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Cord Blood Collection Programme to expand after major cash boost

Anthony Nolan is to save more lives through stem cell collection thanks to a major cash injection from the Government.

The grant of more than £1.5 million will fast track the expansion of the charity’s pioneering cord blood collection programme from five hospitals to eight – a move which will make Anthony Nolan the biggest public cord blood collection programme in England.

Blood from the umbilical cord is normally disposed of after birth but can be used in lifesaving stem cell transplants for patients with blood cancers, such as leukaemia. This provides a vital alternative for patients who cannot find a match on the adult bone marrow donor register run by the charity.

The funding is part of the latest round of the Government’s Regional Growth Fund which will help 102 projects and companies throughout the country by injecting £506 million cash.

The exact details of the expansion are still to be finalised but will also include an increase in services at the charity’s Nottingham based public cord bank to speed up getting cords on the register and ready for use by transplant doctors.

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, has welcomed the funding as ‘potentially life-changing for so many people.’

‘I’m absolutely delighted at this news which has given the green light to developing our cord blood collection programme even faster than we had hoped.

‘Anthony Nolan is incredibly proud to be expanding into the position of the biggest public cord blood collection programme in England. This award is a testament to the vital importance of our work in saving the lives of people with blood cancer and other blood disorders who so desperately need a stem cell transplant.

‘Cord blood is such a precious resource but it’s simply thrown away. Thanks to the RGF funding, we can help more mums save the life of someone with blood cancer.’

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