Alliance Between MacoPharma, ProMetic and PRDT Leads to New Advances in Prion Removal Filter

LILLE, France and MONTREAL, Québec, June 28 (ots/PRNewswire) - The latest scientific data on MacoPharma's prion filter device will be presented at the XV European Regional Congress of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) being held in Athens, Greece on July 4, 2005, MacoPharma and ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ("ProMetic") (TSX: PLI.SV) announced today.

The significant advances in prion removal will be disclosed during a symposium organised by MacoPharma and titled "An Innovative Approach for the Reduction of vCJD Transmission in the Blood Supply". The symposium will feature Dr. Richard Knight, member of the National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit, UK, Dr. Chris Prowse, Research & Development Director, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, Scotland, and Dr. Robert G. Rohwer, Director of the Molecular Neurovirology Laboratory, University of Maryland, USA. The speakers will present a global overview of the vCJD epidemic and the implications and risks associated with vCJD in Transfusion Medicine. Dr. Rohwer, a world-renowned expert in the field of TSE (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy) diseases, will detail the validation of a filter for the reduction of vCJD transmission through blood as well as its key capabilities:

  • 99.99% removal of infectivity;
  • Binding and removal of infectious agents from human vCJD brain and hamster scrapie brain present in leukodepleted red blood cell concentrate, whole blood and plasma;
  • Minimal loss of red blood cells.

Dr Rohwer will also present data from an ongoing endogenous infectivity study which to date demonstrates blood-borne prion removal from whole blood.

Prion removal technology is an initiative of Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc. ("PRDT"), a joint venture between ProMetic and the American Red Cross ("ARC"). MacoPharma has incorporated this technology to provide an innovative filter for prion removal from blood components. PRDT and MacoPharma firmly believe that prion removal from the blood supply is the most appropriate approach toward the reduction and elimination of the potential risk of vCJD contamination.

MacoPharma's prion removal filter, P-Capt(TM), should obtain CE registration later this year, "an important milestone that will allow pan- European marketing of this medical device. We are now focused on satisfying the additional requirements of blood authorities. This includes their technical, operational and component specifications, performing a clinical study, and meeting operational validation requirements," said Mr. François Bidet, Strategic Marketing Manager at MacoPharma.

"The P-Capt prion removal filter has shown no effect on red cell haemolysis or stability, nor on plasma protein levels or platelet activation. This is an essential requirement of the blood processing industry," stated Dr. Peter Edwardson, Project Director, PRDT.

MacoPharma, a European industry leader in blood collection systems and transfusion solutions, expects to market the prion filter at the end of 2005. Initially, it will be a device which can be attached to any existing blood collection system following leukodepletion of red blood cell concentrate in the presence of additive solution or plasma.

About PRDT

PRDT is a joint-venture company set up in April 2002 by the American Red Cross and ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. 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

About ProMetic Life Sciences

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX: PLI.SV) is a biopharmaceutical company specialised in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of a variety of commercial applications derived from its proprietary enabling technology. Mimetic Ligand(TM) 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. The Company's Mimetic Ligand TM technology is also leveraged into its drug discovery platform aiming 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 MENA countries (Middle East and North Africa). Additional information is available on the Company's website:

About MacoPharma

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 three manufacturing facilities in Europe and its products are now sold into more than 55 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. For more information:

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to ProMetic's ability to develop, manufacture, and successfully commercialise value-added pharmaceutical products and to obtain contracts for its products and services and commercial acceptance of advanced affinity separation technology. Shareholders are cautioned that these statements are predictions and these actual events or results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements.

Rückfragen & Kontakt:

For further information: MacoPharma: Iwona Walicka, Project Manager,
Strategic Marketing, +33(0)3-20-11-85-31,; ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.:
Communications, Sylvie Gosselin, Communications Manager,
+1(514)-341-2115,; Analysts & Institutional
Investors, Nicole Blanchard, President, Sun International
Communications, +1(450)627-6600,;
Media: Dominic Sicotte, President, Echoes Media Relations Inc.,
+1(514)-842-9551, Toll free: +1-866-633-9551,