Ossium Health Trials Off-the-Shelf Bone Marrow From Deceased Donors to Help Save More Lives

 // News

August 31  

Ossium Health, an innovative bioengineering company, is accelerating its mission to revolutionize the field of bone marrow transplantation through a new partnership with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match, which manages the most diverse registry of blood stem cell donors and cord blood units in the world. This collaboration will enable blood cancer patients to access transplantable units of bone marrow from deceased donors through clinical trials, providing a much-needed complement to today’s living donor model.

Kevin Caldwell, CEO & Co-Founder at Ossium Health, said, “As Ossium continues on this journey to transform bone marrow transplantation, our partnership with NMDP/Be The Match becomes a beacon of hope for the tens of thousands of patients seeking a bone marrow transplant annually. Together, we’re resolute in our commitment to turning life-saving matches into a universal reality.”

With more than 18,000 US blood cancer patients in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant each year, the urgency for a more accessible and efficient transplantation process has never been higher. NMDP/Be The Match successfully matches over 7,000 patients per year with volunteer donors and has facilitated more than 125,000 transplants since its establishment in 1987.

While NMDP/Be The Match has enabled considerable increases in unrelated donor transplants performed, an unmet need still exists. Many patients never receive a transplant due to disease progression or relapse during the donor identification process. Overall, up to 45% of those seeking a transplant find themselves unable to receive one in time. Together, NMDP/Be The Match and Ossium are taking new strides to address this critical healthcare challenge.

To improve access to bone marrow transplants, Ossium has developed off-the-shelf, cryopreserved bone marrow (Ossium, HPC Marrow) that can slash transplant wait times and enable life-saving stem cell transplants for patients who need them most. The company is expanding the gift of organ donation and potentially increasing the number of lives saved through a previously unused source of bone marrow: vertebral bones from organ donors. These ready-to-use bone marrow units can be rapidly deployed to patients who need a transplant.

The need for alternative graft sources came to light during the COVID-19 pandemic, which strained the living donor system. New logistical hurdles during this period led bone marrow donor registries around the globe to temporarily mandate cryopreservation of bone marrow from live donors, significantly improving transplant logistics and aligning closely with Ossium’s process.

The stress that the pandemic placed on global supply chains demonstrated the value and resilience of ready-to-use medical products and highlighted the importance of diversifying graft sources to ensure uninterrupted patient access to bone marrow transplantation. Ossium’s major innovation in donor sourcing combined with well-established cryopreservation technology has set the stage for its transformative off-the-shelf bone marrow bank.

Now, following a successful $52 million Series C funding round that brought total capital raised to over $120 million since the company’s founding in 2016, Ossium is taking another bold step forward by partnering with NMDP/Be The Match. As part of this collaboration, Ossium and the NMDP/Be The Match are conducting clinical trials through CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research(R)) to define the safety and efficacy of Ossium, HPC Marrow.

Ossium Health’s pioneering approach not only brings hope to patients but also has the potential to impact the field of bone marrow transplantation. By addressing existing shortages and logistical challenges, and by expanding and enhancing current registries with an on-demand bone marrow product with optimal cell dose, Ossium is pioneering a novel approach to bone marrow transplantation.

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