase 3 trial. The study data included information on the ability of platelets treated with the Intercept system to control bleeding-the primary endpoint for the clinical study. This was the second DSMB review of Cerus' interim data from the U.S. trial. Cerus and Baxter also have completed a 100-patient European Phase 3 trial of the Intercept Platelet System.

"This DSMB report included the review of safety issues and the incidence of bleeding in two treatment groups and included the largest set of data analyzed thus far in the development of the Intercept Blood Systems," said Dr. Laurence Corash, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Cerus. "We are pleased that the DSMB once again concurred with the continuation of our Phase 3 platelet trials."

An estimated four million units of platelets are transfused annually worldwide to prevent bleeding in a broad range of patients, including those undergoing cancer therapy and surgical procedures.

Cerus and Baxter are also currently conducting a Phase 3 clinical trial of the Intercept Plasma System and are in Phase 1 clinical trials of the Intercept Red Blood Cell System.

About Cerus

Cerus Corporation is developing systems to enhance the safety of the world's blood supply. These systems are based on Cerus' Helinx technology, which has the ability to prevent the replication of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens and to control cellular proliferation. The Concord, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company is currently conducting the first human clinical trials of pathogen-inactivated platelets, as well as clinical trials of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and red blood cells, in collaboration with Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

About Baxter

Baxter is a global medical products and services company that provides critical therapies for people with life-threatening conditions. The company's products and services in bioscience (biopharmaceuticals and blood collection, separation and storage devices), medication delivery and renal therapy are used by health-care providers and their patients more than 100 countries.

Helinx is a trademark of Cerus Corporation.

Intercept is a trademark of Baxter International, Inc.

Statements in this news release regarding product development and 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 clinical trials, action by regulatory authorities, the uncertainty of market acceptance of any products, competitive conditions, the uncertainty of future financing and other factors discussed in the companies' 1999 Annual Reports on Form 10-K.

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