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BMI OrganBank, Atrium Health and LifeShare Carolinas Partner to Launch Nation's First Organ Banking Technology


CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Atrium Health's Division of Abdominal Transplant, Carolinas Medical Center (DAT Atrium), LifeShare Carolinas, one of nation's leading Organ Procurement Organizations, and BMI OrganBank, a developer of organ perfusion systems based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, announced today that their organizations have partnered to develop and launch the nation's first Organ Banking technology, which will greatly expand the possibilities for organ preservation and reconditioning.  DAT Atrium is part of the nation's fifth largest Integrated Delivery Network.

The initial focus of the collaboration will be kidney transplantation.  Millions of registered organ donors die every year, but relatively few have their kidneys recovered and transplanted.  As a result, over 90,000 Americans are on the waiting list for lifesaving kidney transplants. This imbalance in supply and demand could be addressed by the greater use of kidneys from older donors and donors after circulatory death (DCD). With current organ preservation approaches, which use cold temperatures, these kidneys are vulnerable to significant injury during the period before transplantation, leading to increased rates of organ transplant failure. As such, clinicians and patients are reluctant to utilize these kidneys.

To improve the preservation and acceptance of these kidneys, BMI OrganBank has developed a unique room temperature oxygenated perfusion platform which has shown great promise for extending preservation times and improving post-transplant outcomes.  With this partnership, DAT Atrium and LifeShare Carolinas will be the first clinical organizations to have access to this technology.  They will take a leadership role in adapting the technology to clinical settings.

Dr. Dionisios Vrochides, Chief of Transplant Oncology Section and Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery at Atrium Health Division of Abdominal Surgery stated, "This technology has potential to fill important needs of our organ procurement and transplant teams to make more use of donor organs that have been entrusted to us and to improve transplant outcomes.  We are excited to help bring it into the clinic."

Carrie DiMarzio, CEO of BMI OrganBank, added, "Atrium's Carolinas Medical Center abdominal transplant team is widely admired across the nation, and we are delighted to have partners of this caliber join our efforts to bring this lifesaving innovation to patients who have been waitlisted for organs."

The partnership will span product development, clinical studies, clinical integration pilots and educational initiatives and includes an undisclosed capital arrangement.

About BMI OrganBanktm

BMI OrganBank develops novel perfusion systems that can preserve and recondition organs and tissues. BMI has research facilities in the Innovation Accelerator at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC and in Research Triangle Park, NC. BMI OrganBank has multiple medical devices in development that use its patented and proprietary technologies. Its first product to launch will be the OrganBank Transport device, which was developed in partnership with Duke University researchers at the Duke Ex-Vivo Organ Laboratory (DEVOL). BMI is currently conducting a seed funding round. To learn more, visit bmiorganbank.com.

About Division of Abdominal Transplant at Carolinas Medical Center, at Atrium Health

The Division of Abdominal Transplant, Carolinas Medical Center, is part of Atrium Health Transplant Center, one of the busiest transplant centers in North Carolina, performing nearly 200 organ transplants every year. It is one of just six in the US with its own hospital-based organ procurement program, which has resulted in shorter average wait times for organs for their patients.

Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care.  Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atrium Health is an integrated, nonprofit health system with more than 70,000 teammates serving patients at 40 hospitals and more than 1,400 care locations.  Atrium Health is part of Advocate Health, the fifth-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, which was created from the combination with Advocate Aurora Health.  It provides care under the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist name in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, region, as well as Atrium Health Navicent and Atrium Health Floyd in Georgia and Alabama. Atrium Health is renowned for its top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs.  A recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research, Wake Forest University School of Medicine is the academic core of the system, including Wake Forest Innovations, which is advancing new medical technologies and biomedical discoveries. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing ? for all, providing $2.46 billion last year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits.

About LifeShare Carolinas

LifeShare Carolinas serves more than three million people across southwestern North Carolina with headquarters Charlotte, NC. LifeShare Carolinas is a Tier 1 organ procurement organization, ranking in the top 25% of organ procurement organizations in the 2022 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Annual Report.  LifeShare Carolinas is proud to fulfill its mission of giving hope, life, and healing across 23 counties and is grateful to the donors and their families who make this meaningful mission possible.  To learn more, visit lifesharecarolinas.org.

SOURCE BMI OrganBank


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