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Lakewood, Colo., U.S.A. – June 16, 2022 – Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, a medical technology company specializing in a portfolio of products, software and services for blood component collection, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, today announces the UK’s NHS England has selected the automated red blood cell exchange (RBCX) procedure performed on the company’s Spectra Optia® Apheresis System through the NHS MedTech Funding Mandate (MTFM) to treat sickle cell disease. As a result of this decision, Spectra Optia will be deployed more widely in hospitals across England. This will enable sickle cell disease patients to have improved access to this life-changing treatment.

“Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders that can result in unbearable pain and the need for emergency hospitalization,” said Antoinette Gawin, CEO, Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies. “Specific ethnic minorities suffering from sickle cell disease are an underserved group of patients due to historical health inequalities. We have used Spectra Optia to target sickle cell disease to help address some of these inequalities. Existing standards of care for sickle cell disease vary by region in England and often come with additional health complications that lead to higher costs and poor health outcomes. The NHS MedTech Funding Mandate will enable our Spectra Optia system to be used to help treat more patients across England far more cost-effectively.”1

Sickle cell disease is one of the most common genetic conditions affecting people in England.2 There are currently over 12,000 patients receiving treatment in 68 different NHS hospitals. Forty percent of those patients are under 20 years old.

“Currently, many of these patients have to travel far for treatments which take a considerable time to administer, are often painful, and can cause serious side effects.1 The expansion of the automated red blood cell exchange procedure performed on Terumo’s Spectra Optia Apheresis System across England will enable a considerable number of patients to access more effective and cost-effective treatment,” said John James, Chief Executive, Sickle Cell Society UK.

The NHS MedTech Funding Mandate was initiated in April 2021. In its first year, it supported four cost-saving technologies approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). This support is renewed annually to ensure the technologies meet the policy criteria. In its second year, effective 1 April 2022, the MTFM policy expanded to include seven further technologies, across a variety of clinical conditions, with potential savings of GBP 4 million. All the selected products enable high quality outcomes from treatment and depend on fewer resources, reducing theatre time and length of stay so that more patients across England can be treated more quickly.

Matt Whitty, Chief Executive of Accelerated Access Collaborative and Director of Innovation, Research and Life Sciences at NHS England and NHS Improvement, comments on the MedTech Funding Mandate Policy: “Through research and innovation we can improve patient outcomes. By supporting patients and providers to have equal access to transformative innovations and technologies and by removing barriers to adoption we will reduce health inequalities and improve equity of access for all, and in particular those patients in disproportionately affected groups.”

Treatment of sickle cell disease using Spectra Optia technology is estimated to save the NHS GBP 13 million per annum compared to current treatments, including manual RBCX and top-up transfusions.1 This savings, an estimated GBP 18,100 per patient per year, comes in part because current treatments can lead to iron overload, which can have serious long-term consequences. Iron overload must in turn be treated with chelation therapy, poorly tolerated by some patients. Spectra Optia will mitigate these challenges faced by the NHS and patients by reducing the need for iron chelation therapy and automating the RBCX process for faster treatment. 

Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies’ Spectra Optia technology received NICE Medical Technology Guidance approval in March 2016 and was reapproved in August 2020. 

About NHS MedTech Funding Mandate

The MedTech Funding Mandate (MTFM) is an NHS Long Term Plan commitment to get selected NICE-approved cost-saving devices, diagnostics and digital products to NHS patients more quickly. The policy launched on 1 April 2021. After the first year of the new policy, additional guidance was published for 2022/23.

Spectra Optia® Apheresis System

The Spectra Optia system is a user-friendly, versatile, industry-leading therapeutic apheresis, cell processing and cell collection platform that allows operators to spend more time focusing on patient care. Therapeutic apheresis is used widely for a variety of applications. For example, practitioners use red blood cell exchange (RBCX) for sickle cell disease treatment; cell collections for stem cell transplantations and to collect starting material for cell therapies; and therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) to treat many diseases in both the chronic and acute setting in the neurology, nephrology and hematology spaces.
Product and protocol availability varies by country.

About Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies

Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is a medical technology company. Our products, software and services enable customers to collect and prepare blood and cells to help treat challenging diseases and conditions. Our employees around the world believe in the potential of blood and cells to do even more for patients than they do today. This belief inspires our innovation and strengthens our collaboration with customers.

Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies' customers include blood centers, hospitals, therapeutic apheresis clinics, cell collection and processing organizations, researchers and private medical practices. Our customers are based in over 130 countries across the globe. We have 750+ granted patents, with more than 150 additionally pending.

We have global headquarters in Lakewood, Colo., U.S.A., along with five regional headquarters, seven manufacturing sites and six innovation and development centers across the globe. Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is a subsidiary of Terumo Corporation (TSE: 4543), a global leader in medical technology. 

About Terumo

Terumo (TSE: 4543) is a global leader in medical technology and has been committed to “Contributing to Society through Healthcare” for 100 years. Based in Tokyo and operating globally, Terumo employs more than 30,000 associates worldwide to provide innovative medical solutions in more than 160 countries and regions. The company started as a Japanese thermometer manufacturer, and has been supporting healthcare ever since. Now, its extensive business portfolio ranges from vascular intervention and cardio-surgical solutions, blood transfusion and cell therapy technology, to medical products essential for daily clinical practice such as transfusion systems, diabetes care, and peritoneal dialysis treatments. Terumo will further strive to be of value to patients, medical professionals, and society at large.

Among the information that Terumo discloses, the forward-looking statements including financial projections are based upon our assumptions using information available to us at the time and are not intended to be guarantees of future events or performance. Accordingly, it should be noted that actual results may differ from those forecasts or projections due to various factors. Factors affecting to actual results include, but are not limited to, changes in economic conditions surrounding Terumo, fluctuations of foreign exchange rates, and state of competition.


Information about products (including products currently in development) included in this material is not intended to constitute an advertisement or medical advice.