Collaboration aims to streamline access to authorized collection and processing centers
MINNEAPOLIS—Dec. 20, 2018—Be The Match BioTherapies®, an organization offering solutions for companies developing and commercializing cell and gene therapies, today 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 U.K. Through the collaboration, 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 U.K.
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,” said Jamie Margolis, Ph.D., director of Cell and Gene Therapy Operations, Be The Match BioTherapies. “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.”
Petr Machalik, international collection network manager, Be The Match BioTherapies, explained, “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.”
“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,” said Teresina Pinnington, head of business development and business strategy, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services, NHSBT. “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.”
Learn more about Be The Match BioTherapies’ Collection Network Management program.
For more information on NHS Blood and Transplant visit https://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/what-we-do/
About Be The Match BioTherapies
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.
Be The Match BioTherapies is dedicated to providing high-quality cellular starting material consented for research, clinical and commercial use, developing and managing expansive cell collection networks, and navigating cell therapy regulatory compliance. Using proven infrastructure to successfully manage autologous and allogeneic cell therapy supply chains, including MatchSource® Supply Chain Software, personalized case managers and logistics experts, the organization has a history of compliance managing the chain of custody and identity. The collaboration with CIBMTR extends services to include long-term follow-up tracking for the first two FDA-approved CAR-T therapies.
About NHS Blood and Transplant
NHS Blood and Transplant is a joint England and Wales Special Health Authority. We provide the blood donation service for England and the organ donation service for the U.K. We also provide donated tissues, stem cells and cord blood. We are an essential part of the NHS, saving and improving lives through public donation.
Cell and gene therapy research companies collaborating with U.K. centres through the partnership will not gain access to U.K. 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.