Treated RBCs prove comparable to controls


Blood for transfusion

Credit: UAB Hospital

The process of pathogen inactivation does not compromise the quality of red blood cells (RBCs), results of a phase 3 study suggest.

Researchers compared untreated RBCs and RBCs treated with the INTERCEPT Blood System, a pathogen inactivation system.

The two sets of RBCs, which were given to cardiovascular surgery patients with acute anemia, had comparable hemoglobin content and in vitro quality, according to Cerus Corporation, makers of the INTERCEPT system.

Cerus recently announced these results, and the researchers plan to submit data from this study for presentation at upcoming scientific congresses.

“In our prior US phase 3 study in a similar patient population, INTERCEPT red cells were shown to be noninferior to control red cells in 148 patients based on a composite endpoint of myocardial infarction, renal failure, and death,” said Laurence Corash, MD, Cerus’s chief medical officer.

“The data from the recent phase 3 study met the European criteria for red blood cell components for transfusion and demonstrated sufficient hemoglobin content and in vitro quality compared to untreated red cells. We believe that the successful results from this study, combined with data from the prior phase 3 study, support the safety and efficacy of the INTERCEPT RBC system for CE Mark registration.”

In the current trial, researchers evaluated the efficacy of the INTERCEPT system to process RBCs with quality and mean hemoglobin content (> 40 g) suitable to support transfusion according to the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines.

The blood components were transfused in 51 cardiovascular surgery patients at 2 German trial sites. Patients undergoing procedures for coronary artery bypass grafting, valve repair, or combined procedures received transfusions during a 7-day treatment period that included the day of surgery and 6 days post-operatively.

The patients received either INTERCEPT-treated RBCs or control RBCs not treated for pathogen inactivation. RBC components for both clinical sites were manufactured at the German Red Cross blood center in Frankfurt, and the RBCs were stored for up to 35 days prior to transfusion.

The primary endpoint was the equivalence of mean hemoglobin content between INTERCEPT-treated RBCs and conventional RBCs. The mean hemoglobin content of INTERCEPT-treated RBCs on day 35 of storage (53.1 g) fell within the protocol-specified 5g equivalence margin, when compared to control RBCs (55.8 g).

The secondary efficacy endpoints also suggested INTERCEPT-treated RBCs were suitable for transfusion based on mean hematocrit of 60.4% (acceptance range: 55%-70%) and mean end-of-storage hemolysis rate of 0.28% (acceptance range < 0.8%).

There were no statistical differences in the adverse event rates between recipients of INTERCEPT-treated RBCs and control RBCs. There were no clinically relevant trends in severe or serious treatment-related adverse events by system organ class.

The observed adverse events were within the expected spectrum of comorbidity and mortality for patients of similar age and with advanced cardiovascular diseases undergoing cardiovascular surgery requiring RBC transfusion. And none of the patients exhibited an immune response to INTERCEPT-treated RBCs.

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