Cerus Corporation (CERS) Stock Jumps Nearly 10% on American Red Cross Purchase Agreement

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Shares of Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ:CERS) are up 9.84% after the company announced that they have reached a mult-year deal with the American Red Cross to sell their INTERCEPT Blood System for plasma and platelets. The INTERCEPT system is used to “inactivate” viruses as well as gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, leukocytes and parasites. The overall goal of the system is to prevent the spread of disease via blood transfusions. This could results in hefty revenue for the company, since the American Red Cross distributes approximately 780,000 platelet and 1.1 million plasma unites a year.

“The Red Cross is dedicated to blood safety vigilance including pathogen reduction. The INTERCEPT Blood System will serve as an intervention to protect patients against infection from emerging and potentially unknown blood-borne viruses, bacteria and parasites,” said Dr. Susan Stramer, vice president, Scientific Affairs, Red Cross Biomedical Services.

“This agreement with the Red Cross represents a pivotal step toward making INTERCEPT-treated components available to a majority of patients throughout the U.S.,” commented William “Obi” Greenman, Cerus’ president and chief executive officer. “Working closely with the Red Cross as part of the TRUE study in Puerto Rico has provided both organizations with important operational experience that we will be able to leverage as the INTERCEPT Blood System is broadly deployed at Red Cross sites nationally.”

The stock closed at $5.69 during the last trading session. It is up 13.35% since July 6, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed the S&P500 by 22.82%.

From a total of 2 analysts covering Cerus (NASDAQ:CERS) stock, 1 rate it a “Buy”, 0 a “Sell”, and 1 a “Hold”. This means that 50% of the ratings are positive. Cerus was the topic of 3 analyst reports since August 11, 2015 according to the firm StockzIntelligence Inc. Wedbush downgraded shares on December 17 to a “Neutral” rating. Zacks downgraded CERS stock in a recent report from August 11 to a “Buy” rating.

The institutional sentiment increased to 1.33 in Q2 2015. It’s up 0.31, from 1.02 in 2015Q2. The ratio improved, as 14 funds sold all their Cerus Corporation shares they owned while 32 reduced their positions. 19 funds bought stakes while 42 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 73.42 million shares which is 11.23% more than the previous share count of 66.01 million in 2015Q2.

Lesa Sroufe & Co holds 2.14% of its total portfolio in Cerus Corporation, equating to 592,092 shares. Salzhauer Michael owns 286,880 shares representing 1.07% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Elk Creek Partners Llc has 1.05% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 2.85 million shares. The Alabama-based Rail has a total of 0.88% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Baker Bros. Advisors Lp, a New York-based fund reported 13.55 million shares owned.

Cerus Corporation is a biomedical products firm engaged in developing and commercializing the INTERCEPT Blood System for blood safety. The company has a market cap of $557.85 million. The Company’s INTERCEPT Blood System is designed to target and inactivate blood-borne pathogens, such as viruses, including HIV, West Nile, SARS, hepatitis B and C; bacteria and parasites, as well as potentially harmful white blood cells, while preserving the therapeutic properties of platelet, plasma and red blood cell transfusion products. It currently has negative earnings. The Firm has commercial rights for its INTERCEPT Blood System for three blood components: platelets, plasma and red blood cells.