ProMetic and MacoPharma announce successful completion of P-Capt(R) prion reduction filter clinical studies

    - Irish and UK Blood services continue pre-adoption clinical evaluation
      of filter
    - Recent case of vCJD now means that all the population is susceptible to
      the disease
    - Increased concerns over "second wave" of vCJD in individuals with much
      longer incubation times
    - P-Capt(R) prion reduction filter still the only proven method of
      protecting against potential transmission of the disease in blood
    - ProMetic and MacoPharma gearing up for implementation in watershed year
      for the product

    CAMBRIDGE, UK and LILLE, France, Jan. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The successful
completion of two human clinical studies performed on volunteers using the
P-Capt(R) prion reduction filter for red cell concentrates has been announced
by ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ("ProMetic") and MacoPharma. The clinical
studies evaluated the effect of the filter on units of red cell concentrate
collected from human volunteers, to ensure that the use of the filter had no
negative effect on the red blood cells themselves. Data demonstrated no
negative impact.
    "These studies represent the first use of the P-Capt(R) prion filter in
humans and the results demonstrate that not only is the product effective in
reducing the risk of transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
("vCJD") by blood transfusion but also there is no impact of the treatment on
the blood itself," stated Mr. Christophe Vinzia, MacoPharma's Director of
Business Development. "This represents a major milestone and we anticipate the
positive results will encourage early adoption of the product in the UK and
    This latest news comes after reports of a previously unseen 'vv' genotype
individual contracting vCJD. "Reports of the vv genotype individual now mean
that any individual is susceptible to contracting vCJD," commented Dr. Peter
Edwardson, ProMetic's Vice-President, Medical Technologies. "More worryingly,
it adds weight to the argument that a second wave of vCJD may be on the
horizon with these individuals exhibiting much longer incubation times for the
    This latest data and continuation of clinical evaluation of the P-Capt(R)
filter by the Irish and UK National Blood Services, in combination with this
latest news all point to a likely adoption of the P-Capt(R) filter in 2008.
"We are greatly encouraged by the completion of the clinical evaluation on
volunteers," stated Ms. Iwona Walicka, Project Manager, MacoPharma. "Both
MacoPharma and ProMetic are now gearing up for what we expect to be a
watershed year for the product."

    Notes for Editors

    P-Capt(R) Filter

    The P-Capt(R) filter removes, to the limit of detection, the infectivity
that is naturally present in blood during infections by Transmissible
Spongiform Encephalopathies ("TSEs"), such as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob
disease ("vCJD") and it reduces the risk of transmission of infection by
contaminated blood.

    Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

    Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease ("vCJD") is characterized by the
accumulation of large deposits in the brain and the nervous system of the
misfolded prion protein. The resulting damage causes sponge-like holes to
appear in the brain causing a fatal degenerative CNS disorder. Such abnormal
prion proteins may be sufficient to transmit the disease. It is now thought
that all the population is susceptible to vCJD, irrespective of genetic
make-up. vCJD was initially transmitted to humans by the consumption of BSE
contaminated meat, but a secondary route of transmission by the transfusion of
blood units from asymptomatic vCJD individuals threatens to increase the
prevalence of the fatal disease. Although the first incidence of vCJD appears
to have peaked, scientists still remain concerned over the potential of a
second longer incubation and bigger peak and caution vigilance. Recent
scientific research estimates that there are 3,800 asymptomatic vCJD carriers
in the UK at a minimum and the 2006 National CJD Surveillance Unit report
stated that "the incidence of vCJD may increase again, particularly if
different genetic subgroups are found but with longer incubation periods".

    About ProMetic Life Sciences Inc.

    ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ("ProMetic") ( is a
biopharmaceutical company specialized in the research, development,
manufacture and marketing of a variety of commercial applications derived from
its proprietary Mimetic Ligand(TM) technology. This technology is used in
large-scale purification of biologics and the elimination of pathogens.
ProMetic is also active in therapeutic drug development with the mission to
bring to market effective, innovative, lower cost, less toxic products for the
treatment of hematology and cancer. Its drug discovery platform is focused on
replacing complex, expensive proteins with synthetic "drug-like" protein
mimetics. Headquartered in Montréal (Canada), ProMetic has R&D facilities in
the U.K., the U.S. and Canada, manufacturing facilities in the U.K. and
business development activities in the US, Europe, Asia and in the

    About Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc.

    Pathogen Removal and Diagnostic Technologies Inc. ("PRDT") is a joint
venture established in April 2002 by The American Red Cross and ProMetic Life
Sciences Inc., and allows for the exchange of technology and knowledge between
the two organizations. PRDT's main goal is to develop products and devices to
remove and detect different pathogens from biological sources. This research
augments work that ProMetic, the American Red Cross and PRDT's scientific
founders have been conducting independently for many years.

    About MacoPharma

    MacoPharma ( is an innovator in global healthcare with
expertise in the fields of transfusion and infusion. The Company has become
the largest supplier of in-line leucodepletion filtration sets in Europe and
is expanding its efforts into the biotherapy field by developing products for
cell expansion, in addition to cell/organ processing and freezing.
Headquartered in the Lille metropolitan area (France), MacoPharma has three
manufacturing facilities in Europe and its products are now sold into more
than 55 countries worldwide. One of MacoPharma's aims is to provide a
comprehensive range for the reduction of infectious agents in plasma,
platelets and red cells. This is conducive with the MacoPharma product
development strategy of the continuous quest, through partnerships, for
improved safety, efficacy, and quality of transfusion, infusion and

    Forward Looking Statements

    This press release contains forward-looking statements about ProMetic's
objectives, strategies and businesses that involve risks and uncertainties.
These statements are "forward-looking" because they are based on our current
expectations about the markets we operate in and on various estimates and
assumptions. Actual events or results may differ materially from those
anticipated in these forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks
affect our business, or if our estimates or assumptions turn out to be
inaccurate. Such risks and assumptions include, but are not limited to,
ProMetic's ability to develop, manufacture, and successfully commercialize
value-added pharmaceutical products, the availability of funds and resources
to pursue R&D projects, the successful and timely completion of clinical
studies, the ability of ProMetic to take advantage of business opportunities
in the pharmaceutical industry, uncertainties related to the regulatory
process and general changes in economic conditions. You will find a more
detailed assessment of the risks that could cause actual events or results to
materially differ from our current expectations on page 21 of ProMetic's
Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2006, under the
heading "Risk Factors". As a result, we cannot guarantee that any
forward-looking statement will materialize. We assume no obligation to update
any forward-looking statement even if new information becomes available, as a
result of future events or for any other reason, unless required by applicable
securities laws and regulations.

For further information:

For further information: Anne Leduc, Manager, Communications, ProMetic
Life Sciences Inc., +1.514.341.2115,; Sarah King, Connect
Media (on behalf of MacoPharma), +44 207 595 9592,;
Media Relations: Jules Abraham, Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates,

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