11th WFH Global Forum to feature talk on blood and plasma safety

The 11th WFH Global Forum on Research and Treatment Products for Bleeding Disorders is taking place at the Westin Hotel in Montreal on November 13 and 14, 2019. This important event for the bleeding disorders community will focus on the future—new treatments, new approaches, and new areas of global research.

The WFH Global Forum addresses issues related to the safety and supply of treatment products for bleeding disorders in addition to research in the field. It brings together patient groups, regulators, researchers, representatives from industry, not-for-profit fractionators, and doctors who treat people with bleeding disorders.

This year’s event will feature Michael P. Busch, MD, PhD, and Jay S. Epstein, MD kicking off the program with a session titled, “Blood and Plasma Safety” on Wednesday, November 13 from 8:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Busch is Director and Senior Vice President for Research and Scientific Programs at Vitalant Research Institute, as well as Professor of Laboratory Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Epstein is Senior Advisor for International Blood Regulatory Affairs at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) which is part of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Busch’s talk will focus on the prevention of transfusion transmitted infections. Over the past 40 years, the implementation of new technologies has significantly reduced the contamination risk of blood products. Ongoing challenges in blood safety relate primarily to surveillance for emerging agents—such as the West Nile virus, the Zika virus, and Babesia microti—along with the development of rapid response mechanisms when new agents are identified. Recent progress in the development and implementation of pathogen reduction technologies (PRT) provide the opportunity for proactive rather than reactive response to blood safety threats. Busch will discuss the need for a unified approach to transfusion-transmitted infections, whereby novel tests and PRT replace rather than add to existing interventions, thereby reducing costs and the logistical burden to blood centers and hospitals.

Epstein’s talk will provide a summary of key findings from the most recent WHO Global Database on Blood Safety. He will highlight the existing challenges to the development of blood systems in low- and middle-income countries. He will also describe WHO initiatives taken to address these challenges, while keeping all approaches consistent with recent World Health Assembly Resolutions. He will also provide an overview of the draft “WHO Action Framework to Advance Universal Access to Quality and Safe Blood and Blood Components for Transfusion and Plasma Derived Medicinal Products.”

Registration for the 11th WFH Global Forum is open until Friday, November 1, 2019. Please click here to register now.

Looking for a place to stay? Rooms at the 11th WFH Global Forum venue Le Westin Montreal start from $215 USD (inclusive of taxes) and you can make your booking online during the registration process.