An umbilical cord blood or bone marrow transplant (also called a BMT) can be used to treat patients who have a life-threatening blood cancer or metabolic or immune system disorder. A cord blood or bone marrow transplant replaces diseased cells with healthy blood-forming cells so that patients can live longer, healthier lives.
The healthy blood-forming cells for a transplant can come from the marrow of a donor or umbilical cord blood that is collected after a baby is born. The blood-forming cells from cord blood have unique qualities that can help some patients who would otherwise be unable to have a potentially life-saving transplant.
The National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI) is part of the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005, Public Law 109-129 (Stem Cell Act 2005) and the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2010, Public Law 111-264 (Stem Cell Act 2010). Stem Cell Act 2010 amends the previous law by specifying that at least 150,000 new units of high-quality cord blood will be collected and made available for public use. These cord blood units must meet specific criteria and will be available through the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program (Program) to treat patients who need a transplant.
Some cord blood units collected by the contractors may be available for research studies. These research studies are intended to help improve patient outcomes.
The following organizations, listed alphabetically, have been awarded contracts for the NCBI: