Press release - Swine Influenza Virus (SIV) Outbreak and Implications in the Transfusion of the Biopharmaceutical Pooled and Virally Inactivated Plasma for Transfusion Octaplas®


The outbreak of the swine flu virus in Mexico, US and Canada as well as some European countries may have direct implications in the transfusion of blood components.

The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) in Germany has issued recommendations on not using cellular blood components and single unit plasma of donors which spend time in the affected countries one month prior to the donation or have been in contact with persons which present symptoms of flu and were in those countries for the last 14 days, provided that they are not virally inactivated.

The American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) has recommended the collections facilities and the transfusion services to review their pandemic influenza plan. Symptomatic donors, employees and volunteers should be excluded to the degree possible from facilities where others might be exposed to potentially transmissible infections until they are well. Where exclusion is not possible, standard infection control procedures should be followed.

The SVI H1N1 is a lipid enveloped virus from the Orthomyxoviruses family. As an enveloped virus, it will be completely inactivated by normal viral inactivation procedures which are normally in place for blood derived biopharmaceuticals.

Octaplas® is a biopharmaceutical, pooled and virally inactivated plasma for transfusion. During its manufacturing, the product undergoes a solvent-detergent treatment which destroys the lipid enveloped membrane of the virus and therefore renders it inactive and unable to infect.

The use of Octaplas® for plasma transfusion instead of single donor not inactivated fresh frozen plasma does represent an obvious alternative by eliminating the risk of transmission of the SVI that may occur through transfusion of Fresh Frozen Plasma.

Octaplas® is a product produced by the Octapharma Group.
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.

Marc Maltas
Tel. +4155 451 21 24
marc.maltasanti spam bot@octapharmaanti spam

© Octapharma AG, 2009