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Gambro announces research results for inactivation of malaria in donated blood

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Gambro announces research results for inactivation of malaria in donated blood Stockholm, Sweden, August 19, 2002 Gambro AB (Stockholmsbörsen: GAMBaST, GAMBbST), a leading international medical technology and healthcare company, today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Gambro BCT, Inc., and cooperative research and development partner, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), have released pre liminary results from a study of the effectiveness of Gambro's riboflavin-based Pathogen Reduction Technology for neutralizing malaria in donated blood products. The results of the study indicate that a process using riboflavin (vitamin B2) and light is effective in elimi nating malaria from an infected unit of blood. The study took deliberately infected red blood cells and treated them either with riboflavin alone or with riboflavin plus light. The results showed that malaria was inactivated by riboflavin in the presence of light. The type of light used is very similar to the lights used in bilirubin therapy for infants. In the blood samples treated with riboflavin and no light, the malaria was temporarily arrested, only to show growth again after a few weeks. The results of the study are to be presented by Dr. Lloyd Lippert, Principal Investigator at WRAIR, at the annual meeting of the International Society for Blood Transfusion, in Vancouver, B.C., Canada on August 24-29. Gambro BCT Pathogen Reduction Technology demonstrates inactivation of malaria in red blood cells "There are suggestions in medical literature going as far back as the 1960's that riboflavin has a retarding effect on the growth of the malaria parasite," said Dr. Ray Goodrich, Chief Science Officer for Gambro BCT's Pathogen Reduction Technology. "We set about to determine if our process, which utilizes riboflavin and light, would actually kill the parasite." "This study is a first step in validating the usefulness of the riboflavin process toward eliminating the threat of malaria from the blood supply," said Dr. Goodrich. "We are also continuing our research into the effectiveness of the process with respect to viruses and bacteria." Malaria is a leading parasite killer Malaria is a leading parasite killer in developing countries. Affecting up to 500 million people around the globe, malaria kills one person every 15 seconds. It is a tropical disease characterized by cyclic fever, muscle stiffness, shaking and sweating. It is caused by a parasite transmitted by the female mosquito when it feeds on blood for its developing eggs. Recent increases in immigration from malaria-affected countries, combined with more frequent travel through malarial zones, is making malaria a greater public health concern for western countries. Malaria affects the U.S. blood supply A high rate of blood collection errors and accidents reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration result from post-donation information having to do with travel to malaria-endemic regions. In the U.S. during 1998 these amounted to nearly 18% of the post donation information reports. Inactivation of malaria in blood holds the potential to free up thousands of donors who are now deferred from donation. Given the chronic blood shortages of recent years, this could help alleviate those shortages. "Neutralizing malaria and other blood-borne parasites with our Pathogen Reduction Technology would represent a significant step forward in improving the safety and trust in the world's blood supply," says Kevin Simpson, Vice President and General Manager of Gambro BCT's Pathogen Reduction Technology group. "We are pleased to work towards that goal with Walter Reed's Medical Casualty Research, which has a long and internationally recognized record for conducting research and development of safe blood and blood product technologies." Facts on Gambro BCT's Pathogen Reduction Technology Gambro BCT's unique Pathogen Reduction Technology uses light and riboflavin, to alter the nucleic acids of pathogens, rendering them inactive. Gambro BCT's technology is the first that can inactivate pathogens in all three major blood components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Non-toxic and non-mutagenic, riboflavin is ingested in normal diets. In fact, riboflavin is considered essential for human health. The technology is one way Gambro BCT seeks to improve the safety of the world's blood supply. For further information please contact: Kevin Simpson, Vice President Gambro BCT, tel. +1 303 232 68 00, or visit the website www.gambrobct.com Janette Jennische, Vice President, Corporate Communications, tel. +46-8-613 65 99, +46-70-212 50 53 Pia Irell, Investor Relations Director, Corporate Finance, tel. +46-8-613 65 91, +46-70-513 65 91 Gambro is a global medical technology and healthcare company with leading positions in renal care - services and products - and blood component technology. Gambro Healthcare is one of the leading providers of kidney dialysis services in the world with more than 52,200 patients in 680 clinics worldwide. Gambro Renal Products comprises dialyzers, dialysis machines, blood lines and dialysis concentrates. Gambro BCT is the market leader in separation and handling of blood components. The group, with 2001 revenues of approximately SEK 27 billion (USD 2.7 billion), has 20,600 employees in some 40 countries. ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker http://www.waymaker.net The following files are available for download: http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2002/08/19/20020819BIT00070/wkr0001.doc http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2002/08/19/20020819BIT00070/wkr0002.pdf