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Collaborative Global Effort to Advance Blood Safety Moves Forward Across Ghana


LAKEWOOD, Colo., USA—11 May, 2017—Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, announced today the implementation of the Mirasol® Pathogen Reduction Technology (PRT) System for Whole Blood (WB) in Accra and Kumasi, Ghana. The Mirasol PRT system for WB will be used in conjunction with a hemovigilance program to better protect blood transfusion recipients in vulnerable patient populations, including pediatric, maternity and oncology patients. The program is a joint effort between Terumo Corporation and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

In Ghana, as in many low- and middle-income nations, blood safety is a critical public health concern. Unlike in high-income nations, patients often receive transfusion of whole blood, rather than blood components; there is not enough blood available to meet the needs of patients; the blood that is available is more likely to be contaminated with pathogens such as viruses, parasites and bacteria1-4; and the majority of transfusions are given to pediatric and maternity patient populations. The Mirasol PRT system for WB was designed to reduce the pathogen load in whole blood and has been shown in clinical trials to be effective against malaria.5

“Both the Mirasol PRT system for WB and a hemovigilance program are important components of the collaboration for our continued drive towards improving blood safety in Ghana,” said Justina Ansah, MD, CEO of the National Blood Service of Ghana (NBSG). “I’m excited to see the direct results of this collaboration, which we hope will help to further reduce the risk associated with blood transfusions in Ghana.”

Terumo BCT, a Terumo Corporation company, worked closely with the NBSG on initiatives for blood safety to complete the African Investigation of the Mirasol System (AIMS) clinical study at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi. The study demonstrated a significant reduction in malaria transmissions through blood transfusion using whole blood treated with the Mirasol PRT system. As a result, the Mirasol PRT system for WB was CE marked in September 2015 and was approved for use by the Ghana FDA in August 2016.

JICA and Terumo Corporation also have a history of success. “In 2013, JICA and Terumo successfully collaborated to broaden transradial intervention (TRI) in Latin America,” said Takashi Baba, director of the Private Sector Partnership Division, JICA. “We believe this transfusion program, based on Japanese technology, will help Ghana address some key transfusion challenges such as malaria, which we do not face in Japan.”

The Mirasol PRT system for WB uses a combination of riboflavin (vitamin B2) and ultraviolet light to reduce the risk of exposure to pathogens and to inactivate white blood cells in whole blood for transfusion.

“We’re proud of this collaborative global effort to directly address the safety of the blood supply in Ghana,” said David Perez, president and CEO of Terumo BCT. “We look forward to working with the blood center staff to implement Mirasol PRT as part of their daily efforts to help ensure patients in need have access to safer transfusions.”

About Mirasol PRT System Global Use
Healthcare professionals in more than 70 centers across 20 countries in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Central America and Asia are currently using the Mirasol PRT system. As part of an effort to seek U.S. FDA approval for Mirasol-treated blood products, Terumo BCT is initiating clinical trials identified as MIPLATE and PRAISE to support these submissions.

About Terumo BCT
Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood component, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, is the only company with the unique combination of apheresis collections, manual and automated whole blood processing, and pathogen reduction technologies. We believe in the potential of blood to do even more for patients than it does today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers.

About JICA
JICA, an independent administrative corporation established under the International Cooperation Organization Act, is dedicated to enhancing the economy and society. JICA partners with companies and organizations throughout the world to advance understanding through research and address health issues with equipment, goods and emergency aid. Those working with JICA to support this initiative include the Ghana Ministry of Health, NBSG, Korle-bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Terumo Corporation and Terumo BCT.

1Adjei AA, Kuma GK, Tettey Y, et al. Bacterial contamination of blood components in three major blood transfusion centers, Accra, Ghana. Jpn J Infect Dis. 2009;62(4):265-269.
2Freimanis G, Sedegah M, Owusu-Ofori S, Kumar S, Allain J-P. Investigating the prevalence of transfusion transmission of Plasmodium within a hyperendemic blood donation system. Transfusion. 2013;53(7):1429-1441.
3Nkruma B, Owusu M, Frempong HO, Averu P. Hepatitis B and C viral infections among blood donors from rural Ghana. Ghana Med J. 2011;45(3):97-100.
4Ampofo W, Nii-Trebi N, Ansah J, et al. Prevalence of blood-borne infectious diseases in blood donors in Ghana. J Clin Microbiol. 2002;40(9):3523-3525.
5MamaYe. Fact Sheet on Ghana’s Blood Services: 2015. Ghana blood factsheet . Updated June 2015. Accessed May 2, 2017.

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