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First technology to remove prions that cause vCJD from blood launched

The risk of receiving blood contaminated with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob (vCJD) prions may no longer be a concern for the thousands of people who require a transfusion. Pall Corporation (NYSE: PLL) announced today the Council of Europe (CE) marking of its Leukotrap® Affinity Prion Reduction Filter System. It is the first and only technology that removes infectious prions that may be the causative agent of vCJD from red cells, the most commonly transfused blood component. Variant CJD, a fatal neurodegenerative disease, is the human form of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as Mad Cow Disease. The CE mark means the new prion reduction filter meets pan-European essential requirements for safety of medical devices.

"The availability of our prion reduction filter is a seminal event heralding a new era in blood safety," says Eric Krasnoff, Chairman and CEO of Pall Corporation. "We are working very closely with health authorities, starting with the nations hardest hit by vCJD, to help protect the safety of the blood supply and prevent the spread of this insidious disease."

The new prion reduction filter will be evaluated by the United Kingdom (UK) National Blood Service and the Irish Blood Transfusion Service with results expected to be available later this year or in early 2006. Of the 40 million red cell units collected annually across the industrialized world, 2.5 million are collected in the UK and 130,000 in Ireland.

Since the first human case of vCJD was identified in the UK in 1994, there has been a total of 172 cases worldwide in Ireland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, the United States (US), Japan and Saudi Arabia, with the vast majority (155) in the UK. Since vCJD can be asymptomatic for about 10 to 16 years, there is no accurate way to determine how many people could currently be harboring the disease or the magnitude of future cases. Variant CJD is transmitted by eating contaminated beef and may also be transmitte
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Source:Pall Corporation


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