Bone marrow represents a rich source of diverse stem, progenitor and other cells of clinical and research interest including hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), dendritic cells, T-cells, natural killer (NK) cells, B-cells and others. Currently, these cells are only recovered from living donors through bone marrow aspiration or peripheral blood mobilization. Ossium Health is developing the first clinical and research bank of bone marrow derived cells from deceased organ and tissue donors. While the concept of utilizing this resource for bone marrow cells was first described over 60 years ago, the ability to recover viable material efficiently and the infrastructure necessary to achieve this at even a modest scale simply has not existed. Ossium Health has overcome this by establishing a robust ecosystem comprised of a world-class tissue processor (and Phase III partner), major organ procurement agencies and innovation to, for the first time, allow recovery and banking of this plentiful source of potentially life-saving cells. However, for this bank to reach its full potential, further efficiencies must be advanced and implemented. This Phase II study aims to develop ?smart baking? innovations by optimizing methods of cryopreserving intact marrow in situ within whole bones to allow time for infectious disease, sterility and HLA testing prior to investing in fully processing donor bones to isolate cellular components. This innovative work will also provide early guidance towards cryopreservation of more complex tissues such as vascular composite allografts (VCA). The resulting technology from this study may increase efficiency by as much as 80% - drastically reducing cost and allowing more readily available and less expensive clinical grade and high-quality research material to be available to meet the growing demands of gene therapy, tissue engineering and basic science investigation.

Public Health Relevance

Bone marrow is a rich source of many cell types with the potential to address numerous currently intractable diseases. Many studies have demonstrated the need for a large and genetically diverse source of these cells as well as the therapeutic benefits of minimally manipulating the cells before treating patients. Ossium Health has developed a robust system for obtaining living bone marrow cells from the 60,000 donors each year who gift organs and tissues following their death. Ossium is proposing to develop innovative methods that will reduce the costs of deceased donor bone marrow cell isolation, resulting in <1/3 the cost and <1/5 the time to process each specimen. These life-saving and life-enhancing cells will be banked and made available to physicians and biomedical researchers for treating seriously ill patients and discovering new cures.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Ochocinska, Margaret J
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Ossium Health, Inc.
San Francisco
United States
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