About Pathogen Inactivation
Pathogen inactivation is a method for treating blood products that inactivates existing or unknown pathogens that may be present in blood components. Cerus’ INTERCEPT Blood System is designed to enhance the safety of donated blood components by inactivating viruses, bacteria, parasites and other pathogens, as well as potentially harmful white blood cells. The INTERCEPT Blood System is based on a simple premise. Platelets, plasma and red blood cells contain no functional DNA or RNA. However, pathogens (bacteria, viruses and parasites) and harmful white blood cells all do. The INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets and plasma uses the small molecule, amotosalen HCl, which penetrates cells and non-specifically targets DNA and RNA in pathogens and leukocytes. Once docked inside DNA and RNA, amotosalen is activated by ultraviolet light to form a chemical crosslink that locks-up the strands of nucleic acid, blocking replication. The INTERCEPT Blood System for red blood cells uses a different molecule (S-303) that forms crosslinks when activated by a change in pH. Pathogens are inactivated by the process and can no longer multiply and cause disease.