AURORA, Colo. – The University of Colorado Cord Blood Bank (UCCBB) has reached an important milestone: it has sent out its 500th potentially life-saving cord blood unit to a U.S. medical center which will be used in treating a patient with a serious blood-related illness.

UCCBB is a public cord blood bank with a 13 year history of collecting, processing, banking and distributing cord blood for human transplantation. the center has collected and banked more than 6,700 cord blood units, 500 of which have now been transplanted at 100 different transplant centers across the nation and the world.

Brian Freed, PhD, professor of Medicine and Immunology at CU Denver’s School of Medicine and executive director of ClinImmune Labs, said: “We are so grateful to the Colorado women who selflessly donated their babies’ cord blood to our public bank and to the hospitals which collected this life-saving product. We are especially pleased that we have now reached this 500th unit milestone indicating the bank is a vital member of the national and international transplant community.”

UCCBB, a major component of ClinImmune Labs, is a major provider of Hispanic cord blood units to patients in the United States, Mexico, Central and South America. The center is accredited by AABB and provides cord blood to stem cell research scientists in Michigan, New York, Tennessee and Colorado. UCCBB is managed by immunogeneticists and stem cell transplant physicians.

Three hospitals currently participate in the public cord blood collection program for UCCBB: Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colo., Denver Health in Denver, and Exempla St. Joseph Hospital in Denver.

In 2006, UCCBB received one of six contracts from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to participate in its efforts to establish a national cord blood inventory. UCCBB used the money to process and cryopreserve cord blood units at its facility at the Bioscience Research Park on the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo. The preserved units are accessible to patients nationwide through the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) Cord Blood Coordinating Center. Through the State of Colorado Tax Check-off initiative, UCCBB is also making plans to expand cord blood collections to women delivering at other hospitals in Colorado.

Faculty at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Degrees offered by the CU Denver School of Medicine include doctor of medicine, doctor of physical therapy, and masters of physician assistant studies. The School is located on the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. For additional news and information, please visit the CU Denver newsroom online.

Contact: [email protected]; 303.724.1525

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