Pall Shows Mad Cow Filter Data
Filter could clean blood supplies of agent causing human form of mad cow disease.
October 18, 2005
Health filtration company Pall is revealing new data to blood collection and storage experts this week showing that red blood cells passed through its prion filter system retain good therapeutic quality for treating the human form of mad cow disease.
The company will present the findings of a study by the American Red Cross and the Eastern Virginia Medical School, in Norfolk, Virginia, at the AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) annual conference in Seattle.
Pall’s filter system is the world’s first technology that can remove the proteins that cause the human form of mad cow disease from the oxygen-carrying cells in blood. It does this with 99.9 percent effectiveness, according to another study conducted by the Departments of Neurology, Psychiatry, and Pathology of the New York University School of Medicine.
“This study, a first with a true human form of prion disease, provides additional confirmation of the performance of our technology to remove all types of prions that can adversely affect people,” said Sam Coker, principal scientist at East Hills, New York-based Pall.
The new data shows an average of approximately 83 to 85 percent of red blood cells recover from the processing.
This figure is above the U.S. Food and Drug Administration minimum of 75 percent, and will be of significant interest to the British and Irish governments. Their blood transfusion services are currently evaluating Pall’s Leukotrap Affinity Prion Reduction Filter System as a method of safeguarding their national blood supplies.
In July the United Kingdom’s Department of Health confirmed that three people who developed the human form of mad cow disease, known as vCJD, may have developed the disease because they received infected blood in transfusions.
In March 2004, the country banned all blood donations from people who had themselves previously received blood from transfusions.
“We believe that the ramp-up for Pall’s mad cow prion filter will be quick, but looks more likely to happen in 2007,” wrote UBS analyst Jeffrey Cianci in a recent research report.
“Longer term, if highly successful [in European governments’ testing], we believe this could virtually double Pall’s medical filter sales,” he added.