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Talecris To Buy 58 Blood Plasma Donation Centers

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Talecris Biotherapeutics

, the company formed when Bayer divested its plasma business in early 2005, is about to get substantially larger.

Talecris Plasma Resources, a Talecris subsidiary, said Monday it would purchase a majority of plasma sourcing centers operated by Louisiana-based International BioResources.

Donors are paid for their blood donations. Plasma is separated from the blood, and the red blood cells are returned to patients. Donors can earn up to $200 per month, according to the International BioResources website.

The 58 centers, where people donated blood, are either in operation or waiting licensing from the Food and Drug Administration or are being developed. They stretch across 21 states. In all, International BioResources operates in 25 states.

And Talecris plans to get even bigger.

“We will open all 58, and we also are looking to open more,” said Lacy McMahon, a spokesperson for Talecris. Asked if all employees at the International BioResources centers would be retained, she said, “Absolutely.”

Growth in Talecris’ business led to the acquisition decision, McMahon added.

“The demand for our products is such that we thought it was a sound decision to secure the supply chain,” she said.

Talecris, which is privately held, has been advertising numerous job listings on various websites for workers at plasma centers that would be operated by Talecris Plasma Resources.

To lead the operation, Talecris recently named James Kramer as senior vice president and general manager.

Four of the International BioResources centers are planned in North Carolina, including Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville and Raleigh. Centers are also already in operation or planned in South Carolina and Georgia.

Some 1,000 people work at the centers.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The parent Talecris firm, which reported $1 billion in revenues in its first year of operation, currently employs 2,000 people.

Talecris Plasma Resources plans to incorporate all the centers into its current plans for plasma gathering. Twenty-one of the 58 sites are already licensed and open.

“These are exciting times for Talecris, and this acquisition represents an important strategic step toward Talecris’ planned successful growth,” said Alberto Martinez, Talecris Biotherapeutics’ chief executive officer. “With the people and resources of IBR, we are better positioned to further ensure a reliable supply of our life-saving critical care products, and meet our customers’ needs well into the future.”

The deal is expected to close within the next 60 days.

Talecris has been searching for means of collecting more plasma for use in its production of various therapeutic products that incorporate plasma. Among Talecris products are treatments for hemophilia and immunodeficiency.

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