ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.
TSX : PLI

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

January 25, 2010 11:33 ET

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.: Prion Filtration May Become a Legal Requirement for All Blood Transfused in the UK

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2010) -

- House of Lords ratifies amendment to Private Members Bill to ensure that all blood is prion filtered

- Significant step in recognizing that other groups, not just children, need protection

- Bill will now pass to House of Commons for further debate, increasing political awareness of the issue

- The P-Capt® is the only device proven to be effective for the removal of prion infectivity from red blood cell concentrate prior to transfusion

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:PLI) ("ProMetic") today advises that on January 21, 2010, a bill to ensure that "the blood supply is made safe through the implementation of prion filtration" was passed at the House of Lords and will now continue its Parliamentary progress in the House of Commons.

Lord Morris' "Contaminated Blood (Support for Infected and Bereaved Persons) Bill (HL) 2009-10" (the "Bill") in the United Kingdom's House of Lords, was amended following the Advisory Committee for the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs' recommendation for adoption of the P-Capt® prion filter for children born since January 1, 1996, to protect against the transmission through blood of the prion responsible for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease ("vCJD"). Lord Morris' Bill is a direct consequence of the Archer Report which was highly critical of the UK Government's handling of blood safety - particularly in relation to persons suffering from haemophilia who are dependent upon blood products for their entire life.

"What matters the most here is the growing level of awareness for the safety of the UK's blood supply and that it is being recognized and acted upon at the highest levels of government," stated Mr. Pierre Laurin, ProMetic's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Whether this Bill is approved or not in the House of Commons, the prion filter will likely be used to improve the safety of blood for children. However, the same governing bodies concur that ensuring blood safety should not be limited to children only but should be extended to all individuals," added Mr. Laurin.

More about the Bill

An amendment was made to Lord Morris' "Contaminated Blood (Support for Infected and Bereaved Persons) Bill (HL) 2009-10" in the United Kingdom's House of Lords, to ensure that prion filtration could also be the method used for protecting the blood supply against vCJD.

This amendment modifies the original Bill as follows:

Point 2 - subsection (3)

The Secretary of State shall also by regulations establish a system to ensure that "the blood supply is made safe through the implementation of prion filtration and that" all blood donors are routinely tested for the conditions listed in subsection (2)

Subsequent to the ratification of this amendment, the Bill was passed at the House of Lords and will now continue its Parliamentary progress in the House of Commons.

About variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease ("vCJD") is characterized by the accumulation of large deposits of misfolded prion protein in the brain and the nervous system and the appearance of sponge-like holes in the brain causing a fatal degenerative CNS disorder. Such abnormal prion proteins may be sufficient to transmit the disease. Although some people's genetic make-up may protect them, at least 89% of the population may be susceptible to vCJD. vCJD was initially transmitted to humans from BSE infected cows presumably by the consumption of BSE contaminated meat, but a secondary route of transmission by the transfusion of blood units from asymptomatic vCJD individuals threatens to increase the prevalence of the fatal disease.

About P-Capt®

P-Capt® is a single-use sterile device which was awarded CE mark approval in September 2006. Red blood cells are passed through the filter under gravity and a highly specific affinity adsorbent material captures and removes any vCJD prion protein.

P-Capt® is the only approved product proven to be effective for the removal of prion infectivity from red blood cell concentrate prior to transfusion. It has been evaluated extensively by the UK Blood Services (including the National Blood Service, the Northern Irish Blood Transfusion Service, the Welsh Blood Service, and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service), the Irish Blood Transfusion Service and the Health Protection Agency since production of the first batches in 2006 and to date has achieved all of the required performance and safety requirements and met all bench marks. The P-Capt® filter incorporates the prion-specific affinity resin developed by PRDT and supplied by ProMetic to MacoPharma and it is manufactured under licence and distributed by MacoPharma.

About Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs

Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs ("SaBTO") is a non-departmental public body with an independent Chair and members selected by the Appointments Commission for their specific areas of expertise. SaBTO's remit includes risk reduction measures to minimize the potential transmission of vCJD by transfusion and transplantation. In this context it has already recommended a ban on the transfusion of UK sourced plasma and that it be replaced with plasma sourced from other countries in order to avoid vCJD transmission. Five times more units of RBC are transfused compared with plasma and RBC must be sourced domestically.

About ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (www.prometic.com) is a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of a variety of commercial applications derived from its proprietary Mimetic Ligand™ technology. This 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 hematology and cancer. Its drug discovery platform is focused on replacing complex, expensive proteins with synthetic "drug-like" protein mimetics. Headquartered in Montreal (Canada), ProMetic has R&D facilities in the UK, the U.S. and Canada, manufacturing facilities in the UK and business development activities in the U.S., Europe, Asia and in the Middle-East.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements about ProMetic's objectives, strategies and businesses that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are "forward-looking" because they are based on our current expectations about the markets we 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 our business, or if our estimates or assumptions turn out to be inaccurate. Such risks and assumptions include, but are not limited to, ProMetic's ability to develop, manufacture, and successfully commercialize value-added pharmaceutical 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 our current expectations on page 25 of ProMetic's Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2008, 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, unless required by applicable securities laws and regulations. All amounts are in Canadian dollars unless stated otherwise.

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