Dr. Melief will work to simplify and accelerate the acquisition of cord blood units for transplant and cell and gene therapies through expanded access for transplant centers, cord blood banks, and cell and gene therapy companies.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., July 25, 2023 – Underscoring its commitment to advance the cell therapy ecosystem, providing cures so all patients thrive, the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match® announced that Christina Melief, PhD, joined the organization as Senior Scientific Advisor. Dr. Melief will facilitate cord blood transplants between cord blood banks and transplant centers for traditional stem cell transplant and lead Be The Match BioTherapies’® new Cord Blood Unit Sourcing service for cell and gene therapy developers.
“Christina brings deep technical expertise, which is vital as we expand our efforts to support the complex and ever-evolving cell and gene therapy field,” said Julie Smolich, Senior Vice President, Provider Services, NMDP/Be The Match. “Her experience in biotech, cord blood banking, and transplant reflects a critical intersection between these areas within the industry.”
Dr. Melief currently serves as chair of the Be The Match BioTherapies® Cord Blood Bank Alliance, which provides a single point of access to the domestic cord blood inventory for cell and gene therapy developers. Prior to NMDP/Be The Match, Dr. Melief worked at Bloodworks Bio, a cord blood and cellular material provider at Bloodworks Northwest.
“This opportunity allows me to expand my work with the cord blood community and to grow the awareness and use of cord blood as a graft source for cell and gene therapy development,” said Dr. Melief. “I look forward to reinforcing NMDP/Be The Match’s role as a connection point within its network of US and international centers and to ensuring best-in-class service as the essential partner in cell therapy.”
For more information on how NMDP/Be The Match supports the facilitation of cord blood transplants, visit its website. Find more about cord blood unit sourcing for cell and gene therapies on the Be The Match BioTherapies website.
The National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match® is the leading global partner working to save lives through cellular therapy. With 35 years of experience managing the most diverse registry of potential unrelated blood stem cell donors and cord blood units in the world, NMDP/Be The Match is a proven partner in providing cures to patients with life-threatening blood and marrow cancers and diseases. Through their global network, they connect centers and patients to their best cell therapy option—from blood stem cell transplant to a next-generation therapy—and collaborate with cell and gene therapy companies to support therapy development and delivery through Be The Match BioTherapies®. NMDP/Be The Match is a tireless advocate for the cell therapy community, working with hematologists/oncologists to remove barriers to consultation and treatment, and supporting patients through no-cost programs to eliminate non-medical obstacles to cell therapy. In addition, they are a global leader in research through the CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®)—a collaboration with Medical College of Wisconsin, investing in and managing research studies that improve patient outcomes and advance the future of care.
Be The Match BioTherapies® partners with cell and gene therapy companies to save lives through autologous and allogeneic cellular therapy. They are the only cell and gene therapy solutions provider with customizable services to support the entire end-to-end cell therapy supply chain. As part of the National Marrow Donor Program®(NMDP)/Be The Match®, Be The Match BioTherapies has sourced, collected and delivered cells from more than 100,000 volunteer allogeneic donors around the world for time-critical cellular therapies. They have extensive experience providing cellular source material consented for research, clinical and commercial use. Throughout the past 35+ years, Be The Match BioTherapies has developed and continually enhanced their cell collection network and proven cell therapy supply chain infrastructure. The teams are responsible for more than 6,500 time-sensitive cell therapy shipments per year. Through the CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), Be The Match BioTherapies provides long-term follow-up tracking for the first two FDA-approved CAR-T therapies.