Press Release Details

Cerus Corporation Receives Broad U.S. Patent Covering Pathogen Inactivation in Blood

January, 23 2001
Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq: CERS) today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent to Cerus which broadly expands its patent coverage for nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) binding methods for inactivating viruses, bacteria, and parasites in blood or blood components intended for transfusion. The patent, number 6,171,777, covers the use of a wide category of compounds that target DNA or RNA, as well as the therapeutic use of pathogen inactivated blood or blood components prepared using nucleic acid binding methods.

"We believe the use of compounds that target DNA or RNA is the most efficient method of inactivating pathogens in blood products, which is why we are developing our nucleic acid binding Helinx technology," said Stephen T. Isaacs, president and chief executive officer of Cerus. "This patent not only protects our own scientific know-how and methods, but also strengthens our proprietary position for the use of a wide variety of nucleic acid binding compounds in the field of pathogen inactivation in platelets, plasma and red blood cells. This patent reinforces Cerus' lead position in the general field of nucleic acid-based pathogen inactivation technology and will be a significant barrier to competitive approaches which target nucleic acid wtih similar compounds.

Cerus' patent portfolio consists of over 60 issued and pending patents covering methods and compositions relating to pathogen inactivation of blood and blood products. In November, the company received a patent covering methods of using specific compounds that bind with DNA or RNA of pathogens to block their replication in red blood cells. The latest patent extends to a broad spectrum of compounds that bind to DNA or RNA to prevent pathogen replication.


Cerus Corporation is developing medical systems and therapeutics based on the company's proprietary Helinx technology for inactivating disease-causing agents. Helinx is desinged 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 Interecept 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.

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)

Statements in this news release regarding patent protection, regulatory process and 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, actions by regulatory authorities, the uncertainty concerning the enforceability of patents and the affect of patent rights of third parties, the uncertainty of market acceptance of any products or competitive conditions, and other factors discussed in the companies' 1999 Annual Report on Form 10-K and Cerus' Prospectus dated November 1, 2000.

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