(Minneapolis, MN) — July 10, 2023 — In anticipation of Cord Blood Awareness Month this July, Be The Match BioTherapies®, an organization offering solutions for companies developing and commercializing cell and gene therapies, today announced the formation of the Be The Match BioTherapies Cord Blood Bank Alliance (CBBA). The CBBA, will build awareness about the benefits of cord blood as an allogeneic cell source in cell therapy while expanding and simplifying access to fully characterized Cord Blood Units (CBUs) for researchers and developers working on emerging cell therapies.
“Cord blood is an abundantly available biologic resource with a proven safety profile that can be leveraged to develop critical, life-saving cell therapies,” said Heather Stefanski, MD PhD, Vice President Medical Services, National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®. “As a global leader in cell therapy, we are proud to lead the CBBA as it works to expand the use of cord blood in the advancement of cell therapy that will ultimately save more lives.”
The Be The Match BioTherapies CBBA brings together leading cord blood banks with decades of experience managing the development, production and distribution of allogeneic products in a regulated environment. Initially, the CBBA includes eight NMDP/Be The Match member banks that have demonstrated commitment to serving the needs of patients and providing high quality cord blood units for the development and commercialization of emerging cell and gene therapies. Members include Bloodworks Northwest, the Cleveland Cord Blood Center, Cord for Life, the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, Vitalant, South Texas Blood & Tissue, Versiti, and StemCyte.
“We are proud to be among the inaugural members of the CBBA,” said Marcie Finney, Executive Director, Cleveland Cord Blood Center. “The opportunities presented by this alliance will advance research into a wide array of blood and immune disorders, using this important but often over-looked resource.”
Be The Match BioTherapies will act as the single point of contact for contracting and quality system engagement between researchers and developers seeking therapy matched CBUs, and cord blood banks. It will provide visibility into the Be The Match Registry of 270,000 clinical grade, fully characterized CBUs in domestic banks, and manage the logistics to ensure CBUs are delivered to developers when needed.
Be The Match was selected by the US government to operate as the nation’s Cord Blood Coordinating Center as authorized by the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005, as amended. In this role, the organization works with public cord blood banks, doctors and researchers to continually improve cord blood transplantation and educate medical professionals and the public. This work expanded the organization’s deep relationships with cord blood banks and positioned it to take a leadership role in creating the CBBA.
About Be The Match BioTherapies
Be The Match BioTherapies® partners with cell and gene therapy companies to save lives through autologous and allogeneic cellular therapy. They are the only cell and gene therapy solutions provider with customizable services to support the entire end-to-end cell therapy supply chain. As part of the National Marrow Donor Program®(NMDP)/Be The Match®, Be The Match BioTherapies has sourced, collected and delivered cells from more than 100,000 volunteer allogeneic donors around the world for time-critical cellular therapies. They have extensive experience providing cellular source material consented for research, clinical and commercial use. Throughout the past 35+ years, Be The Match BioTherapies has developed and continually enhanced their cell collection network and proven cell therapy supply chain infrastructure. The teams are responsible for more than 6,500 time-sensitive cell therapy shipments per year. Through the CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), Be The Match BioTherapies provides long-term follow-up tracking for the first two FDA-approved CAR-T therapies.