Another Layer of Safety for the Blood Supply
Cerus has received European regulatory approval for a pathogen inactivation system that its president describes as the first "prospective" approach to blood safety. Cerus and marketing partner Baxter plan to launch the device in Europe by year-end. The device inactivates all pathogens in platelets, in contrast to existing blood screening tests, which look for specific infectious agents and don't address the risk of emerging pathogens. The partners have a long series of hurdles to overcome, not least of which is the difficulty of convincing potential buyers to pay more for a technology that addresses theoretical risk.
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In blood products, the marketplace hurdles are as high as the technological ones. But that's not stopping new players from trying.