The UK Blood Advisory Group(SaBTO) recommends Variant Creutzfeld Jacob Disease (vCJD) risk-reduction strategy for fresh frozen plasma (FFP) Octapharma develop OctaplasLG® to offer a solution.


SaBTO, (Safety of Blood, Tissue and Organs) the committee set up to advise the UK government on matters relating to blood safety, have issued guidelines that will further increase the safety of FFP by introducing measures to decrease the risk of vCJD transmission in the UK. At the recent meeting in July 09 the Committee made the following recommendations in relation to FFP:

  • Use of UK-derived FFP should be ceased and replaced by imported FFP for all recipients;
  • Source countries for plasma should show an estimated subclinical vCJD prevalence of at least 3 log below that of the UK (but in principle the lower the better);
  • Use of pooled FFP is acceptable where a combination of sourcing and processing results in a 4-5 log decrease in relative risk compared with UK-derived FFP.

This recommendation (Seventh Meeting 14/15 July 2009-09-07) follows on from other initiatives by the National Blood service to increase blood safety in the UK such as leucodepletion and increasing use of male only FFP to reduce the risk of TRALI (Transfusion Related Acute Lung Injury).

Octapharma AG, the Swiss based pharmaceutical company specialising in plasma products has introduced a number of innovative technologies including inactivation of harmful viruses such as HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), HBC (Hepatitis B Virus), HCV (Hepatitis C Virus), AH1N1 (New Flu Virus) and West Nile Virus. These processes  have improved  the safety of plasma products and have increased the quality of patient care in the blood components sector globally.

Octapharma’s most recent introduction, a pharmaceutical grade, prion filtered, virus inactivated fresh frozen plasma called OctaplasLG®  is a pooled product based on FFP that filters out the prions responsible for vCJD and represents a significant increase to the safety of plasma transfusion.

OctaplasLG® meets the required specifications outlined in the SaBTO recommendation and additionally meets the needs for viral safety and  does not cause TRALI, associated with the use of FFP. The product, currently available in Germany, is undergoing the final stages of regulatory assessment in other European countries including the UK. 

The introduction of octaplasLG® will provide a real opportunity for the National Blood Services to provide a risk reduced option for all patients requiring transfusion of FFP in line with the SaBTO recommendation to the UK government.

The government and Department of Health are currently assessing the recommendations proposed by SaBTO.

For further information in relation to the UK, contact Ms. Sue Griffin.  Octapharma Ltd,
The Zenith Building,
26 Spring Gardens,
Manchester, M2 1AB. 
Tel 0161 837 3770. 
E-mail: sue.griffinanti spam bot@octapharma.coanti spam

For information in relation with rest of the world, contact Mr. Kim Björnstrup.
Octapharma AG.
Seidenstrasse 2,
Lachen SZ,
Tel (+41) 554512106.
E-mail: kim.bjoernstrupanti spam bot@octapharmaanti spam

Octapharma AG 

About Octapharma

The Octapharma Group is an independent, Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company operating worldwide. Octapharma’s core business is the development, production, and sale of high-quality human proteins for the treatment of life-threatening diseases.

The Group has more than 3,000 employees in 28 countries, and owns five modern, state-of-the-art production facilities in Austria, France, Germany, Sweden and Mexico, respectively.

Octapharma’s company mission is to provide safe and effective biopharmaceutical products derived from human cells or blood plasma to patients in need of lifesaving therapy.

For more information about the company please click here.

© Octapharma AG, 2009