2 New US CSL Plasma Collection Centers Open to Meet Growing Need

Both new sites in California, bringing total in state to 5; 6th slated for 2023

Teresa Carvalho, MS avatar

by Teresa Carvalho, MS |

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CSL Plasma has announced the opening of two additional plasma collection centers in California to meet the growing need for plasma-derived treatments for people with rare diseases — including hereditary angioedema (HAE).

The new collection sites, hosted by the cities of Stockton and Hayward, in the central and northern parts of the state, bring to five the total number of centers in California. A sixth center in the state is planned, for Citrus Heights, with that opening expected in the summer of next year.

“CSL Plasma has grown its U.S. center network throughout the country recognizing the critical and ongoing need for plasma donations to help people affected by rare and serious diseases,” Walter Charles, CSL Plasma’s senior vice president and general manager, said in a press release.

Human plasma — the liquid part of blood — is used to make treatments for a number of diseases, such as HAE and including inherited lung diseases, immunodeficiency conditions, and bleeding disorders like hemophilia.

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HAE is a rare form of angioedema caused by genetic mutations that affect the production and/or function of a blood protein called C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-INH).

In the absence of C1-INH, a pro-inflammatory molecule called bradykinin is overproduced. This causes blood vessels to dilate, or widen, in the deep layers of the skin, allowing fluid to leak into nearby tissues. As a result, patients can experience swelling attacks anywhere in the body, though these mainly occur in the hands and feet, and around the eyes.

Plasma-derived treatments, such as BerinertCinryze, and Haegarda, aim to restore C1-INH.

Fresh frozen plasma is another treatment that contains many proteins, including C1-INH. It may be used in emergency rooms to immediately treat life-threatening swelling episodes that do not respond to other therapies.

CSL Plasma centers collect blood plasma for parent company CSL Behring, which produces and distributes treatments for patients around the world.

“California remains a key state in our effort to continue collecting life-saving plasma that helps patients in more than 100 countries,” Charles said.

The company says it contributes $4 million or more per center each year by paying plasma donors and employing workers — thus aiding in the development of local economies. There are approximately 60 people working at each CSL Plasma center.

Support also is given to local schools, non-profit organizations, and small businesses.

“CSL Plasma is proud to be a vital part of the communities where employees and plasma donors live and work,” said Amanda Kitchen, the company’s division director of new center operations.

“We’re excited to continue our expansion on the West Coast and look forward to positively contributing to the local communities,” Kitchen added.

The company has more than 325 donation centers worldwide, including the five in California.

A potential donor at a CSL Plasma center must be healthy, aged 18 to 74, weigh at least 110 pounds (about 50 kg), and have no tattoos or piercings less than four months old. Additionally, donors must complete an extensive medical history screening, and have a valid ID and permanent address.