Press Release Details

Cerus Corporation Receives $3.5 Million Award to Improve Safety of Blood Supply for U.S. Armed Forces

March, 07 2001

Business Editors/Medical & Government Writers

CONCORD, Calif.--(BW HealthWire)--March 7, 2001

Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq:CERS) today announced that it has been awarded a $3.5 million cooperative agreement by the Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity division of the Department of Defense. Cerus received the award to develop its pathogen inactivation technologies to improve the safety and availability of blood that may be used by the Armed Forces of the United States for medical transfusions.

"This research collaboration is a great opportunity for us to extend the application of our pathogen inactivation technologies to support the blood safety and supply goals of the Armed Forces," said Stephen T. Isaacs, president and chief executive officer of Cerus. "Availability of safe, pathogen inactivated blood components has, for some time, been of critical importance to the medical community and, as evidenced by this grant, is also a priority for the Armed Forces. We appreciate the leadership of Congressman Jerry Lewis, chair of the House Subcommittee on Defense Appropriations, Congressman John Porter, Congressman George Miller, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi for recognizing the importance of this public health issue and for addressing the need to support research in blood safety."

Under the conditions of the cooperative agreement, Cerus will conduct research on the inactivation of infectious pathogens, including unusual viruses, bacteria and parasites, which are of particular concern to the Armed Forces. Cerus, in collaboration with investigators at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, also will investigate innovative ways to improve the storage and shelf life of blood and blood components, which may be used for medical transfusion support in combat zones. Also under the terms of the agreement, Cerus receives commercial rights to the discoveries and inventions arising from the research performed under the collaboration.


Cerus Corporation is developing medical systems and therapeutics based on the company's proprietary Helinx technology for inactivating disease-causing agents. Helinx is designed to target and lock DNA or RNA, and has the ability to prevent the replication of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens and to control cellular proliferation. The company's most advanced programs are focused on systems to enhance the safety of the world's blood supply. These Intercept Blood Systems, based on the Helinx technology, are designed to inactivate viruses, bacteria, other pathogens and white blood cells. The Concord, California-based biopharmaceutical company, in collaboration with its development and commercialization partner Baxter Healthcare Corporation, has submitted a CE Mark Application for marketing approval of the Intercept Platelet System in Europe. In addition, the company is conducting clinical trials of the Intercept Blood Systems in the United States: a Phase III trial for platelets, a Phase III trial for plasma and a Phase Ic trial for red blood cells.

U.S. Army Medical Research

The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 820 Chandler Street, Fort Detrick MD 21702-5014 is the awarding and administering acquisition office of this award number DAMD17-01-2-0007. The content of the information in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Statements in this news release regarding product potential 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 future financing, the uncertainty of future government funding, the uncertainty of market acceptance of any products or competitive conditions, and other factors discussed in the company's 1999 Annual Report on Form 10-K and Cerus' Prospectus dated November 1, 2000.

Note to Editors: Helinx is a trademark of Cerus Corporation Intercept Blood System, Intercept Platelet System, Intercept Plasma System and Intercept Red Blood Cell System are trademarks of Baxter International, Inc. (NYSE:BAX)

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