Vancouver, BC, CANADA (August 26, 2002) - Transfusion experts gathered from around the world in Vancouver for the 27th Congress of the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) Meeting will hear Vitex present further efficacy and safety data on its INACTINETM
red blood cell technology. V.I. Technologies, Inc. (Vitex) (Nasdaq: VITX), a biotechnology company dedicated to developing products that improve the safety and availability of the transfusion blood supply by pathogen reduction or removal, reported today that its INACTINETM
technology was successful in eradicating the parasites that cause Chagas' Disease, malaria and babesiosis in red blood cells. The company also presented its overall clinical development program for INACTINETM
red blood cells including results of completed clinical trials. Additional study data on the chemistry and safety profile for the INACTINETM
pathogen reduction system will be presented in three scientific posters on Tuesday, August 27, the company announced.
"These studies validate the unmatched capabilities of the INACTINETM pathogen reduction system for red cells in reducing infectious disease risks of blood transfusions, as well as building upon the product's safety profile," said John R. Barr, CEO of Vitex. "Ongoing research and development of the INACTINETM pathogen reduction system demonstrates Vitex's commitment to enhancing the safety and availability of the world's blood supply."
In the first study, titled "The INACTINETM PEN110 Chemistry Eradicates the Parasites that Cause Chagas' Disease, Malaria, and Babesiosis," the causative parasites Trypanasoma cruzi, Plasmodium falciparum, and Babesia microti, respectively, were evaluated for inactivation using standard INACTINETM PEN110 red blood cell process conditions. The results showed that the INACTINETM PEN110 treatment of the red blood cells infected with the parasites led to complete parasite eradication.
In the second presentation, titled "Clinical Studies of Red Blood Cells after Treatment with the INACTINETM Pathogen Inactivation Process," results of Phase I and Phase II clinical studies were presented. Results from these studies established the clinical process parameters for INACTINETM PEN110 treatment of red blood cells including a 42-day storage period, corresponding to currently FDA licensed red blood cells. These INACTINETM PEN110 process conditions will be used in the company's pivotal Phase III clinical program, which recently received concurrence from the FDA.
Vitex is developing products designed to improve the safety of the world's blood supply. The Company's revolutionary INACTINETM technology is designed to inactivate a wide range of viruses, bacteria and parasites, and remove blood contaminants including prion and plasma proteins, while preserving the therapeutic properties of red blood cells. The technology works by binding to the RNA or DNA of the pathogen. Once bound, the compound forms an irreversible bond to the pathogenic nucleic acid, preventing replication and thereby "killing" the pathogens. The Company's lead product is INACTINETM Pathogen Reduction of red blood cells. The Company continues to report on its rapid progress in demonstrating the system's ability to meet the three critical requirements for commercial success with a pathogen reduction system: broad pathogen kill, a wide safety margin for the patient, and maintenance of the therapeutic properties of the red blood cell. Over 40 million red cell units are transfused annually in the US, Europe and Japan, representing an over $4 billion market opportunity. The Company currently has partnerships with Pall Corporation, Haemonetics Corporation, and Amersham Pharmacia Biotech. In collaboration with Oxford University, Vitex is developing a diagnostic test for pathogenic prions using aptamer technology. In their pathogenic form, prions cause "Mad Cow Disease" in cows, or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans, which is 100% fatal and for which no therapy or diagnostic currently exists. For more information on Vitex, please visit our Web site at: www.vitechnologies.com.
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed are forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, such as quarterly fluctuations in operating results, anticipated clinical trial timelines or results, the timely availability of new products, market acceptance of the company's products, the impacts of competitive products and pricing, government regulation of the company's products and other risks and uncertainties set forth in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statements made herein.