Pandemic related shortages highlight importance of blood donations

Cerus Corporation (Nasdaq:CERS) celebrates World Blood Donor Day this Sunday, June 14, 2020. Enacted by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Blood Donor Day highlights the need for safe blood and safe blood products, while recognizing donors for their life-saving donations. This year’s “Safe blood saves lives” campaign calls attention to the importance of committed, year-round donations to maintain supply, even during a pandemic.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of blood drives have been cancelled and blood donations are on the decline, resulting in a decrease in our worldwide blood supply1. To avoid blood shortages and ensure safe blood is available for all elected surgeries, medical emergencies, those with life-threatening diseases, recent COVID-19 patients, and others, blood donations are needed.

“At Cerus, we are proud to do our part to make the blood supply safer and improve availability. The INTERCEPT Blood System reduces the risk of transfusion transmitted infections from known and emerging pathogens. In addition, the INTERCEPT treatment allows for the earlier release of platelets to hospitals compared to conventional bacterial culture testing and provides an alternative to certain travel related donor deferrals,” said William 'Obi' Greenman, president and chief executive officer of Cerus Corporation.

According to the WHO, more than 117 million blood donations are collected worldwide2. In the U.S., according to the National Blood Collection and Utilization Survey more than 12 million units of whole blood and apheresis red blood cells were collected in 2017. In addition, an estimated 2.6 million units of platelets were distributed along with 3.2 million units of plasma3.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many blood centers are facing shortages of blood and blood components,” continued Greenman. “We applaud and recognize donors that give blood during these challenging times to help ensure that patients in need of transfusions have access to safe, lifesaving blood components.”

Cerus Corporation will celebrate World Blood Donor Day with a sponsored in-house blood drive and social media awareness campaign. To be held at their global headquarters today, June 12, the Cerus team will implement safety precautions and social distancing, while bringing awareness to blood safety and blood donation.

  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronavirus-covid-19-update-fda-provides-updated-guidance-address-urgent-need-blood-during-pandemic
  2. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blood-safety-and-availability
  3. Jones JM, Sapiano MRP, Savinkina AA, Haass KA, Baker ML, Henry RA, Berger JJ, Basavaraju SV. Slowing decline in blood collection and transfusion in the United States – 2017. Transfusion 2020;60:S1-9 (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/trf.15604)

ABOUT CERUS

Cerus Corporation is dedicated solely to safeguarding the world’s blood supply and aims to become the preeminent global blood products company. Based in Concord, California, our employees are dedicated to deploying and supplying vital technologies and pathogen-protected blood components for blood centers, hospitals and ultimately patients who rely on safe blood. With the INTERCEPT Blood System, we are focused on protecting patients by delivering the full complement of reliable products and expertise for transfusion medicine. Cerus develops and markets the INTERCEPT Blood System and remains the only company in the blood transfusion space to earn both CE Mark and FDA approval for pathogen reduction of both platelet and plasma components. Cerus currently markets and sells the INTERCEPT Blood System in the United States, Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and selected countries in other regions around the world. The INTERCEPT Red Blood Cell system is in clinical development. For more information about Cerus, visit www.cerus.com and follow us on LinkedIn.

INTERCEPT and the INTERCEPT Blood System are trademarks of Cerus Corporation.

Tim Lee – Investor Relations Director Cerus Corporation 925-288-6137

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