ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

October 19, 2005 07:00 ET

ProMetic: Results of Blood-Borne Infectivity Study Show Dramatic Reduction in TSE Prions Using PRDT Technology

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2005) - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:PLI.SV)

Results Presented at American Association of Blood Banks Forum Have Positive Implications for Human Blood Supply

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 the results of a major study showing that its patented ligand technology removes all detectable blood-borne TSE (transmissible spongiform encephalopathy) infectivity from whole blood. TSEs are fatal brain diseases that include BSE or "mad cow disease" in cattle, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) in humans, and "scrapie" in sheep. Abnormal prion proteins are thought to be essential and may be sufficient to transmit TSE diseases.

According to the current results from the endogenous (blood-borne) infectivity study co-sponsored by PRDT, its partner MacoPharma, and ProMetic, none of the 100 lab animals (hamsters) injected with leukoreduced scrapie infected whole blood, previously filtered through devices containing the PRDT resin, developed signs of the disease. The results of the eighteen-month study, which is more than 92 percent complete, were presented at a special forum hosted by MacoPharma and its exclusive distributor in the U.S., United Pharma, at the American Association of Blood Banks' (AABB) annual meeting in Seattle.

"The results look very promising especially considering that the current reduction of infectivity is the maximum that can be demonstrated," said Dr. Luisa Gregori, assistant professor at the University of Maryland at Baltimore and a principal researcher on the study.

"This is the first time that removal of the native TSE blood-borne infectivity has been conclusively demonstrated. Indeed, no infections have been observed in the animals treated with the PRDT resin."

Dr. Gregori added that current filtering systems have been primarily focused only on removing TSE infectivity associated with white blood cells, which remove 42 percent of the infectivity but leaves 58 percent of the infectivity in whole blood.(i) PRDT's resin, which is incorporated into the MacoPharma prion removal filter, P-CAPT, is the first to demonstrate reduction of TSE prions from whole blood.

According to Francois Bidet, Strategic Marketing Manager of MacoPharma, a European industry leader in blood collection systems and transfusion solutions, the impact that this technology could have on human blood supplies is significant and may be able to contain the spread of vCJD which can incubate in the human body for up to 15 years.

The PRDT, MacoPharma, and ProMetic endogenous infectivity experiment study is scheduled for completion in January, 2006.

(i) "Effectiveness of Leucoreduction for Removal of Infectivity of TSEs in Blood"; Lancet (2004)

About PRDT

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.

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 please contact:

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 Ligand™ 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:

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 commercialize 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.

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