The Health Resource Service Administration (HRSA) has announced that StemCyte, Inc. has been selected to help build a national inventory of 150,000 cord blood units under the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program.
The awards were the first such disbursement of the $79 million authorized by Congress in the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 and signed into law by President Bush.
HRSA selected StemCyte as one of six cord blood banks in the country from a competitive proposal process.
"StemCyte is delighted to have been chosen to help build our country's national cord blood inventory," says Ken Giacin, StemCyte's CEO.
"We applaud the sponsors of the bill in Congress for their vision of building a resource for all Americans - particularly those from under-represented communities - and appreciate HRSA for making that vision a reality."
"Cord blood offers patients a safe, effective, and readily available source of stem cells to treat nearly 70 diseases and conditions," says Lawrence D. Petz, M.D., StemCyte's Chief Medical Officer, and Emeritus Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA Medical Center.
"By increasing the national cord blood inventory by 150,000 units, StemCyte and the other banks selected will ensure a match for an estimated 90% of U.S. patients who need a transplant."
StemCyte will continue to work with the other entities in the C. W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program, such as the National Marrow Donor Program, the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), and transplant centers to meet the needs of these patients.