Sanquin consists of the following organizational units: the Blood Bank, Plasma Products B.V., Diagnostic Services B.V., Reagents B.V., Sanquinnovate B.V. and Research and Labservices. The Corporate Staff supports these units and advises the Executive Board. All units are involved in their own way with blood transfusion, transfusion medicine and blood products.
Sanquin Blood Bank carries out a range of tasks, including recruiting donors (Sanquin.nl) and collecting the blood at the numerous donor centers around the country. After donation, the blood is tested and processed into red blood cell concentrates, blood platelets and plasma. These blood products are supplied directly to the various hospitals all over The Netherlands. The blood banks provide advice on use of these blood products and are involved in clinical research. Most of the plasma is not needed by hospitals and is sent directly to Sanquin Plasma Products.
Sanquin Plasma Products processes the plasma supplied by the blood banks into medicines for coagulation and immune disorders. These medicines are called plasma products. Sanquin is a major supplier of medicines for patients in the Netherlands. A variety of isolation techniques produces coagulation factors, protease inhibitors, immunoglobulins and albumin. Plasma Products works closely with sister organisations in other countries, such as the Department for Central Fractioning (CAF) in Belgium and the Finnish Red Cross.
Sanquin Diagnostic Services provides diagnostic services for blood transfusion and immunology (the study of the body’s defence mechanism). It also conducts genetic research in a number of areas, including blood groups and paternity issues. Diagnostic Services can perform all blood-related laboratory tests for hospitals, blood banks, institutes, obstetrics clinics, insurance companies and pharmaceutical organisations. Diagnostic Services is primarily called upon when complex specialist research is needed. Hospitals with insufficient capacity to carry out their own testing enlist the aid of Diagnostic Services. Diagnostic Services provides over more than 600 different diagnostic tests. More than half a million samples are tested each year.
Research and Labservices
Transfusion medicine is a constantly evolving field of research. Sanquin therefore has an extensive research program in the field of cellular blood products, plasma products and diagnostics, a large part of which is carried out by the Research division. Sanquin carries out both strategic and applied research. A broad range of studies in immunology, cell biology, blood-borne infectious diseases, haematology and blood transfusion medicine is conducted every year. New fields of research include stem cells and cellular immunetherapy. These studies are conducted in close collaboration with academic centres such as the Amsterdam University Medical Centre and the Leiden University Medical Centre, as well as non academic research centres in the Netherlands and abroad.
Reagents are products used in hospital laboratories to detect various characteristics or abnormalities in blood samples. Division Reagents was one of the first producers of blood group reagents. Reagents develops a broad range of blood group and immune reagents in its own research facilities and diagnostic laboratories. The products are available all over the world.
To translate promising research ideas into concrete product or service development, we started a separate company: Sanquinnovate BV. This company serves as a breeding ground for ideas for new products and services, in line with the medical needs we focus on. There are plenty of good ideas within Sanquin, but in the past these often did not receive the attention they deserved because other operations had priority. Within Sanquinnovate, the ideas are taken up across the divisions and developed further as a business case, and where necessary, with external partners. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.