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Grifols Signs Cooperative Agreement for Commercialization of Immunohematology Diagnostic Products in the US

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Grifols, a global healthcare company and biopharmaceutical manufacturer based in Barcelona, Spain has entered into a long-term cooperative agreement with the diagnostics business of Novartis for the commercialization of select Grifols' diagnostic products in the US.  Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis will market and distribute Grifols' immunohematology instruments, assays and other products following US regulatory approvals.  The agreement also covers semi-automated pre-transfusion diagnostic products made by Grifols subsidiaries as well as Progenika blood group antigen genotyping products currently distributed by Grifols.

"Grifols' seventy year history of advancing blood diagnostics complements the Novartis leadership in blood safety and ongoing mission to advance preventive screening," said Oriol Dunach, the head of Diagnostic Grifols.  "Our commercialization agreement with Novartis will serve to enhance transfusion safety throughout the US by providing laboratories with the latest technologies and highest quality services," continued Dunach.  

Novartis is a trusted name in transfusion medicine that will help strengthen Grifols' position in the US blood transfusion market.  Novartis Diagnostics' highly sensitive tests and fully automated nucleic acid testing platforms, developed in partnership with Gen-Probe, are used to test millions of blood donations around the world each year for HIV, Hepatitis, and West Nile Virus.  Today, more than eighty percent of the US blood supply is tested on Novartis systems.  The commercialization agreement with Grifols will add immunohematology instruments to the portfolio of products Novartis Diagnostics can make available to blood banks and hospital transfusion centers.

This agreement leverages an earlier Grifols' distribution agreement with Spanish biotechnology company Progenika Biopharma for its microchip blood typing technology BLOODCHIP®.  Although the use of molecular biology tests in transfusion compatibility testing is still at its early stages, its use is expected to become more widespread as a result of hemovigilance and transfusion safety plans being introduced in many countries.

The agreement comes on the heels of the completion of a new Medion Grifols production facility in Switzerland that makes reagents for the rapid identification of blood groups.  It also follows a threefold production capacity increase for Grifols' immunohematology gel cards in 2009 at its Barcelona facility.  All of Grifols' diagnostic production facilities in Spain are ISO 13485 certified and meet leading industry standards for quality.  

About Grifols

Grifols is a Spanish holding company, specializing in the hospital-pharmaceutical sector, and with a presence in over 90 countries. Since May 2006 it has been listed on the Spanish Continuous Market, and since 2008 it has been included in the Ibex-35. It focuses on the research, development, manufacture and marketing of plasma products, diagnostic systems, intravenous therapies, enteral nutrition and medical supplies. In recent years Grifols has made significant investments in the area of transfusion medicine to ensure the strategic and technological position of the company in this area.

SOURCE Grifols, Inc.
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