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Versiti Blood Research Institute awarded multi-million dollar REDS-IV blood study contract

Award extends Versiti's participation in premier U.S. blood safety research program

MILWAUKEE, April 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Versiti Blood Research Institute, a national leader in blood health innovation, has been awarded a 7-year federal contract valued at $7.4 million from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to participate in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's (NHLBI) research program to protect the nation's blood supply and improve the collection and use of blood products.

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Funded by the National Institutes of Health, REDS (Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study) is the premier research program in blood collection, safety and recipient epidemiology in the United States. Entering its fourth phase, REDS-IV-Pediatric will focus on the safety and effectiveness of blood transfusion therapies in adults and children. The study will continue to address blood donor health and expand its donor-recipient linked database to track outcomes in pediatric and adult patients. The data will link demographic, clinical, and laboratory data on blood donors and their recipients, allowing investigators to rapidly address key research questions in blood banking and transfusion medicine and inform blood policy decisions.

"As blood health innovators, Versiti is honored to continue our participation in this program to advance the safety, collection and usage of blood products," said Alan Mast, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Director and Senior Investigator at Versiti Blood Research Institute. "Blood transfusions are the most common procedure in healthcare, but the least understood. By tracking transfusions from vein-to-vein, we will learn how specific factors in blood donors can affect and improve patient outcomes."

Launched in 1989, REDS focuses on emerging threats to the national blood supply, enhances the effectiveness and safety of transfusions and serves as a resource in transfusion research. Versiti Blood Research Institute has participated in the REDS program since 2004. Its previous findings have advanced knowledge on blood donors and recipients, including iron levels in donors and factors that affect hemolysis and thrombosis.

"Scientific research is the foundation for tomorrow's discoveries. Over the years, Dr. Mast and his team have dedicated themselves and made significant contributions to what the REDS program has built. Our future research will help make the next breakthrough in transfusion medicine possible, ensuring better care and outcomes for patients with transfusion needs," said Versiti Executive Vice President of Research and Chief Scientific Officer Gilbert White, M.D.

Versiti will collaborate with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Marshfield Clinic, who will provide clinical data to be linked to the donor data and participate in the design, enrollment, and interpretation of clinical studies. The REDS-IV-P program runs from April 1, 2019 through March 2026.

About Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin
Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Milwaukee that specializes in blood services, esoteric diagnostic testing, organ, tissue and stem cell donation, medical services and leading-edge research. We advance patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise. The collective efforts of Versiti affiliates result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide. For more information, visit versiti.org .

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SOURCE Versiti