Press Release Details

Cerus Corporation Announces Transition of John Hearst

December, 20 2004

CONCORD, Calif. -- Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq:CERS) today announced that John Hearst, Ph.D., D.Sc., vice president, new science opportunities, will transition into a consulting role for the company effective January, 2005. Dr. Hearst was a co-founder of Cerus and served as a member of the board of directors from September 1991 to January 2003. In his capacity as a consultant, Dr. Hearst will continue to manage several ongoing grant-supported studies investigating new applications of Cerus' Helinx technology.

"I would like to thank John for over 12 years of outstanding contributions to Cerus," said Claes Glassell, president and CEO of Cerus Corporation. "The photochemistry which forms the basis for Helinx technology was originally created in John's laboratory at University of California at Berkeley, and many of our scientists were trained by John prior to joining Cerus. John's scientific leadership and connections throughout the global scientific community have been instrumental in moving our programs forward and finding potential new partners such as BioOne. We look forward to continuing our relationship with John as he transitions into this new role."

In addition to his consulting relationship with Cerus, Dr. Hearst is an emeritus professor at UC-Berkeley, and he retains the position of faculty chemist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He plans to continue his activities in biochemistry, cell biology and biotechnology consulting.

ABOUT CERUS

Cerus Corporation is developing novel technologies to provide safer and more effective therapeutic options to patients in areas with substantial unmet medical needs, particularly within the fields of cancer, infectious disease and blood safety. The Concord, California-based company is combining its proprietary vector technologies with public domain and proprietary antigens to develop new therapies for cancer and infectious disease. Cerus has two therapeutic cancer vaccine products in development using its Listeria vector technology, one in collaboration with MedImmune, Inc. and the other with Johns Hopkins University. Cerus also is collaborating with subsidiaries of Baxter International Inc. on the INTERCEPT Blood System, which is being developed to enhance the safety of donated blood components by inactivating viruses, bacteria and other pathogens. The INTERCEPT Blood System is based on the company's Helinx technology for controlling biological replication. The INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets is approved for use in the European Union, and is being developed for commercialization in Japan and certain other Asian countries by BioOne Corporation.

Helinx is a trademark of Cerus Corporation

Baxter and INTERCEPT are trademarks of Baxter International Inc.

Statements in this news release regarding potential efficacy of products, product development and commercial 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 risks and uncertainties inherent in developing biotechnology products based on new technologies, the timing and results of clinical trials and other development activities, actions by regulatory authorities at any stage of the development process, additional financing activities, manufacturing, market acceptance of any products, competitive conditions, long term growth opportunity of Cerus, legal proceedings, actions by collaborators and other factors discussed in the company's Form 10-Q for the third quarter of fiscal 2004, as well as in other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

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