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ABC and NMDP Partner to Meet Growing Need for Stem Cell and Cord Blood Transplants, Assure Funding for Cord Blood Network, Encourage Minority Donor Recruitment
Date:3/21/2008

WASHINGTON, March 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's Blood Centers (ABC), a Washington, DC-based association representing community, independent blood centers, has teamed up with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) to educate lawmakers about the importance of stem cells and cord blood as life-saving treatment options and the need to fully fund the nation's cord blood network.

ABC and NMDP also have agreed to collaborate on emerging regulatory issues, standards/accreditation and developing new outreach programs to help meet the growing need for adult stem cells and cord blood units from minority donors.

ABC's not-for-profit members provide half the U.S. blood supply; NMDP helps patients obtain cord blood, bone marrow, and peripheral blood stem cells for life-saving transplants. (ABC's Canadian members supply all the blood and manage the stem cell donor registries in the Provinces.)

This new partnership builds on current collaborations between the two organizations; 39 ABC member centers currently recruit about 30 percent of the adult donors listed on the NMDP Registry and more than half of ABC centers perform peripheral blood stem cell collections, many for transplant from unrelated donors coordinated by NMDP. Eight ABC centers also collect and store cord blood units, many of which are listed on the NMDP Registry.

"We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with NMDP to expand the network of public cord blood banks with the goal of increasing the quantity and racial diversity of donated cord blood to help more patients with life-threatening diseases," said ABC CEO Jim MacPherson. "As federally licensed facilities that practice current good manufacturing practices, blood centers are a great fit for helping to manage the rapidly increasing needs of cellular therapies. The success of the cord blood network is critical to conquering many fatal cancers and genetic diseases like sickle cell anemia. The numbers of patient
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SOURCE America's Blood Centers
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