Working Together, Finding Cures

See the Bio-Sharing Booth & Poster at ISCT-North America, Sept. 13-15, 2019

Are you attending the ISCT-North America Regional Meeting in Madison on September 13 through 15? Visit the booth to discuss your blood products needs for research.

Visit Poster #47 on September 14th at 5 p.m. to see how LRS chambers from community blood centers are a good source of viable mononuclear cells, and discuss with us how they could be used in your research and cell therapy development.

Read the ISCT-NA2019 abstract.


Revolutionary Cancer Treatment Now Offered at Stephenson Cancer Center

Stephenson Cancer Center at OU Medicine in Oklahoma City recently announced it will begin using CAR T therapy to treat advanced lymphoma in adults.  
CAR T utilizes the patients' own T cells, which are collected, then sent to a company and injected with a gene that fights cancer.  The specially engineered cells are then transfused back to the patient to attack the cancer in a revolutionary way -- and patients should require only one treatment.
Oklahoma Blood Institute is helping with this breakthrough treatment by collecting CAR T patients' blood at its facility in Oklahoma City, so that the T cells can be separated from the blood and then programmed to fight cancer.
Stephenson Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute.
Oklahoma Blood Institute is the sixth largest non-profit blood collector in the U.S.


New Paid Research Opportunity: Bone Marrow Donors Needed

Your Blood Institute is partnering with a start-up drug company to provide mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) for age-related disease research. Researchers currently need individuals willing to donate bone marrow.  

A Florida-based research firm focused on combating aging and age-related disease is conducting clinical trials that center on the collection of MSCs, extracted from bone marrow.  MSCs are a type of stem cell found in bone marrow that have the ability to transform into different bone or tissue types within the body.

Potential participants should be between the ages of 18 and 45, non-smokers, in good health, and weigh less than 250 pounds.  Donors should live in the Oklahoma City metro area.  Please note that the procedure will occur at an outpatient surgery center in Oklahoma City and pain will feel similar to falling and bruising your hip.  

Participants are eligible to receive $500 in compensation.  If you're interested, please make sure you complete your BioProfile on the Bio-Linked website, and mark "Bone Marrow" under your donation preferences.

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A Guide: How to Participate in Bio-Linked Studies

In order to be eligible to participate in Bio-Linked studies, you must:
  • Fully complete your BioProfile on the Bio-Linked website  
  • Accept research opportunities on your BioProfile  
  • Under preferences, be sure to note your preferred method of contact, and mark the donation types you are willing to offer (see photo below)
Bio-Linked will use the information in completed profiles to determine if a potential participant meets the requirements for the research study.  Bio-Linked™ will contact you with potential research opportunities.  
Through Bio-Linked™ and Bio-Sharing™, participating blood centers provide the blood cells necessary to support breakthrough studies could lead to new treatments and cures.  

New Paid Research Opportunity: Donors Needed for Transplant Drug Study

Bio-Linked participants have the opportunity to advance cancer treatment research by donating mononuclear cells.    A clinical-stage research firm in the U.S. is developing cell- and antibody-based drugs that can aid in stem cell transplant recovery.  

Bio-Linked™ is seeking adults eligible for whole blood donation who weigh at least 110 pounds for the research firm's trials.  Participants are eligible for compensation up to $1,000.  Mononuclear cells are separated and extracted from whole blood during apheresis blood donation, a process that takes approximately 120 minutes. The cells will help produce drugs that lessen the chance of infection and aid in recovery for transplant recipients.

In order to be eligible to participate, donors must fully complete their BioProfile on the Bio-Linked website.  They must also accept research opportunities on their BioProfile.  Under preferences, be sure to note your preferred method of contact, and mark “Donate Apheresis White Blood Cells” on the slide for donation types you are willing to offer.   Bio-Linked™ will use the information in completed profiles to determine if a potential participant meets the requirements for the research study.  Bio-Linked™ will contact you with potential research opportunities.

Through Bio-Linked™ and Bio-Sharing™, participating blood centers provide the blood cells necessary to support breakthrough stem cell-based immunology studies that could lead to new cancer treatments and cures. 

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New Research Opportunity: Donors Needed for New Cancer Treatment Studies

Moffitt Cancer Center© Moffitt Cancer Center

Bio-Linked™ is seeking blood donors to help advance cancer studies. The Blood Institute is collaborating with Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida to collect mononuclear cells for cancer research and treatments. Mononuclear cells play a critical role in healthy immune function and prevention of cancer.  These cells are separated and extracted from whole blood during apheresis blood donation, a process that takes a bit longer than a typical platelet donation (approximately 120 minutes).  Donors who participate should be healthy adults who weigh at least 110 pounds and meet all criteria for a whole blood donation.  Participants are eligible to receive compensation.  

In order to participate, donors must also accept research opportunities on their BioProfile on the Bio-Linked website.  Under preferences, be sure to note your preferred method of contact, and mark “Donate Apheresis White Blood Cells” on the slide for donation types you are willing to offer. 

Moffitt, a non-profit, National Cancer Institute-designated treatment and research center, has operated in Tampa, Florida, since 1986.  It conducts groundbreaking studies to fight many forms of cancer, in five focal areas: cancer biology & evolution, cancer epidemiology, chemical biology & molecular medicine, health outcomes & behavior, and immunology.

Through Bio-Linked™ and Bio-Sharing™, the Blood Institute provides the blood cells necessary to support Moffitt’s cutting-edge cell therapy research and development— programs that could lead to discoveries of new cancer treatments and cures. The mononuclear cell is a key ingredient for the cancer-fighting lymphocyte drugs Moffitt Cancer Center creates with the help of drug developers.  These innovative treatments give hope to patients with previously untreatable cancers.

By participating in Bio-Linked™, you are part of the pioneering relationship between the Blood Institute and Moffitt Cancer Center, and you are helping evolve the search for cures to cancers that affect your family members, friends, neighbors, and millions of others.

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Oklahoma Blood Institute's Cellular Therapies Featured in "The Oklahoman"


Oklahoma Blood Institute's cellular therapies program is featured in "The Oklahoman."

“Most cell therapy drugs start out as autologous, where you are donating your own blood for the drug that is going to be made,” [Charles Mooney, Oklahoma Blood Institute's Vice President for quality management and new business ventures,] said. “The goal is for them to be allogeneic-based so that somebody would be able to donate cells and a draw can be made from it just like a unit of blood.”

“There can be as many as 1 billion to 3 billion white cells in this LRS chamber,” [Dr. Jennifer Chain, Oklahoma Blood Institute science officer,] said. “We can harvest those out of the LRS chamber and study their properties. Eventually, we want to use those cells to develop allogeneic therapies.”

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Oklahoma Blood Institute Receives Research Award to Fund Further Studies

As reported by Business Wire

Biological Industries USA Announces Initial Winners of MSC Research Awards

Grants totaling over $65,000 to be issued to scientists working with mesenchymal stem cells for treatment of injury and disease

CROMWELL, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Biological Industries USA (BI-USA), a division of Biological Industries Beit Haemek Israel (BI) and providers of premium cGMP cell culture media and media manufacturing services to the academic, biotech, and pharmaceutical industries, announces the initial winners of its MSC Research Award, which was unveiled in January. The winners are scientists advancing the fields of cellular therapy and mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC)-based research. The awards, totaling over $65,000 worth of BI-USA products and services, will fund studies aimed at creating xeno-free cGMP MSC Master Cell Banks, isolating and expanding MSCs from novel sources, manufacturing MSCs with increased immunomodulatory efficacy, and modifying MSCs to improve their ability to avoid immune cell attack and eventual rejection after transplantation.

The award recipients for the current round of funding include: Darren Hickerson, MS, MDiv, Associate Director of Manufacturing, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM); Jennifer Chain, PhD, Science Officer for Cellular Therapies, Oklahoma Blood Institute; James Ankrum, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, University of Iowa; and Yan Li, MD, Project Staff, Cleveland Clinic.

“The BI-USA MSC Award program recognizes the importance of using mesenchymal cells to advance much-needed translational research, which we feel can be accelerated by using defined, xeno-free, serum-free systems,” said Tanya Potcova, CEO of BI-USA. “We are very excited to watch the progress and are pleased to support each award winner’s important research as they move forward.”

About Biological Industries (BI)

Biological Industries ( is one of the world’s leading and trusted suppliers to the life sciences industry, with over 35 years’ experience in cell culture media development and GMP manufacturing. BI’s products range from classical cell culture media, to supplements and reagents for stem cell research and cell therapy applications, to serum and serum-free media products. BI is committed to a Culture of Excellence through advanced manufacturing and quality-control systems, regulatory expertise, in-depth market knowledge, and extensive technical customer-support, training, and R&D capabilities.

About Biological Industries USA (BI-USA)

Biological Industries USA ( is the US commercialization arm of BI, with facilities in Cromwell, Connecticut. Members of the BI-USA team share expertise and a history of innovation and success in the development of leading-edge technologies in stem cell research, cellular reprogramming, and regenerative medicine.

To receive ongoing BI communications, please join the email list or connect with the company at

Yes! Science! Features Dr. Jennifer Chain

Dr. Jennifer Chain featured in Yes! Science!

Our own Dr. Jennifer Chain was recently featured in Yes! Science! for her 20th anniversary as a scientist.  

Dr. Chain explains her role as Science Officer for Cellular Therapies at Oklahoma Blood Institute, where she is part of the organization's Bio-Development department.  At Oklahoma Blood Institute, Dr. Chain is starting a stem cell and cell therapy research and development laboratory.  The work Dr. Chain is doing will "lead to cutting-edge advancements in anti-cancer immunotherapies and regenerative medicine applications and increase the accessibility of these therapies to more patients." (source: Yes! Science!


LRS Chambers in Developing Cell Therapies

by Jennifer Chain, Ph.D.

At the Oklahoma Blood Institute, we collect more than 20,000 platelet donations each year. During routine collection, platelets are separated from other blood components by centrifugation. Leukoreduction system (LRS) chambers play a direct role in the cell reduction process used to collect the platelets. When the donation process is completed, red blood cells, white blood cells, and plasma are returned to the donor. However, a small volume of concentrated white blood cells remains inside the LRS chamber. These chambers are typically discarded, but if they are sterilely separated from the collection kit, the white blood cells contained within can be used in a whole host of research applications. Collecting these chambers and providing them to scientists for research purposes is one way Oklahoma Blood Institute is being good stewards of our donors’ gift of life-saving platelets.

We have analyzed a group of LRS chambers for the number of cells and the different cell types contained within. An average of 1.8x109 total nucleated cells (Table 1) are obtained from a single LRS chamber, with an average of 96.3% of those cells being lymphocytes and monocytes (Mononuclear Cells). CD3+ T cells make up between 30% and 65% of the total LRS chamber contents, depending in the individual. Other common subpopulations in these chambers are B cells, monocytes, and NK cells. CD3+ T cells are currently being used in cutting-edge cancer treatments called CAR T cell therapies, and both NK cells and gamma/delta T cells are emerging as potential cell types for future CAR therapies. The CD14+ monocyte population has the potential to develop into dendritic cells, which can be used to develop cancer vaccines. Laboratories and companies in the research phases of their therapy development can benefit from using cells from LRS chambers as a source of their lymphocyte and monocyte cell populations. OBI is currently developing technology to harvest the cells out of the LRS chamber in an FDA compliant way so these cells can be used directly in allogeneic clinical applications.