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Safe Blood At Any Cost?

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

With AIDS and HCV under control, companies large and small are looking to protect the blood supply from a range of known and as yet unknown pathogens, which pose potential threats. Near-term attention is focusing on emerging pathogen inactivation technologies, which are moving closer to the clinic, even as questions linger about their cost effectiveness and toxicity.

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Value Transfusion: Vitex Merges with Panacos Pharmaceuticals

V.I. Technologies Inc. (Vitex), a developer of pathogen inactivation technologies for donor blood, has agreed to acquire privately-held Panacos Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a stock swap valued at approximately $26.25 million at current stock prices. Superficially, the deal appears to be fairly typical pipeline building: Vitex has a late-stage blood safety product, Inactine, in Phase III clinical trials, and Panacos Pharmaceuticals offers a Phase I anti-HIV compound, which is in line with VI Technologies' expertise in blood-borne infectious diseases. But the deal is really about value creation, as Vitex, along with all others in the pathogen inactivation market, has taken too long to get its product to the market.

Value Transfusion: Vitex Merges with Panacos Pharmaceuticals

V.I. Technologies Inc. (Vitex), a developer of pathogen inactivation technologies for donor blood, has agreed to acquire privately-held Panacos Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a stock swap valued at approximately $26.25 million at current stock prices. Superficially, the deal appears to be fairly typical pipeline building: Vitex has a late-stage blood safety product, Inactine, in Phase III clinical trials, and Panacos Pharmaceuticals offers a Phase I anti-HIV compound, which is in line with VI Technologies' expertise in blood-borne infectious diseases. But the deal is really about value creation, as Vitex, along with all others in the pathogen inactivation market, has taken too long to get its product to the market.

Transplanting Tissue: Safety on the Public Radar Screen

Blood safety has been on the public radar screen for more than a decade, and the focus of vast amounts of financial and human resources. But the infectious disease risks associated with tissue transplants are only now receiving widespread attention because of the troubles of CryoLife Inc. While the publicity and lack of government oversight may frighten people in the near-term, it also provides opportunities for companies to make changes that improve tissue safety.

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