Montreal, Québec, Canada, and Lille, France – Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc. (PRDT), a joint venture between ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:PLI.SV) and the American Red Cross, today announced that its endogenous (blood-borne) infectivity study is now completed. Data shows the removal of blood-borne TSE (transmissible spongiform encephalopathy) infectivity from whole blood below the limit of detection of the bioassay. TSEs are fatal brain diseases that include Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or “mad cow disease” in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) in humans.
The results of the study are expected to be published later this year by PRDT. Dr. Robert G. Rohwer, professor at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and Dr. Luisa Gregori, the principal researcher on the study, will be presenting an update at the Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 10th International Conference TSE meeting on March 8, 2006.
The study was co-sponsored by PRDT and its manufacturing and commercial partner, Macopharma, a European industry leader in blood collection systems and transfusion solutions. PRDT’s resin, which is incorporated into the Macopharma prion filter, P-CAPTTM, is the first to demonstrate reduction of TSE prions from whole blood. According to the study results, none of the 100 laboratory animals inoculated with infected whole blood, which had been filtered through devices containing the PRDT resin, developed the disease after 540 days incubation, compared to 14 of the 99 inoculated with unfiltered whole blood.
“This study has very positive implications in the fight against vCJD, the fatal human form of Mad Cow Disease, which is perhaps the greatest emerging threat to the blood supply”, commented Pierre Laurin, President and CEO of ProMetic. “These results also demonstrate what can be achieved with PRDT’s proprietary ligand technology”, he added.
“The P-CAPT TM filter is a crucial step along the path to safeguarding the blood supply”, according to François Bidet, Strategic Marketing Manager of Macopharma, “and the study provides us with an essential tool for product acceptance as we prepare for market launch later this year”.
PRDT is a joint-venture company set up in March 2002 by The American National Red Cross, ProMetic Life Sciences Inc., ProMetic BioSciences Ltd, Dr. Robert G. Rohwer and Dr Ruben G. Carbonell. PRDT allows for a reciprocal exchange of technology and a knowledge base developed between the American Red Cross and ProMetic. PRDT’s main goal is to develop products and devices to remove and detect different pathogens from biological sources. This research augments work that ProMetic, the American Red Cross and PRDT’s scientific founders have been conducting independently for many years.
Macopharma is an innovator in global healthcare with expertise in the fields of transfusion and infusion. The Company has become the largest supplier of in-line leukoreduction filtration sets in Europe and is expanding its efforts into the biotherapy field by developing products for cell expansion, in addition to cell/organ processing and freezing. Headquartered in the Lille metropolitan area (France), Macopharma has four manufacturing facilities in Europe and its products are now sold into more than 150 countries worldwide. One of Macopharma’s aims is to provide a comprehensive range for the reduction of infectious agents in plasma, platelets and red cells. This is conducive with the Macopharma product development strategy of the continuous quest, through partnerships, for improved safety, efficacy, and quality of transfusion, infusion and biotherapy.
About ProMetic Life Sciences
ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI.SV) is a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of a variety of commercial applications derived from its proprietary enabling technology. Mimetic LigandTM technology is used in large-scale purification of biologics and the elimination of pathogens. ProMetic is also active in therapeutic drug development with the mission to bring to market effective, innovative, lower cost, less toxic products for the treatment of inflammation and cancer. ProMetic’s drug discovery activities also aim at replacing complex, expensive proteins with synthetic « drug-like » protein mimetics. Headquartered in Montreal (Canada), ProMetic has R&D and manufacturing facilities in the UK and business development activities in the US, Europe, Asia and countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Additional information is available on the ProMetic’s website Macopharma.prometic.com
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements about ProMetic and PRDT’s objectives, strategies and businesses that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are “forward-looking” because they are based on current expectations about the markets they operate in and on various estimates and assumptions. Actual events or results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks affect their businesses, or if such estimates or assumptions turn out to be inaccurate. Such risks and assumptions include, but are not limited to, ProMetic’s and PRDT’s ability to develop, manufacture, and successfully commercialize value-added products, the availability of funds and resources to pursue R&D projects, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the ability of ProMetic to take advantage of business opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes in economic conditions. You will find a more detailed assessment of the risks that could cause actual events or results to materially differ from ProMetic’s current expectations on page 15 of ProMetic’s Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2004, under the heading “Risk Factors”. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement will materialize. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statement even if new information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other reason.
Iwona Walicka, Project Manager, Strategic Marketing
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