MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match® today announced a collaboration with the Minnesota health system M Health Fairview and Marcus Center for Cellular Cures (MC3)/Carolinas Cord Blood Bank at Duke University (Duke) to offer cryopreservation services to transplant centers through the Be The Match BioBank. The collaboration brings together industry-leading expertise in cryopreservation and storage of patient-directed donor blood stem cell products to improve donor availability, collection quality, and ultimately, to provide a more reliable path to transplant for patients.
Through the Be The Match BioBank, blood stem cell donors will be able to donate bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) for an intended patient on a timeline that is convenient for the donor. The cells are then cryopreserved and stored for the transplant center at no cost to them and shipped to coincide with initiation of the patient’s conditioning regimen and optimal treatment timeline.
“We’re excited to expand our partnership with Duke University by adding the expertise of physicians and researchers at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center to continue to overcome logistical barriers to blood and marrow transplantation that might otherwise disrupt optimal patient care. Through the flexibility offered by the Be The Match BioBank, we believe we can provide transplant centers with a well-matched, available donor more often, and allow the transplant to occur at the best time for the patient,” explained Steven Devine, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NMDP/Be The Match, and Associate Scientific Director, CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®). “The team at the Duke University lab was instrumental in the development of the Be The Match BioBank, as well as supporting donor product cryopreservation during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure patients can continue to receive the transplants they need.”
“We are proud to extend our partnership with the NMDP/Be The Match in a new way. Be The Match BioBank is an innovative way to remove barriers that otherwise may stand in the way of a patient’s transplant,” said Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, who leads the Marcus Center for Cellular Cures (MC3)/Carolinas Cord Blood Bank at Duke University.
“We are thrilled to be working with the NMDP/Be The Match to offer Be The Match BioBank. Through this partnership, transplant physicians can have confidence a high-quality bone marrow or PBSC product will be available from the donor they requested in the timeframe that works best for their patient,” said David McKenna, MD, who leads the Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics program at M Health Fairview.
Be The Match BioBank can be used by any transplant center in the NMDP/Be The Match Network of more than 180 transplant centers worldwide. Blood stem cell donors are informed that the transplant center is requesting cryopreservation and provide consent prior to collection. Donors can also consent to having their donated cells made available to other searching patients in the unlikely event the intended patient is unable to proceed to transplant as planned.
To learn more about Be The Match BioBank, visit Network.BeTheMatchClinical.org/BioBank.
About the National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match
The National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match is the global leader in providing a cure to patients with life-threatening blood and marrow cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, as well as other diseases. The organization manages the world’s largest registry of potential blood stem cell donors and cord blood units. The NMDP/Be The Match partners with a global network to connect patients to their donor match for a transplant, and provides education and support for patients. Through Be The Match BioTherapies®, the NMDP/Be The Match partners with cell and gene therapy companies to support the development and delivery of new therapies. The organization conducts research through its research program, CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), in collaboration with Medical College of Wisconsin.
About M Health Fairview
M Health Fairview is the newly expanded collaboration between the University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Physicians, and Fairview Health Services. The healthcare system combines the best of academic and community medicine – expanding access to world-class, breakthrough care through its 10 hospitals and 60 clinics.
SOURCE Be The Match