Tourcoing, 20th of November 2015

Following the report of a case of apparent failure of viral inactivation with methylene blue, Macopharma contests the analysis provided in the Transfusion journal and asserts the efficacy of their pathogen inactivation procedure on HIV as long as it is used properly.

As announced today in the “Early View” of the Transfusion journal, an article by Alvarez et al. is published online ahead of print, reporting a case of HIV-1 transmission through plasma treated with methylene blue and visible light in Valencia’s blood centre, in Spain. Macopharma has submitted their answer to this “Case Report” to the Transfusion journal for publication in their next edition. Several points can already be clarified to obviate any misinterpretation of this article.

This case, which dates back to more than 10 years ago and has already been mentioned in a congress poster and a review article, is the only case of HIV transmission reported to date since the development and use of methylene blue inactivation, more than twenty years ago.

Following the report of the case in 2009, a deeper investigation was conducted in close cooperation with Valencia’s blood centre. It was not possible to identify the origin of the fault with certainty, due to the very long time span between the transfusion itself and the detection of transmission, but also because the blood centre was not able to provide the necessary internal traceability elements to either confirm or invalidate the fact that the plasma bag had been properly treated prior to transfusion.

However, the studies allowed us to confirm the following:

Accordingly, it appears that in all likelihood, the transmission of HIV-1 could be linked to wrong manipulation, and not to a failure of the THERAFLEX MB-Plasma system.

Nevertheless, Macopharma has implemented additional safety procedures to fully guarantee the quality of the devices provided to users. Macopharma has also renewed the training of staff from Valencia’s blood centre, who is still using methylene blue inactivation today.

To conclude, since 1992, more than 6.5 million units of plasma treated with methylene blue have been transfused in different clinical settings. Macopharma confirms that the THERAFLEX MB-Plasma system provides the highest guarantees in terms of safety and efficacy. Macopharma’s priority remains to meet at best the expectations of their partners and to work towards the safety of transfused patients, as demonstrated by the vote of confidence granted to the THERAFLEX MB-Plasma procedure by 120 customers in 19 countries.

Tourcoing, le 20 novembre 2015

Suite à l’annonce d’un cas de défaillance apparente de l’inactivation virale au bleu de méthylène, Macopharma conteste l’analyse livrée dans la revue Transfusion et rappelle l’efficacité de son dispositif d’inactivation des pathogènes sur le VIH dès lors qu’il est correctement utilisé.

Un article d’Alvarez et al., annoncé aujourd’hui dans la section « Early View » de la revue Transfusion, et à paraître dans la prochaine édition papier, rapporte un cas de transmission de VIH-1 par du plasma traité au bleu de méthylène et à la lumière visible, au centre de transfusion de Valence en Espagne. Macopharma a soumis au journal Transfusion sa réponse à ce « Case Report », pour publication dans la prochaine édition de la revue. Plusieurs points peuvent d’ores et déjà être précisés pour prévenir toute interprétation erronée de cet article.

Ce cas, remontant à plus de dix ans et ayant déjà été cité dans deux publications, constitue le seul et unique cas signalé à ce jour, depuis le développement et l’utilisation de l’inactivation au bleu de méthylène il y a plus de vingt ans.

Une enquête approfondie a été menée suite au signalement du cas en 2009, en coopération étroite avec le centre de transfusion de Valence. L’origine de la défaillance n’a pas pu être identifiée avec certitude, en raison du délai très long entre la transfusion et l’identification de la contamination, mais aussi car le centre n’a pas été en mesure de fournir les éléments de traçabilité internes qui permettent de confirmer ou pas que la poche de plasma a été correctement traitée avant la transfusion.

Les différentes études ont toutefois permis de confirmer que :

En conséquence, il apparaît que selon toute probabilité, la transmission du VIH-1 serait ici liée à une erreur de manipulation, et non à une défaillance du THERAFLEX MB-Plasma.

Macopharma a néanmoins mis en place des procédures de sécurité supplémentaires pour garantir à 100% la qualité des dispositifs livrés aux utilisateurs. Macopharma a par ailleurs formé une nouvelle fois les personnels du centre de Valence, qui continue à utiliser aujourd’hui l’inactivation au bleu de méthylène.

En conclusion, depuis 1992, plus de 6.5 millions d’unités de plasma traité au bleu de méthylène ont été transfusées dans des milieux cliniques divers. Macopharma confirme que le THERAFLEX MB-Plasma présente les garanties les plus fortes en termes de sécurité et d’efficacité. Sa priorité reste de satisfaire au mieux les attentes de ses partenaires et à agir pour la sécurité des patients transfusés. La confiance de ses 120 clients dans 19 pays en témoigne.

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Tourcoing — September 9th, 2015 —

Macopharma today announced the finalization of the European prospective non-interventional study for THERAFLEX MB-Plasma that has started in collaboration with an international CRO (contract research organization) SynteractHCR in November 2013, with the first patient enrolment in Spain.

The aim of this post marketing surveillance study was to collect, during a period of at least one year, adverse events related to MB-treated plasma transfusions in seven key European hospitals in Belgium, UK, Spain and Greece where MB-treated plasma is in routine use.

Last patient enrolment was in March 2015.

In this study the outcome of a total of 19,315 transfused units of MB plasma (3,780 transfusions) was observed. This number is considered adequate to determine the safety of MB plasma. The incidence of serious Adverse Transfusion Reactions (ATRs) was 1 per 19,315 transfused units of MB plasma which is similar to the incidence for untreated fresh frozen plasma reported by the French national authority ANSM. There were no ATRs reported in Greece where 9,241 units of MB plasma were transfused nor in the UK where 434 units were transfused during the observation period.

“We are very happy of the outcome of this study; this observational trial in patients confirms that Methylene Blue plasma is a safe product” Macopharma Clinical Research Manager Dr. Ignacio Alvarez, said. “We are also very satisfied about the great collaboration we had with SynteractHCR.”

About Macopharma

Macopharma SA (“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 leucodepletion filtration sets in Europe. It is expanding its efforts in the fields of respiratory masks and cellular therapy 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 sold into more than 70 countries worldwide. One of Macopharma’s aims is to provide a comprehensive range for the pathogen reduction of infectious agents in plasma, platelets and red cells. This is aligned with Macopharma’s product development strategy of the continuous quest, through partnerships, for improved safety, efficacy, and quality of transfusion, infusion, masks and cellular therapy.


The THERAFLEX MB-Plasma System has a Class III CE Mark (available for sale in countries where the CE mark is accepted) and is not currently available for sale in the United States. It is a user-friendly in-house treatment for single units of plasma. The GMP-conforming procedure is adapted for the inactivation of FFP from aphaeresis or whole blood plasma. The MB-plasma system uses a combination of a membrane filter Plasmaflex PLAS4, (which removes residual leucocytes, red cells, platelets and aggregates, intra-cellular viruses and minimises the amount of microvesicles and microparticles), a dry Methylene Blue pill, visible light, and a Blueflex Methylene Blue removal filter.

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About SynteractHCR

SynteractHCR is a full-service contract research organization with a successful two-decade track record supporting biotechnology, medical device and pharmaceutical companies in all phases of clinical development. SynteractHCR has conducted Phase I-IV studies on six continents and in more than 50 countries, offering expertise across multiple therapeutic areas and with notable depth in oncology, CNS, infectious disease, endocrinology, cardiovascular and respiratory, among other indications. With its “Shared Work – Shared Vision” philosophy and ICD+ approach, SynteractHCR provides customized services collaboratively and cost effectively, ensuring on-time delivery of quality data so clients get to decision points faster.

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