Approach provides comprehensive genetic diagnosis for patients with rare genetic bleeding disorders
MILWAUKEE, July 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s Diagnostic Laboratories, part of Versiti™, today announced the availability of genetic deletion/duplication analysis. Using array Comparative Genomic Hybridization (aCGH), this test provides timely detection of deletions and/or duplications which may escape detection with standard DNA sequencing tests. BloodCenter pairs deep clinical hematology expertise with leading edge technology in genomic medicine to provide physicians comprehensive analyses for patients with rare bleeding disorders such as hemophilia or von Willebrand disease.
BloodCenter’s test allows for the detection of deletions and duplications within a given gene, whether within a single exon, encompassing one or more exons, or the entire gene.
“BloodCenter of Wisconsin is well known for its expertise in non-malignant blood disorders,” says Rupa Udani, director of BloodCenter’s molecular diagnostics laboratory. “We now are able to determine the underlying genetic cause of hematologic disease for patients, which was previously not possible using DNA sequencing alone.”
Clinical consultation with follow-up testing recommendations for patients and at-risk family members
Genetic consultation to physicians to ensure appropriate testing algorithm
Because BloodCenter has the ability to interpret aCGH test results with sequencing results, we can provide physicians with a comprehensive genetic analysis to enhance patient care. Visit our website to view the test description.
BloodCenter’s Diagnostic Laboratories help physicians provide clinical care to patients worldwide, fostering better understanding and treatment options for patients with difficult-to-diagnose diseases. In addition, the laboratories collaborate with other institutions and industry partners to bring new diagnostic testing and treatment options to patient care.
About BloodCenter of Wisconsin BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, is a not-for-profit organization that specializes in blood services, diagnostic testing, organ, tissue and marrow donation, medical services and leading-edge research. BloodCenter of Wisconsin is the only provider of blood to hospitals in 29 Wisconsin counties as well as providing support to hospitals and patients across the country. BloodCenter of Wisconsin advances patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise. For more information, visit www.bcw.edu.
About Versiti Versiti was formed with the mission to improve the health of patients and enable the success of its healthcare partners nationally. We provide innovative, value added solutions in the fields of transfusion medicine, transplantation, and blood-related diseases to meet the needs of each of our customers. The collective efforts of Versiti affiliates result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide. For more information, visit www.versiti.org.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (June 15, 2015) – Jim Wilson has been appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Michigan Blood. As COO, Wilson will be responsible for leadership of all aspects of operations including blood collection, donor safety and specialty testing, component preparation, product inventory management, order fulfillment and distribution, facilities management, and equipment and vehicle support services.
Wilson comes to Michigan Blood with extensive experience in a variety of senior healthcare leadership roles, most recently as Chief Operating Officer at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Institute in Grand Rapids. Prior to Mary Free Bed, Wilson was President of Blodgett Hospital and Vice President of Operations at Spectrum Health. Wilson also held a variety of senior leadership roles, including CEO, at hospitals in Long Island, NY.
Wilson earned his M.A. in Health Care Administration, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and a B.A. in Economics from The University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Wilson has been an active civic and community member. He currently is a member and Former Chair of the Catholic Central High School Development Council, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Grand Rapids Investment Advisory Committee / Charitable Trustees, and a member of the Finance Council for St. Robert of New Minster Parish in Ada.
About Michigan Blood:
Founded in 1955, Michigan Blood is an independent, nonprofit, blood bank that provides blood for hospitals across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Michigan Blood is committed to serving the needs of Michigan hospitals first. Besides blood donation at permanent donation sites, Michigan Blood conducts more than 3,700 mobile blood drives each year. Other related services include Michigan’s first public cord blood bank, blood stem cell (marrow) program, transfusion medicine consultation, transplant center support, and other services. For more information, visit www.miblood.org.
April 23, 2015 – Milwaukee, Wis. — The Centers for Transfusion and Transplant Medicine (CTTM), an affiliation of four Midwest blood centers, has unveiled a new name, logo and expanded areas of expertise to better reflect the value it provides to its healthcare partners. CTTM will now be known as Versiti.
“In an era of unprecedented change in healthcare, there is significant opportunity for blood centers to work closely with our healthcare system partners to support them in reaching their goals of improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies,” said Peter Ziegler, Versiti board chair. “Having brought four blood centers together, we are well on our way to delivering enhanced value to our partners and communities.”
The four Versiti™ affiliates are BloodCenter of Wisconsin, Heartland Blood Centers, Aurora, Ill., Indiana Blood Center and Michigan Blood.
“Versiti provides even greater value to healthcare systems in our communities and across the country through our five areas of expertise,” said Jacquelyn Fredrick, president and CEO of Versiti. “Our new name and logo better reflect the depth and breadth of this expertise and the diversity of our innovative science, products and services,” said Fredrick.
Versiti serves its healthcare partners through five areas of expertise:
“Through our vast knowledge of the science and medicine of blood, we not only provide life-saving transfusions, transplants and treatment for patients with blood diseases,” said Fredrick. “Versiti also contributes to breakthroughs in molecular immunology, cellular therapies and through pioneering gene therapies.”
The Versiti name itself was built with a specific meaning. “Ver” communicates truth, accuracy and versatility; while “siti” suggests university and diversity – diverse and innovative science, products and services impacting a broad array of patients.
The logo is a focal point of bands and illumination of color which come together signifying strength and the broad array of services being offered through Versiti.
About Versiti Versiti was formed with the mission to improve the health of patients and enable the success of our healthcare partners nationally. We provide innovative, value added solutions in the fields of transfusion medicine, transplantation, and blood-related diseases to meet the needs of each of our customers. The collective efforts of Versiti affiliates result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide. For more information, visit
San Antonio Business Journal honors BioBridge Global CEO Linda Myers with Health Care Heroes awardWork on World Stem Cell Summit, transforming subsidiaries into global companies noted
SAN ANTONIO – We’re proud to announce that BioBridge Global CEO Linda Myers has been named one of the winners of the 2015 Health Care Heroes awards, given each year by the San Antonio Business Journal.
Myers was one of the winners in the category of Outstanding Health Care Executive – Nonhospital-Based.
BioBridge Global (BBG) board members Mike Kreager and John Feik submitted letters in support of Myers’ nomination, as did Dr. Steve Davis and Ann Stevens. Davis is a co-founder of San Antonio-based biomedical firm StemBioSys Inc.; and Stevens is president of BioMed SA, a nonprofit organization that supports the biomedical industry in our city.
“I am honored to have received this award and the support of the board,” Myers said. “It is through the efforts of the entire organization and our employees working toward our mission to save and enhance lives that we are at the forefront of the medical and regenerative medicine industries. I’d like to thank everyone at BioBridge Global who works diligently every day to help us improve the lives of those who are ill and injured. BioBridge Global serves patients and supports research opportunities through the continued collaborations with our biomedical community partners.”
Specific accomplishments that supported Myers’ nomination were helping to bring the World Stem Cell Summit to San Antonio in December 2014, her work in transforming BBG subsidiary QualTex Laboratories into an international leader in infectious disease testing and her vision to build BBG subsidiary GenCure into a major regenerative medicine resource.
The SABJ will honor the recipients at a reception on May 28 at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
About BioBridge Global: BioBridge Global (BBG) is a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit corporation that offers diverse services through its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and the Blood & Tissue Center Foundation. BBG provides products and services in blood resource management, cellular therapy, donated umbilical cord blood and human tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide. BBG is rooted in 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 www.biobridgeglobal.org.
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.
BioBridge Global takes part by drawing and testing blood of survivor
AUSTIN – A team from BioBridge Global’s South Texas Blood & Tissue Center successfully drew a unit of blood Thursday, Feb. 26, from Dr. Akinniyi Emmanuel Fadipe, a Nigerian doctor who survived the Ebola virus. He was drawn at research firm XBiotech in Austin, which will use it to continue their search for a treatment for those afflicted with the devastating virus.
Dr. Fadipe was part of the team that treated the first case of Ebola in Nigeria. He and three colleagues from First Consultants Medical Centre in Lagos contracted the virus and survived; four of their coworkers died. His blood initially was screened at BioBridge Global in San Antonio on Feb. 24 to make sure he qualified for the research.
The research involves taking whole blood from Ebola survivors to identify the antibody for the virus and eventually reproduce it. This method could result in the ability to manufacture a therapeutic on a large scale to help treat those affected by the disease.
“I am more than excited to help fight Ebola,” Dr. Fadipe said. “The research is going to be a very wonderful thing. Ebola is still very much around in African countries, though Nigeria is free of it. People are still fighting it. I want to contribute to fighting Ebola by helping XBiotech get drugs to Africa.”
Dr. Fadipe and his team in Lagos established protocols that were called instrumental in sparing Nigeria from a large-scale Ebola outbreak. In September of last year, the World Health Organization said the nation, which is the most populous in Africa, was free of Ebola.
He said other survivors are ready to jump into the research if they are called upon.
“If more blood is needed for research, I’ve contacted other friends and colleagues who have survived. The antibodies may be different for each survivor, so I want to help do more to study different survivors. I can propose help with that,” he said.
He said that on a personal note, he had a great impression of the United States and Texas on his first trip here. During his time in San Antonio, a team from BioBridge Global treated him to dinner and gave him a cowboy hat as a gift.
“I always had a big imagination about the United States, and it lived up to my expectations. Coming here, I’m very impressed,” Dr. Fadipe said. “San Antonio was a nice place to be. I went to a restaurant, and I tried the Tex-Mex. I would like to try more types of American dishes.”
This is the second time in as many months that BioBridge Global has participated in a project supporting Ebola research. In January, an STBTC team traveled to longtime partner XBiotech to draw the blood of Dallas nurse and Ebola survivor Amber Vinson. Her blood also came back to San Antonio to be tested by QualTex Laboratories.
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 donated human tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide. BBG is rooted in 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.
Cerus and Blood Bank of Delmarva Enter into Agreement for the Use of INTERCEPT Platelets and Plasma
CONCORD, Calif. & NEWARK, Del.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ: CERS) and the Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) announced today that they have signed a three-year purchase agreement for the INTERCEPT Blood System for platelets and plasma. BBD provides blood transfusion products and services to hospitals and patients in Delaware, Cecil County, Maryland, as well as Maryland’s and Virginia’s Eastern Shores. BBD supplies approximately 13,000 platelet and 21,000 plasma units per year.
“The implementation of the INTERCEPT system aligns with our mission of providing safe, effective blood products that best serve our hospital and patient community,” said Roy Roper, president and chief executive officer of BBD. “We are excited to be one of the first centers to adopt pathogen reduction as a proactive measure to mitigate the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections in our blood supply.”
“The majority of platelet transfusions occur in cancer patients, some of which will receive multiple units over the course of their therapy. It’s exciting and rewarding as a blood center to be in a position to favorably impact the treatment of these patients by providing platelet products that substantially reduce the risk of transmitting viruses and bacteria, and limit the risk of transfusion mediated graft versus host disease,” said Theresa Boyd, MD, Medical Director.
“We are very pleased that the Blood Bank of Delmarva has chosen INTERCEPT to help protect patients against transfusion transmitted agents such as bacteria and emerging pathogens,” commented William “Obi” Greenman, Cerus’ president and chief executive officer. “We look forward to supporting Delmarva to fulfill their mission for improved blood safety.”
ABOUT BLOOD BANK OF DELMARVA
Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community service organization that provides blood and blood components for hospitals in the Delmarva region. For over 60 years, Blood Bank of Delmarva has ensured a safe and continuous supply of blood to meet the needs of over 20,000 patients annually. In addition to blood provisioning, BBD operates a full service regional laboratory providing testing services for blood collection centers. BBD is FDA licensed, a member of America’s Blood Centers, and accredited by AABB. For more information, visit http://www.DelmarvaBlood.org.
Cerus Corporation is a biomedical products company focused in the field of blood safety. The INTERCEPT Blood System is designed to reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted infections by inactivating a broad range of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and parasites that may be present in donated blood. The nucleic acid targeting mechanism of action of the INTERCEPT treatment is designed to inactivate established transfusion threats, such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV, West Nile Virus and bacteria, as well as emerging pathogens such as chikungunya, malaria and dengue. Cerus currently markets and sells the INTERCEPT Blood System for both platelets and plasma in the United States, Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East and selected countries in other regions around the world. The INTERCEPT red blood cell system is in clinical development. See http://www.cerus.com for information about Cerus.
INTERCEPT and the INTERCEPT Blood System are trademarks of Cerus Corporation.
This press release contains forward-looking statements.Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding the expected impact of implementing the INTERCEPT Blood System at the Blood Bank of Delmarva.These forward-looking statements are based upon Cerus’ current expectations.Actual results could differ materially from these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including, without limitation, risks associated with the implementation and use of the INTERCEPT Blood System and other risks detailed in Cerus’ filings with the SEC, including exhibit 99.1 of Cerus’ current report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on January 5, 2015.You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release.Cerus does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events, changed assumptions or otherwise.
Cerus Corporation Lainie Corten, 925-288-6319 Sr. Director, Global Marketing & Investor Relations or Blood Bank of Delmarva Joseph A. Yelo, MBA, MT(ASCP)SBB, 302-737-8405 ext. 866 Lead Executive, Business Development
The three year agreement, beginning April 1, 2015, will strengthen BCA’s ability to make phlebotomy and donor screening kits accessible to more than 50 member centers, as well as its suppliers and clients, all of which serve hospitals and patients across the country. BCA provides more than 40 percent of the U.S. blood supply.
“The safety of the U.S. blood supply hinges on a rigorous donor screening process along with industry regulated tests,” says Sam Keith, Vice President, Supply Chain and National Accounts, Blood Centers of America. “Medline has the industry knowledge, network and resources we need in a kitting supply partner. We are excited to work with Medline on growing the accessibility of kits to all of our BCA centers, and we strongly believe this agreement provides the necessary incentives and resources required to help make it easier for centers to adopt as their standard.”
Medline’s vast logistics network of more than 40 strategically located distribution centers across the country will provide BCA with kits whenever and wherever needed, especially in critical emergencies. The medical supplier, distributor and manufacturer, with extensive supply chain expertise, is built on serving the healthcare industry at a moment’s notice, for crises like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, or Ebola preparedness, as well as every day needs across the continuum of care.
BCA chose Medline over four other suppliers for its impeccable quality control, supply chain efficiencies and online monitoring capabilities, all of which bring cost savings to the network of blood centers.
As the nation’s largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of quality medical supplies and services, Medline offers healthcare products and services that drive value through tailored solutions across the continuum of care. Named one of the country’s “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For,” the company is headquartered in Mundelein, Ill. and has more than 1,200 dedicated sales representatives to support its broad product line and cost management services. For more information on Medline, go to www.medline.com or http://www.medline.com/social-media to connect with Medline on a variety of social media channels.