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Gambro BCT Announces Research Partnership with Walter Reed Army Institute of Research for Application of Pathogen Eradication Technology to Malaria.

Business Editors/Health & Medical Writers

STOCKHOLM, Sweden--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 29, 2001

Research Seeks to Eliminate Malaria From Blood Supply

Gambro AB (OM Stockholm Exchange: GAMBaST, GAMBbST), a leading international medical technology and healthcare company, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Gambro BCT, Inc., has signed a cooperative research and development agreement with Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to study the effectiveness of Gambro's riboflavin-based Pathogen Eradication Technology for neutralizing malaria in donated blood products.

Malaria is a leading parasite killer in developing countries. Affecting up to 500 million people around the globe, malaria kills one person every 15 seconds. It is a tropical disease characterized by cyclic fever, muscle stiffness, shaking and sweating. It is caused by a parasite transmitted by the female mosquito when it feeds on blood for its developing eggs.

Recent increases in immigration from malaria-affected countries, combined with more frequent travel through malarial zones is making malaria a greater public health concern for western countries.

Gambro BCT Pathogen Eradication Technology Project

Gambro BCT's unique pathogen inactivation technology, PET, uses light and Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, to alter the nucleic acids of pathogens, rendering them inactive. Gambro BCT's PET Technology is the first that can inactivate pathogens in all three major blood components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Non-toxic and non-mutagenic, riboflavin is ingested in normal diets. In fact, riboflavin is considered essential for human health. The PET Technology is one way Gambro BCT seeks to improve the safety of the world's blood supply.

Malaria affects the U.S. blood supply

A high rate of blood collection errors and accidents reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration result from post-donation information having to do with travel to malaria-endemic regions. In the U.S. during 1998 these amounted to nearly 18% of the post donation information reports. Inactivation of malaria in blood holds the potential to free up thousands of donors who are now deferred from donation. Given the chronic blood shortages of recent years, this could help alleviate those shortages.

"Neutralizing malaria and other blood-borne parasites with our Pathogen Eradication Technology would represent a significant step forward in improving the safety and trust in the world's blood supply," says David Perez, President and CEO of Gambro BCT. "We are pleased to work towards that goal with Walter Reed's Medical Casualty Research, which has a long and internationally recognized record for conducting research and development of safe blood and blood product technologies."

Gambro is a global medical technology and healthcare company with leading positions in renal care - services and products - and blood component technology. Gambro Healthcare is one of the leading providers of kidney dialysis services in the world with about 49,000 patients in 650 clinics worldwide. Gambro Renal Products comprises dialyzers, dialysis machines, blood lines and dialysis concentrates. Gambro BCT includes products for the separation and handling of blood components. The group, with revenue of approximately SEK 22 billion (USD 2.4 billion), has approximately 18,500 employees in some 40 countries.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:4EUSW
Date:Jun 29, 2001
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