Unmet Platelet Demand
On average an apheresis-equivalent platelet unit costs about $1000.
It is illegal to pay people to donate platelets in the US (and most other countries).
Limited donor availability means platelet shortages are common during long weekends, holidays, extreme weather, and major emergencies.
Platelet prices fluctuate broadly (when supply is available).
Dependence on Donors
Blood donation is inherently risky due to bacterial/viral contamination.
Platelet collection has remained virtually unchanged in the last 100 years.
Bacterial screening (2 days) and transport (1 day) limit platelet units to a 2-day shelf life.
Platelet units are often discarded due to outdate.
Platelets that are transfused still present a risk of bacterial and viral contamination.
Manufacture Platelets Directly from Stem Cells.
Cheaper: Scaled manufacturing reduces costs.
Safer: Bacterial and viral contamination risk is eliminated.
Younger: Longer shelf life. Improved survival.
Reduced allosensitization from multiple exposures.
Scalable: Platelets available ‘on-demand.’
Defined product: Platelets can be custom-matched to recipients.
Remove dependence on human volunteer donors
Eliminate/reduce viral and bacterial contamination risk
Supply cheaper and safer platelets on-demand
Expand platelet transfusion market beyond first-world countries
Support new growth markets that are dependent on platelets currently reserved for transfusion