CRB Breaks Ground with Upstate Medical University on Public Cord Blood Bank

CRB Breaks Ground with Upstate Medical University on Public Cord Blood Bank

Sep 25, 2012

Philadelphia, PA

As the preeminent provider of professional engineering and architectural services to the life sciences industry, CRB is pleased to announce its partnership with Upstate Medical University and Francis Cauffman to design the new Upstate Cord Blood Bank processing and storage facility in the state of New York.

Set to open in 2014, the groundbreaking ceremony held on September 17 signified the beginning of construction on the $15 million Upstate Cord Blood Bank that will process and store umbilical cord blood donated by families throughout Central and northern New York. Cord blood is used by those in need of life-saving medical treatments and for medical research. New York State Sen. John DeFrancisco played a key role in securing the $15 million funding for the building, enabling Syracuse to have one of the only two public cord blood banks in New York.

The CRB team, led by Marc Pelletier, PhD, Jim Daly, AIA, NCARB, MBA, and Brian Peasley, PE, LEED AP will serve as planners for the facility, programming the facility layout for the harvesting, testing, and preservation of cord blood. Partners Francis Cauffman will provide architecture design for the building structure and the non-process interior functions.

“Expertise in applicable cGMPs is critical to the proper planning of cord blood facilities. This sector of the life sciences industry is still relatively immature. Understanding the nuances of FDA compliance and best practice manufacturing is essential to successful programming of the blood center ensuring consistent manufacturing and product of the highest quality for its patients,” said Pelletier. “This same CRB team designed the first licensed cord blood center in the U.S., and many of the rules for this industry were established during that exercise.”

The project Pelletier referred to is the National Cord Blood Program at the New York Blood Center in Manhattan, designed by CRB and Francis Cauffman in 2007 and currently serving over 22 million people nationwide. Cord blood harvested at the Syracuse center will also serve a population beyond the local area, as samples will be processed, tested, and frozen before matches are retrieved and delivered to patients throughout the country.

“As the field of stem cell research becomes better understood and more widely accepted, the opportunities for process engineering and further development of this outstanding medical technology will expand” Pelletier continued. “With umbilical cord stem cells, there is no need for a tissue donor – you can generate those cells and create new options for patients. The prediction is for exponential growth in the industry. For CRB to be there at the infancy creates advantages for our clients who can rely on our knowledge of regulatory requirements and cGMP guidelines.”

The two-story building will be between 10,000 and 15,000 square feet and be located on Upstate’s Community Hospital Campus at 4900 Broad Road, Syracuse. The Upstate Cord Blood Bank will operate under strict guidelines and protocols, established by state and federal health organizations, including the state Health Department, the Food and Drug Administration, the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy, and the American Association of Blood Banks.

The Upstate Cord Blood Bank will be a LEED Certified building.

Upstate Cord Blood Bank credits: Architect: Francis Cauffman. Engineer: CRB Engineers. Construction Manager: The Pike Company. Project consultants: Nicholas Greco, Ph.D, of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine at Case Western Reserve University; and Karen Snyder, M.Ed, from KLS Consulting & Project Management.