Community Tissue Services partners to form national skin donation inventory


DAYTON — Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services (CBC/CTS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced an agreement to create a substantial inventory of donor skin for the immediate treatment of injuries after mass casualty emergencies involving burns from chemicals, nuclear or radiological incidents or bomb detonations.

In such incidents, victims with injuries to significant parts of the body may not have enough of their own healthy skin for grafts to cover the injured area. Skin donated from a person upon death is known as a skin allograft and can be used to provide temporary cover for burns and other wounds. For decades, skin allografts have played a critical role in the healing process towards generating new skin growth, managing patient pain and controlling burn wound infections.

Development of this inventory is being supported in whole with Project BioShield funds from Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under contract number 75A50122C00044. CBC/CTS will partner with BARDA to create and maintain a large inventory of skin allografts to build national preparedness.

As the leading provider of skin for burn allografts worldwide, CBC/CTS partners with other nonprofit, federally recognized organ procurement organizations that recover donated organs and tissues including tendons, bone and skin from individuals who have elected to be organ and tissue donors after death.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of critical care for burn injuries in mass casualty emergencies anywhere in the U.S.,” said CBC/CTS Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Chris Graham.

“Working with BARDA to build this nationwide resource presents a unique opportunity for Community Tissue Services to grow and evolve in readiness for this mission. We will be utilizing the professionalism of our company, the dedication of our staff and the compassion of our donor families. Our core mission is saving and enhancing lives. Our every task in answering this challenge will make us better,” continued Graham.

Graham said CTS will rely on its partnership in tissue graft technology and donor networking with MTF Biologics, headquartered in Edison, N.J. to help build the national preparedness inventory.

“Our strategic partnership with CBC/CTS shows how tissue banks can come together to benefit the greater good of the public and the patients who so desperately need these lifesaving grafts,” said Joe Yaccarino, CEO of MTF Biologics.

“By leveraging access to donors through our network of organ and tissue recovery partners and our skin processing technology we can provide our government sufficient skin allografts, robust logistics and the redundancies required for preparedness in the event of an emergency,” Yaccarino continued.

To award the contracts with CBC/CTS, BARDA used Project BioShield Act authority and funding. The Project BioShield Act of 2004 accelerates the research, development, purchase and availability of effective medical countermeasures against biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threats. The agreements include options to add funding in future years to increase or maintain the level of preparedness.

BARDA’s Burn & Blast program focuses on products and technologies that can be used in the commercial market as well as during national emergencies. They are designed for convenient and expedient use by trained medical professionals responding to large-scale emergencies involving burn and blast injuries. These investments benefit the American public in making new treatments available for routine care as well as building preparedness for mass casualty incidents.

Learn more at www.CBCCTS.org

Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services is a full-service regional blood center and a global tissue graft provider headquartered in Dayton. Community Blood Center provides blood products to partner hospitals and health centers within a 15-county service area in western Ohio and eastern Indiana. Community Tissue Services is an industry leader in tissue graft development and biotechnology. It is the fifth largest provider of tissue grafts in the country and the largest not-for-profit provider of skin grafts for burn patients.

The Center for Tissue, Innovation and Research features microbiology lab testing; research and development into bio-active allografts and bio-materials; and 14 Class 100 Clean Rooms and Computer Numerical Control precision machinery for graft processing, marketing and distribution worldwide.