Key Biologics and Blood Centers of America Partner to Advance Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine

NEWS RELEASE

Key Biologics and Blood Centers of America Partner to Advance Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine

Collaboration aims to open up access to important new therapies

MEMPHIS, TN and WEST WARWICK, RI – September 4, 2018 – Key Biologics LLC and Blood Centers of America (BCA) today announced an agreement to formalize their existing business relationship and to work collectively to broaden support for cell therapy and regenerative medicine. The agreement will enable deeper support of joint research and product development and provide valuable expertise needed for commercial therapies. Working together, the organizations will focus on removing barriers to the supply of critical raw materials needed for pre-clinical research and for clinical manufacturing of cell-based therapies.

The companies are both sponsors at the CAR-TCR Summit taking place this week in Boston, September 4-7 at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center. Key Biologics will be at booth #43 and BCA will be at booth #44.

“Working with BCA and their extensive network, we believe we can speed patients’ access to important new therapies formulated from allogeneic and autologous raw materials that can be used to effectively treat conditions such as cancer, immune-based disorders, and inherited genetic disorders,” said Dr. Edward Scott, founder of Key Biologics. “The ability to access BCA’s unique database of well-characterized individuals who have explicitly expressed an interest in providing blood products to support research and product development will enhance our efforts significantly.”

Key Biologics recently completed a merger with Seattle-based Astarte Biologics adding highly complementary immunology expertise that will play a valuable role in expanding the combined company’s cell characterization, custom cell line and assay development capabilities. The addition of Astarte’s product and service line will allow BCA members and their customers to gain access to highly characterized cells and qualified cell lines. In conjunction with the merger, the company also received a growth equity investment from Ampersand Capital Partners to continue expanding the company in the rapidly evolving cell and gene therapy markets.

Going forward, Key and BCA will work together to leverage each organization’s resources and unique capabilities. For BCA members, the relationship will provide opportunities for support of new customers with a need for a distributed collection network or specific services not provided by Key. With BCA’s database of well-characterized individuals, Key can provide its customers access to raw materials from donors with specific characteristics, such as rare HLA type, that are not available in Key’s database. Additionally, with Key’s planned opening of collection sites in the Boston area and on the West Coast in Q1 2019, BCA’s service area will also expand allowing it to offer services to new customers in those areas.

“We are enthusiastic about the complementary nature of Key Biologics’ and the BCA members’ expertise and BCA’s national coverage” said Bill Block, CEO of BCA. “We believe that in addition, our combined nationwide coverage and each organization’s strategic relationships will create new opportunities for BCA members to fulfill their mission of providing lifesaving products to patients. We have successfully worked with Key Biologics and Dr. Scott for many years and look forward to expanding our relationship.”

About Blood Centers of America (BCA)
BCA is the nation’s largest blood supply network, providing nearly 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply. This national organization is comprised of over 50 independent community blood centers and source plasma collection centers with a deep local commitment to the communities and patients they serve.

The BCA network encompasses over 600 collection and testing sites across the United States. In addition to meeting the transfusion needs of the communities they serve, BCA members provide human blood products, cells and tissue to the therapeutic, diagnostic and cell therapy industries. BCA members also collect and provide critical raw materials for manufacturing of all US-licensed autologous cell-based therapies. Collectively BCA’s members interact with nearly three million individual blood donors annually. BCA members also offer a broad range of services to support cell therapy development, including provision of healthy donor cellular products for research use, cell selection, processing and storage, and manufacturing of cell-based therapeutics. Key Biologics is an Associate Member of BCA.

About Key Biologics LLC
Memphis-based Key Biologics provides research- and clinical-grade human cells and blood products and related services to pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and academic institutions around the world. The company is focused on advancing life science from discovery, through R&D, and into curing disease. The company began support of this industry in 1999 when its antecedent, Lifeblood Biological Services (LBS), was created by Dr. Edward Scott to meet the needs of biotech companies for well-characterized human biological materials to support research and development. Lifeblood’s recognition of the industry need and the business opportunity that resulted occurred a decade or more before other community blood centers embraced that view. Because of its long history and reputation, Key Biologics is viewed as the preferred partner for cell sourcing within the industry. With its recent merger with Astarte Biologics, the company now also offers the largest selection of characterized immune cells and reagents to help immunology and inflammation researchers accelerate their discovery efforts. All products are well characterized, tested negative for blood borne pathogens, and searchable by donor blood type, gender, age, ethnicity and disease state. For more information, visit www.keybiologics.com and www.astartebio.com.

###

Media Contact:
Tim Walsh
Walsh Group Marketing
617.512.1641
timw@walshgroupmarketing.com

NEW YORK BLOOD CENTER JOINS BLOOD CENTERS OF AMERICA

West Warwick, RI, July 20, 2017– Blood Centers of America (BCA) announced today that New York Blood Center (NYBC) has joined its network of blood and source plasma collection centers.
BCA is a national, member-owned network of over 50 independent blood centers – each of which has a singular focus of providing high-quality blood products for patients in their communities. As one of the largest independent community-based blood centers in the world, NYBC will expand BCA’s share of the total U.S. blood supply to nearly 40 percent.
“New York Blood Center’s commitment to quality blood products, innovative research and transfusion medicine leadership make them an ideal member of BCA,” said John Armitage, M.D., Chairman of BCA. “We are excited to add New York Blood Center’s unique services and expertise to our own, and collaborate to serve more communities across the country.”READ MORE>>

BLOOD CENTERS OF AMERICA JOINS COUNCIL FOR DIABETES PREVENTION

West Warwick, RI, October 7, 2016– Blood Centers of America is pleased to announce its membership in the recently formed Council for Diabetes Prevention to support the delivery of the Centers of Disease Control National Diabetes Prevention Program.
“BCA and its members are uniquely positioned to deploy the National Diabetes Prevention Program by leveraging our diverse footprint, mobility and our long standing trust in the communities we serve. This provides us an additional opportunity to better serve and support our donor population as well as the communities that have established many of our blood centers.”
-Bill Block, President/CEO Blood Centers of America
The Council for Diabetes Prevention brings together industry stakeholders to increase access to the National Diabetes Prevention Program, promote high-quality standards, and support the long-term scalability and sustainability of this unique patient-centric, community-based program.
Click here to read more>>>

IPFA /BCA 3rd Global Symposium on The Future for Blood and Plasma Donations 11 – 12 September 2017 | Atlanta, GA, USA

The International Plasma Fractionation Association (IPFA) and Blood Centers of America (BCA) are pleased to announce the 3rd Global Symposium on the Future for Blood and Plasma Donations. This Symposium will build on the success of the 2014 and 2015 meetings, which highlighted the increasing global need for plasma derived medicinal products and identified opportunities for Blood Centers to contribute to this need. Each meeting attracted about 180 delegates from throughout the USA and other countries. We have received excellent feedback from delegates to these meetings.

Key issues
This third Symposium will continue to develop the theme of plasma supply. Hosted by Blood Assurance, a non-profit, full-service regional blood center serving 51 counties and more than 70 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia, a comprehensive range of topics will be addressed including:
• Clinical developments in plasma product use
• Plasma supply – optimizing plasma collection and economics
• Donor recruitment
• Industry developments in support of blood establishments
• Keeping donors and plasma safe
• Regulatory issues
• Quality management of plasma

For more information, please click IPFA Events 2017

BBCS and BCA Establish 1st National BECS Contract

SEATTLE, WA – 3/8/2016 – Blood Bank Computer Systems, Inc. (BBCS) today announced a new partnership with Blood Centers of America (BCA). This partnership marks a major milestone in BCA’s standardization initiative. Blood centers that are BCA members now have the opportunity to select a common BECS and receive a group purchasing discount, ultimately reducing their software costs, improving information exchange, all while gaining access to the cutting-edge technology of ABO Suite™.

“BBCS and BCA share a passion for this industry and for those we serve. This partnership is an extension of our desire to strengthen the community blood centers by delivering a robust, industry-leading product – ABO Suite™. We are looking forward to building long term relationships with each member of BCA,” says Beth Simon, CEO of BBCS.

“Our members continuously explore ways to become more efficient. We have a significant number of members already using BBCS and many members that are in the process of evaluating moving to a new BECS system. BCA Members that decide to move to BBCS in the future will be rewarded for standardizing and this in turn will benefit the total number of members using BBCS. We appreciate the chance to work with BBCS in a strategic way as our members continue to evaluate their decisions in this important area,” says Bill Block, CEO of BCA.

For more information about how to increase efficiencies and lower your blood center’s costs, visit BBCS and learn about the feature rich benefits of ABO Suite™.

If you are a BCA member and would like more information about this partnership, please contact Nina Salamon of BCA or BBCS Sales.

About BBCS
For over 30 years, Blood Bank Computer Systems, Inc. (BBCS) has been a dedicated partner to the blood banking industry. BBCS has chosen to remain privately owned to ensure that we can focus on fulfilling our commitments to our clients, the communities that they serve, and the industry. By establishing an annual BBCS CEO Summit, hosting annual meetings with our User Group, and participating in industry conferences we have built rich partnerships with our clients, vendors, and industry organizations.

About BCA
BCA is a member-owned organization comprised of nearly 50 independent blood centers geographically dispersed throughout the North America, representing over 30 percent of the U.S. blood supply. Along with their core business of providing a substantial portion of U.S. blood supply, BCA members provide a variety of other services including, patient blood management, transfusion services, immunohematology testing, therapeutic apheresis and tissue and cord blood banking. In addition, BCA members provide a variety of human blood products, cells and tissues to the therapeutic, diagnostic and cell therapy industries.

Managing Supply Chain Costs: Medline Strikes New Group Purchasing Agreement with Blood Centers of America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stacy Rubenstein, (847) 949-2286
srubenstein@medline.com

Managing Supply Chain Costs: Medline Strikes New Group Purchasing Agreement with Blood Centers of America
55 member centers to benefit from negotiated pricing and cost savings on medical-surgical supplies

Mundelein, Ill., Dec. 30, 2015 – In a constant evolving industry, healthcare organizations look to manufacturers and distributors to assist them with efficiency. To help manage supply chain costs amongst its members, Blood Centers of America (BCA), the nation’s largest blood supply network that represents nearly 40 percent of the U.S. blood supply, has inked a group purchasing agreement with Medline, a global manufacturer of medical supplies and clinical solutions.

The three-year deal is expected to provide BCA’s 50-plus member centers nationwide with negotiated pricing and cost savings on a wide range of medical-surgical supplies. Products covered in the agreement include personal protective apparel, exam gloves and medical consumable products.

“Medline is committed to providing high quality supplies to ensure BCA’s member facilities are able to perform at their very best when providing such services as cell therapies, cord blood banking and blood management,” said Joe Waldron, vice president of national accounts, Medline. “As a leading manufacturer of medical-surgical supplies, we are dedicated toward utilizing our supply chain expertise to help enhance BCA’s supply chain efficiencies.”

Furthermore, Medline understands the importance of customers receiving products in a timely manner. With 40 distribution centers strategically located throughout the country, BCA’s member centers are able to receive their crucial supplies where and when they need them.

“BCA is very excited with our new distribution agreement with Medline, as it will complement our existing phlebotomy and donor screening kitting agreement launched earlier this year. Medline’s unique distribution capabilities in conjunction to their manufacturing portfolio offer a vast array of solutions which will enable our centers to achieve their clinical, operational and financial goals,” said Sam Keith, vice president, supply chain and national accounts, Blood Centers of America. “We fully expect our partnership will continue to evolve into much more than the traditional relationship of just shipping supplies to our centers. We are enthusiastic on the long term prospects of what these opportunities will offer our collective organizations in the future.”

The contract is effective through July 31, 2018.

About Medline
Medline is a global manufacturer and distributor serving the healthcare industry with medical supplies and clinical solutions that help customers achieve both clinical and financial success. Headquartered in Mundelein, Ill., the company offers 350,000+ medical devices and support services through more than 1,200 direct sales representatives who are dedicated points of contact for customers across the continuum of care. For more information on Medline, go to www.medline.com or http://www.medline.com/social-media to connect with Medline on its social media channels.

About BCA
BCA is a member-owned organization comprised of more than 50 independent blood centers geographically dispersed throughout the North America, representing nearly 40 percent of the U.S. blood supply. Along with their core business of providing a substantial portion of U.S. blood supply, BCA members provide a variety of other services including, patient blood management, transfusion services, immunohematology testing, therapeutic apheresis and tissue and cord blood banking. In addition, BCA members provide a variety of human blood products, cells and tissues to the therapeutic, diagnostic and cell therapy industries. Learn more at http://www.bca.coop/.

# # #

Blood Centers of America chooses QualTex Laboratories as vendor of choice

Blood Centers of America chooses QualTex Laboratories as vendor of choice
BCA’s evaluation process aims to reduce costs for member centers

 

SAN ANTONIO – After a rigorous evaluation process that included criteria such as quality processes, customer service, pricing and long-term strategy, Blood Centers of America (BCA) has selected QualTex Laboratories as its vendor of choice for member centers’ testing needs.

BCA, which comprises more than 50 independent blood centers and represents more than 30 percent of the U.S. blood supply, made the announcement at its recent member meeting.

“BCA is committed to drive cost savings to members,” said Bill Block, president and CEO of BCA. “The BCA Testing Leadership Committee aggregated the testing volume of BCA member centers that are outsourcing their testing and have contract expiration dates in 2015 and 2016. An RFP was sent to 19 testing facilities, and seven responded.”

He said an evaluation matrix scorecard was developed to score each section of the RFP. The weight and importance of each section was assigned by the BCA testing committee. The committee then reviewed all evaluator scores and comments.

“QualTex Laboratories received the highest overall score from evaluators and the highest average scores for each section,” Block said. “We believe that, as a result of this process, BCA centers will have the opportunity to lower costs by moving their testing to QualTex.”

Dirk Johnson, COO of QualTex Laboratories, said QualTex is ready to serve its fellow BCA members and be part of the costs-savings solution for them.

“We are very pleased that the BCA Testing Leadership Committee selected QualTex as the vendor of choice for BCA members,” Johnson said. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the BCA membership, meeting their testing needs and exceeding their expectations with our service.”

Block said that ultimately, the vendor-of-choice selection makes all BCA members winners.

“This process will have resulted in reduced costs and increased net revenues for BCA members, and that’s what’s most important,” he said.

About BCA: BCA is a member-owned organization comprising more than 50 independent blood centers geographically dispersed throughout North America, representing more than 30 percent of the U.S. blood supply. Along with their core business of providing a substantial portion of the blood supply, BCA members provide other services including patient blood management, transfusion services, immunohematology testing, therapeutic apheresis and tissue and cord blood banking. In addition, BCA members provide a variety of human blood products, cells and tissues to the therapeutic, diagnostic and cell therapy industries. Learn more at bca.coop

 

About QualTex Laboratories: QualTex Laboratories is a nonprofit affiliate of BioBridge Global that provides state-of-the-art biologic testing services on whole blood, plasma and human cells, tissue, and cellular- and tissue-based products (HCT/P) for its global biotechnology and biopharmaceutical customers. It’s one of the nation’s largest nonprofit testing laboratories and has locations in Texas and Georgia. Visit us at qualtexlabs.org.

 

About BioBridge Global: BioBridge Global (BBG) is a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit organization that offers diverse services in regenerative medicine through its subsidiaries. Its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories and GenCure – provide products and services in blood banking, cellular therapy, umbilical cord blood and tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide. BBG is an outgrowth of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, which has a proud history of serving the South Texas region and beyond for more than 40 years. BBG is committed to supporting groundbreaking research, addressing unmet clinical needs and enabling the development and commercialization of novel biotechnology products. Visit us at biobridgeglobal.org.