ThermoGenesis Applauds U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Release of $12 Million in Federal Funds to Qualified US Cord Blood Stem Cell Banks
ThermoGenesis Corp. has acknowledged that under the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration ("HRSA") has released $12 million in funding to six cord blood stem cell banks to establish a National Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank Network with the goal of storing and providing 150,000 units of human umbilical cord blood stem cells for the treatment of patients with diseases such as leukemias, lymphomas, diverse inherited anemias such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, and other genetic diseases.
The three Banks charged with collecting most of this inventory are the National Cord blood Program at New York Blood Center, Carolina's Cord blood Bank at Duke University Medical Center and the M.D. Anderson Cord Blood Bank, all of which utilize ThermoGenesis' BioArchive® Systems to cryopreserve and store their stem cell units.
"ThermoGenesis began the lobbying efforts three years ago that led to this legislation and these initial funds will help pave the way for significantly improved patient care," ThermoGenesis' Chairman & CEO, Philip Coelho said.
"When the full inventory of stem cell units is collected, more than 80% of patients who need transplants will be able to receive an excellent unit. Currently, less than 25% of these patients are afforded this opportunity."
"Beyond the important funding, we have long anticipated that federal oversight will mandate critical processing standards to assure the highest quality cord blood stem cell units in the registry, which we believe will be beneficial to the growth of our Cell Therapy business."
The legislation, led by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) in their respective houses, calls for $79 million in funding to support the cord blood stem cell network, and the Office of Management and Budget has projected the full cost of the authorized inventory to be about $225 million. The legislation also supports research using such cells.