Labcorp Collaborates with Blood Centers of America to Expand Research in Cell and Gene Therapy
BURLINGTON, N.C., and WEST WARWICK, R.I., April 30, 2021 — Labcorp (NYSE: LH), through its drug development business, Covance by Labcorp, a global leader in nonclinical safety assessment, clinical trial testing, and clinical trial management services, and Blood Centers of America (BCA), the nation’s largest network of blood centers, today announced that they have entered into an agreement to expand research opportunities in the areas of cell and gene therapy.
The relationship builds on current product and service offerings of the two organizations. Covance by Labcorp will use cells collected by BCA members who have opted into the program to support expanded lab research and development of new cell and gene therapies. BCA clients that are in the early development phases of clinical trials, including those requiring cell-based starting material for drug development, will have a more direct line to offerings provided by Covance by Labcorp.
“The partnership with Blood Centers of America will further strengthen access to clinical trials and research, especially in the areas of cell and gene therapy, which are potential treatments for conditions such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and blood disorders,” said Bill Hanlon, Ph.D., president of clinical, therapeutic, and regulatory sciences at Covance by Labcorp. “Covance by Labcorp remains committed to being a proactive leader in the development of cell and gene therapies. This partnership solidifies our mission to improve the health and lives of those we serve.”
Cell and gene therapies modify a person’s genes to treat disease in three general ways: replacing a gene that is causing a disease with a healthy copy; inactivating a gene that is not functioning properly; or introducing a new or modified gene into the body to help treat disease. Cell and gene therapy is being tested for use in the treatment of many diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, various forms of blood cancer, and blood disorders such as hemophilia and sickle cell anemia. Covance by Labcorp’s specialized expertise, coordinated capabilities, and focused investments across the preclinical, clinical, and post-approval phases of development will enable the company to reduce the time and risks associated with developing these new cell and gene therapies.
Additionally, Covance by Labcorp clients that need healthy serum in order to validate tests or new blood products will now have access to blood and blood products through BCA and its members. Samples collected by BCA members are given to Labcorp with the patient’s permission. The partnership also enables trials to include more diverse populations as BCA’s network of blood centers are spread throughout the United States.
“We are excited to collaborate with Covance by Labcorp and further our mission to support patients by providing access to new therapies formulated from allogeneic products from healthy donors, or autologous materials, which are patient derived,” said Bill Block, president and CEO, BCA. “This partnership is another opportunity for the advancement of cell and gene therapies as our BCA members are uniquely positioned in their local communities to support on-site cell processing, cryopreservation and storage needs of researchers in a cGMP environment to support the development and delivery of cell therapies and clinical trials.”