Take the guesswork out of acquiring the cord blood units you need

Off-the-shelf cord blood units (CBUs) are a rich source of cells for use in the development of allogeneic cell and gene therapies. However, CBUs with the characteristics you need may be spread across multiple cord blood banks. Understanding which cord blood banks have the CBUs that meet your requirements is a challenge. And qualifying and contracting with each one takes time and resources.

Our Cord Blood Unit Sourcing service offers a central point to access fully characterized CBUs through our contracted NMDP BioTherapies Cord Blood Bank Alliance.

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Access cryopreserved cord blood units for non-clinical, clinical and commercial use

Clinical and commercial use Non-clinical use
 Licensed cord blood unit  Unlicensed cord blood unit Research use only
Manufactured as a GMP-grade cellular product Manufactured as a GMP-grade cellular product Manufactured as a GMP-grade cellular product
Meets donor eligibility and safety requirements for use in humans Meets donor eligibility and safety requirements for use in humans Similarly manufactured and characterized, but does not meet eligibility and safety requirements for use in humans
Meets FDA licensure requirements for allogeneic transplant Missing one or more specifications required in the BLA to support allogeneic transplant Intended for:
· Validating, qualifying and investigating internal procedures and processes
· Engineering runs
Must be released for licensed indication (currently HPC reconstitution) or under IND if off-label Must be released under IND if intended for use in humans
Blood-forming stem cells derived from cord blood are FDA-approved for use in patients who need hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for a disorder that impacts the hematopoietic system. Those that do not meet the specifications of the BLA or are to be used for another indication can be released under IND.

Our NMDP Registry database contains extensive information about each CBU to allow for therapy-matched unit identification.

Specifications available for cord blood units include:

  • Total nucleated cell (TNC) count
  • CD34+ count
  • Viability
  • Volume
  • HLA type
  • Blood type
  • Donor eligibility safety profile
  • Unit age
  • Licensed/non-licensed

Our experienced team uses our established logistics and supply chain management process to coordinate the safe transport and delivery of the delicate cryopreserved CBUs.

Looking for CBUs for allogeneic cell and gene therapy development?

Whether you need CBUs for clinical trial and commercial use or research use only, we can help you access cord blood units that meet your requirements. Our team is ready to connect to discuss your needs.

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Simplify sourcing CBUs for your allogeneic cell therapy through our NMDP BioTherapies Cord Blood Bank Alliance

Our NMDP BioTherapies Cord Blood Bank Alliance offers a single point of access to the CBUs you need for allogeneic cell therapy development. We qualify and contract with high-performing cord blood banks that are motivated to supply their CBUs for emerging cell therapy development and commercialization.

NMDP BioTherapies understands the varying capabilities of each bank, so you receive cord blood material from the banks that best match your needs.

Alliance members meet regularly to evaluate cord blood banking practices and consider alternative banking and attribute models to support the emerging cell and gene therapy industry.

Current NMDP BioTherapies Cord Blood Bank Alliance members

D01051_BTMB_CordBlood_Blog_Graphics_Alliance Members

The contracted Alliance members have a demonstrated and long-standing commitment to serving patient needs. Each bank is a member of the NMDP Network and has a history of providing high-quality cord blood grafts for hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

Their cryopreserved CBUs are listed on the NMDP Registry of more than 268,000 fully characterized domestic cord blood units.

Our member cord blood banks must meet rigorous participation requirements reviewed annually

Member cord blood bank participation requirements include:

  • Accredited by AABB or NetCord-FACT
  • Abide by NMDP Standards
  • Meet NMDP Member Cord Blood Bank Participation Criteria
  • Meet Quality System essentials such as Facility, Personnel, Administration and Support Services requirements
  • Have at least 500 HPC(CB) units meeting NMDP Current Inventory Requirements for New Cord Blood Units
  • Comply with WMDA Standard

Access additional services for allogeneic cell therapy developers

NMDP Collection Bag

Allogeneic Cell Sourcing

Reliably source healthy, screened adult donors and receive support from donor identification to cell delivery.

NMDP Conversation

Bioinformatics Consulting

Access the robust capabilities of our Bioinformatics team for cord blood bank inventory analysis.

NMDP Transplant Centers

CIBMTR® CRO Services

Leverage our cell therapy clinical trial experience to set your clinical trial up for success and mitigate risk.


Frequently asked questions

Why should I choose cord blood for my allogeneic cell or gene therapy?

Cord blood is a valuable starting material for allogeneic cell and gene therapies. Along with being readily available off-the-shelf, the cells are young so there is less chance for undesired mutations. Cord blood has demonstrated value for multiple therapies including NK cell isolation for CAR-NK therapies and induced pluripotent stem cell generation. This blog post shares non-biological factors cell and gene therapy developers should also consider:  4 benefits of cord blood for allogeneic cell therapies

What is the difference between a licensed and unlicensed cord blood unit?

Licensed and unlicensed cord blood units both meet donor eligibility and safety requirements for use in humans. Those that are licensed meet FDA licensure requirements for allogeneic transplant and can be released for a licensed indication, which currently is HPC reconstitution. If off-label, a licensed unit must be released under IND.

Unlicensed cord blood units are missing one or more of the specifications required in the BLA to support allogeneic transplant. These units must be released under IND if intended for use in humans.

What other material may be available on CBUs?

A limited number of integral segments are attached to the CBU. Reserve samples that represent maternal serum/plasma as well as residual cord blood RBCs, plasma, and DNA that are byproduct of product processing may be available.

What is required for a CBU to be released from a bank?

Cord blood banks will perform confirmatory HLA typing to verify identity. They will also perform release tests to assess the quality of the CBU before distribution. Each bank has their own process and menu of tests.

Can I expect that the process will be the same across all domestic member banks?

Cord blood banks are independently owned and operated. There will be variations in manufacturing, practices and pricing. NMDP BioTherapies will standardize contracting, agreements, qualification, and distribution, and will control the variables as much as possible.

Why might CBUs lack some of the testing required for finished pharmaceuticals?

Cord blood has traditionally been manufactured for hematopoietic reconstitution under FDA Good Tissue and Good Manufacturing Practice. Manufacturing is considered minimal manipulation which makes irrelevant some of the testing required for pharmaceuticals that may be extensively manufactured.

Interested in cord blood as a source material?

Our team has unparalleled experience and relationships with cord blood banks across the U.S. Let’s start the conversation.