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The organization’s new unified identity reflects its groundbreaking research, treatment and patient support to cure blood cancers and blood disorders

Be The Match® Affirms Global Leadership in Life-saving Cell Therapies with New Name, Brand: NMDP

-- January 08 2024

MINNEAPOLIS—National Marrow Donor Program®/Be The Match®, which operates the world’s most diverse registry of blood stem cell and marrow donors, is proud to unveil its new organizational name and brand: NMDPSM. Find cures. Save lives.

What began as the national registry of unrelated bone marrow donors 37 years ago has grown and evolved into a global nonprofit leader in cell therapy driving research to improve outcomes for patients diagnosed with more than 75 blood cancers and disorders. The new name and brand align with this evolution, harnessing the full breadth of NMDP’s expertise, programs, and partnerships worldwide – now and in the years to come.

“Our organization has been known by many names – National Marrow Donor Program, the national registry, Be The Match – but we have always operated with a single purpose: saving lives through cell therapy. Over nearly four decades, the world has evolved, and so have we, expanding our global footprint, advancing research throughout the cell therapy ecosystem and impacting more people’s lives,” said Amy Ronneberg, CEO, NMDP. “As we reflect on all we have achieved and the advancements we hope to realize from here, the time is right to unify our name and brands to reflect this evolution.”

NMDP’s vision is to create a world in which every patient can receive their life-saving cell therapy. While the organization has facilitated more than 125,000 blood stem cell and marrow transplants since its founding, there are still thousands of patients each year who face barriers to treatment. Two key strategic focus areas shaping the future of the organization include innovative research to advance standards of care and improve patient outcomes; and leveraging that same research with patient advocacy to provide equitable access to life-saving cell therapies.

Research advancements are driving the organization’s growth in enabling more patients than ever before to access cell therapy – a record 7,435 lives in 2023. Last year, NMDP, and NMDP's collaborative research program CIBMTR®, invested more than $77.2M in research and research infrastructure and led more than 250 studies and trials to help reduce blood cancer relapse rates, minimize the impact of graft versus host disease (GVHD) and increase access to cell therapies for all patients. One such research initiative has been described as revolutionary by transplant physicians: Donor for All.

Breakthrough Research to Expand Access to Lifesaving Treatment

Through NMDP’s transformational Donor for All research initiative, the organization has seen a 45% increase in the use of unrelated donors with less than 8 of 8 matching human leukocytic antigen (HLA) markers. The goal of Donor for All clinical trials and studies is to improve outcomes in patients who are unlikely to find 8 of 8 HLA matches.

A recent collaborative study presented by NMDP at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in December 2023 illustrated no discernable difference in overall survival from blood cancers using a 7/8 donor compared to a fully matched 8/8 donor when a novel post-transplant treatment was utilized. For populations such as Black or African American and mixed-race patients currently facing the lowest odds of finding a fully matched donor due to their ethnic background, this could result in a nearly three-fold increase in the likelihood of securing a suitable donor.

“These findings have helped more patients from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds receive critical cell therapy. Our Donor for All research has shown promise to expand options for patients with diverse ancestry, by offering optimal matches that deliver equitable outcomes for patients without a fully matched donor on the registry,” said Steven Devine, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NMDP. “Matching is still important but we are encouraged by these positive long-term outcomes. We are transforming the opportunity for transplant physicians to have more options, improving access to life-saving cell therapy for all patients.”

NMDP continues to build upon these groundbreaking findings, with future trials planned to explore use of a wider range of donors for other blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease, which affects more than 100,000 patients in the U.S.

Creating a World Where Everyone Can Receive Life-Saving Cell Therapy

NMDP is further addressing inequities in cell therapy through numerous patient-focused initiatives to promote early access to transplant, particularly for patient populations that historically have lower rates of being referred to transplant.  The organization has introduced programs such as HLA Today to ensure patients diagnosed with blood cancers and blood diseases best treated by transplant are able to have their HLA, and that of immediate family members, typed at no cost.

In addition, NMDP continues to expand the number of young donors on the world’s most diverse registry through its extensive recruitment team, which is active on more than 400 college campuses across the country. The organization has partnered with historically Black colleges and universities, as well as fraternities and sororities, to invite more students from diverse backgrounds to turn their innate goodness into a limitless, life-saving gift.

Finally, the organization works to ensure all patients have access to tools and resources such as clinical trials, counseling and peer support programs that are essential to helping patients and their loved ones along the journey. This includes providing more than $6 million a year to help thousands of patients with costs not covered by insurance. With more patients able to move forward with transplant because donor options are expanding, there is an increased need for NMDP to fundraise to help patients overcome financial barriers.

As NMDP advances its work in research, treatment and support, its new unified brand will strengthen its global community of volunteers, donors, partners and supporters. The organization launches its new brand with a marketing campaign, “Good Goes a Long Way,” highlighting the profound impact experienced by patients, their loved ones, and the healthcare professionals, donors and supporters involved in their journey. Together, NMDP and its network strive to create a world where every patient can receive their life-saving cell therapy.

About NMDPSM

At NMDPSM, we believe each of us holds the key to curing blood cancers and disorders. As a global nonprofit leader in cell therapy, NMDP creates essential connections between researchers and supporters to inspire action and accelerate innovation to find life-saving cures. With the help of blood stem cell donors from the world’s most diverse registry and our extensive network of transplant partners, physicians and caregivers, we’re expanding access to treatment so that every patient can receive their life-saving cell therapy. NMDP. Find cures. Save lives.