Be The Match BioTherapies®, an organization offering solutions for companies developing and commercializing cell and gene therapies, has announced a collaboration with the National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), the public organization responsible for the donation and storage of blood in England, and organ, tissue, bone marrow and stem cells in the UK.
Founded in 2016, headquartered in Minneapolis, USA, Be The Match BioTherapies is the only cell and gene therapy solutions provider with customizable services to support the end-to-end cell therapy supply chain. Backed by the industry-leading experience of the National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match, and a research partnership with the CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), the organization designs solutions that advance cell and gene therapies in any stage of development.
NHSBT is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority providing the blood donation service for England and the organ donation service for the UK. NHSBT also provides donated tissues, stem cells and cord blood.
Through the collaboration with NHSBT, Be The Match BioTherapies’ International Collection Network has created a framework for cell and gene therapy companies to gain access to partnerships with NHSBT’s authorized cell collection centers and close-to-patient cell manufacturing facilities in the UK.
Cell and gene therapy research companies collaborating with UK centres through the partnership will not gain access to UK stem cells donated for NHS clinical use. They will instead be able to obtain stem cell donations from donors who consent to donate for that specific research and development partnership.
A critical step in the development of cellular therapies is optimizing the quality of the biological starting material. The collaboration with NHSBT is a key component of Be The Match BioTherapies’ efforts to support standardization in site qualification, audits and collection protocols, in partnership with the international cell and gene therapy industry, to help ensure the harvest of high-quality starting material for therapy manufacturing.
“Our collaboration with NHSBT provides a more streamlined process for cell and gene therapy companies to develop relationships with highly experienced collection, processing and tissue centers, supported by a first-class quality management and unified regulatory approach,” … “Rather than each cell and gene therapy company approaching centers in the U.K. individually, our team works directly with companies and NHSBT to identify the centers with the capabilities needed for a specific therapy. We then provide therapy-specific onboarding, training and ongoing support to ensure collection protocols are properly executed.” – Jamie Margolis, Ph.D., director of Cell and Gene Therapy Operations, Be The Match BioTherapies
“NHSBT has a unified process for the quality and regulatory approach for cell collections, which is of great benefit to centers to ensure consistent and compliant processes. By working with NHSBT, we can accelerate the development of international standards for collections, while keeping in mind the regulatory differences between countries.” – Petr Machalik, international collection network manager, Be The Match BioTherapies
“We look forward to working with Be The Match BioTherapies to ensure that companies developing life-saving therapies have access to NHS Blood and Transplant’s dozens of years of experience,” … “Our organizations are both committed to saving and improving lives. By working together, we can help ensure the high-quality and compliant collection and processing of cells for cell and gene therapies to ensure as many patients as possible get the life-saving or life-enhancing treatments they need.” – Teresina Pinnington, head of business development and business strategy, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services, NHSBT