Our story starts in 1979, when 10-year-old Laura Graves became the first patient with leukemia to undergo a bone marrow transplant from an unrelated donor. The success of the treatment inspired her parents to give other families the same hope.
With support from Laura’s parents, other patient families, doctors, congressional support and funding from the United States Navy, a national registry of volunteers willing to donate bone marrow was formed in 1986. Within the first year, the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry (the former name of the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match®) gained 10,000 potential donors.
One year later, the program facilitated its first transplant when Diane Walters of Wisconsin donated marrow to 6-year-old Brooke Ward of North Carolina. The next year, the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry changed its name to the National Marrow Donor Program, and it wasn’t long before the program took off worldwide from a tiny office at the American Red Cross in St. Paul, Minn.
Today, the Be The Match Registry® provides the most ethnically diverse listing of potential donors and umbilical cord blood units in the world, with more than 20 million potential donors and more than 295,000 umbilical cord blood units. Over the years, the NMDP/Be The Match has managed more than 92,000 stem cell transplants.
The growing number of lives saved through stem cell transplant isn’t a coincidence – it’s the result of years of tireless work by the NMDP/Be The Match, with numerous examples:
1998: The umbilical cord blood transplant program was established
2001: The Research Sample Biorepository was constructed to store tissue samples, and is one of the world’s largest tissue sample storage facilities used for medical research
2004: The NMDP/Be The Match partnered with the Medical College of Wisconsin to create our global research operation, the CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®).
And, as the field of medicine advances, so do we. As the recognized leader in unrelated stem cell transplant, NMDP/Be The Match developed and enhanced proven services and interactive technologies of extraordinary value to organizations that are now developing and delivering personalized cell and gene therapies.
This, is where we come in. In January 2016, Be The Match BioTherapies® was established as a natural extension of the NMDP/Be The Match mission: to save lives through cellular therapy.
Powered by decades of experience and the global cell collection network of NMDP/Be The Match, we’ve become a leader in cell sourcing, supply chain management and cell delivery for clients developing and commercializing cell and gene therapies. We’re proud to be partnering with industry-leading therapy developers, as they continue to advance the field of cell therapy. We’re excited to be at the forefront of an industry that is growing so quickly, and we’re honored to be part of the history of the NMDP/Be The Match.
For more information about our organization and how we support the rapidly advancing cell and gene therapy industry, visit our About Us page.