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Mills brings 20 years of experience advancing cell therapy organizations to global nonprofit

May 02 2017

MINNEAPOLIS - May 2, 2017 - Be The Match® announced today that C. Randal Mills, Ph.D., will join the organization as chief executive officer on June 30. Mills will succeed Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., who is retiring from the organization in November after 17 years.

Be The Match is a non-profit organization that delivers cures to patients in need of a life-saving marrow or cord blood transplant. The organization operates the national Be The Match Registry®—the world’s largest listing of potential marrow donors and donated umbilical cord blood units—matches patients with their marrow donor, educates healthcare professionals and conducts research so more lives can be saved. The organization also recently created a subsidiary—Be The Match BioTherapiesSM —that supports organizations pursuing new life-saving treatments in cellular therapy.

“We live in a promising time for disease and cancer treatment. The advances we’ve seen in the outcomes of marrow transplant and its availability to a wider population during my 17 years with Be The Match is proof of this promise,” said Chell. “Randy is a biotech pioneer, innovator and entrepreneur who has advanced each company he led and made significant contributions to science. I know he will do the same at Be The Match, and I am excited to see him develop and share a vision for the future of this life-saving organization.”

Mills has more than 20 years of experience leading companies focused on adult stem cell therapies and regenerative medicine. He spent the last three years as CEO of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) where he transformed the organization into one that is internationally recognized for its speed, innovation and productivity. Until recently, Mills also served as the chairman of KeraLink (formally TBI), an international non-profit organization focused on reversing corneal blindness globally through ocular transplantation.

During Mills’ time as CEO of Osiris Therapeutics, Inc., he won approval for the first stem cell drug to treat pediatric graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and created an international expanded access program for a cell therapy drug that treats transplant patients suffering from refractory GvHD. He also made tissue transplantation safer when he invented BioCleanse®, the first sterilization system for human tissue transplantation that was accepted by the FDA, while at Regeneration Technologies, Inc.

“I’ve spent my entire career leading organizations that advance the science and practice of regenerative medicine to better serve patients in need of these cellular therapies,” Mills said. “It is this type of mission-focused work that drives me and is why I am so excited to join the tremendous team at Be The Match. It is an honor. There’s nothing more humbling or motivating than working for an organization that plays such a pivotal role in providing a cure for life-threatening blood diseases such as leukemia.”

Mills’ commitment to the adult stem cell and regenerative medicine industries extend beyond his day-to-day work. Mills serves on several boards and has been recognized for his efforts by organizations such as Ernst & Young, Deloitte and the World Regenerative Medicine Congress. 

About Be The Match®
For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can contribute to the cure as a member of the Be The Match Registry®, financial contributor or volunteer. Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant.

Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research through its research program, CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), so more lives can be saved. To learn more about the cure, visit or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.