IBTO Cooperation With French Firm

IBTO Cooperation With French FirmIBTO Cooperation With French Firm

Iran is planning to produce 10 million units of blood packs on par with European Union (EU) standards as per an agreement signed with Macopharma Co., a French blood transfusion company.

At a meeting on Wednesday with a group of representatives from the French company, head of Iranian Blood Transfusion Organization Aliakbar Pourfathollah, emphasized the need to expand IBTO’s market share in the region in supplying the necessary equipment and instruments for blood transfusion, IRNA reported.

“The contract will provide an opportunity for us to produce blood packs with Europe’s high standards and at a rather low price.”

The French have expressed readiness to invest on research in the field of stem cells and blood transfusion. “The IBTO can also pave the way for such bilateral cooperation,” he said.

Iran is the 17th most populous country in the world and over 2.1 million blood units are donated free by Iranians to the IBTO every year.

IBTO’s annual capacity has currently reached 400,000 liters of plasma production and it has created “scientific exchange opportunities” in the field of blood transfusion in the international arena.  

“HIV, Hepatitis B and C prevalence rate among Iranian blood donors is one-tenth of the global figure, which makes the country one of the mass producers of high quality plasma,” Pourfathollah said.

Blood is made up of several components including red blood cells, plasma and platelets each serving a specific purpose.

Iran annually produces 200,000 liters of platelets, and is planning to boost its production to 600,000 liters. The annual capacity has reached 400,000 liters in plasma production, but there is still a deficit of 200,000 liters in order to reach self-reliance.

The French delegation also expressed willingness of its private sector to collaborate with IBTO in joint research and training programs. The IBTO Innovation Center can be the platform for mutual collaboration in research and education, the two sides noted.

 Blood Stocks

The IBTO’s Central Immunohematology Laboratory says over 175 different blood-group antigens have been found and stocked during blood tests conducted so far.

“These can be stocked for 30 years,” said head of the laboratory, Mostafa Moqaddam.

Globally, a total of 35 human blood group systems are now recognized by the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT) and among them, over 600 different blood-group antigens have been found, but many of these are very rare, found mainly in certain ethnic groups.

Patients referring to the medical lab include regular blood receivers like thalassemia, organ and bone marrow transplant recipients, those suffering from blood cancer, pregnant women with repeated miscarriages, and people with malignant tumors, and acute or chronic anemia.

“Nearly 5000 to 10,000 blood donors are tested for rare blood phenotypes on a yearly basis and over 1,000 people are registered in IBTO’s data base as having rare blood type,” Moqaddam added.

The necessary classifications are made depending on the needs of the blood recipients.