Sanquin's activities

Sanquin's activities are far more comprehensive than most people think. In addition to collecting, processing and distributing blood products, Sanquin produces plasma pharmaceuticals, develops blood group and immune reagents, performs a multitude of diagnostic services, conducts high-quality scientific research and provides education and training.

Blood Supply

Thanks to the generosity of almost 400,000 voluntary donors, it has been possible to achieve an adequate, safe and high quality supply of blood for the national requirements. The Blood Supply Act is intended to strengthen the quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products from unremunerated voluntary donors in the Netherlands. Responsibility for implementation and maintenance of this programme has been entrusted 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.

Advice

Sanquin manufactures many different products: red blood cell and blood platelet concentrates are just two examples, not to mention the large number of medicines made from plasma, such as clotting factors for haemophilia patients. We also provide doctors, pharmacists and healthcare organisations with expert advice on how best to use our products. Sanquin also conducts diagnostic blood tests, as well as strategic and applied scientific research.

Diagnostic services

Sanquin provides diagnostic services for blood transfusion and immunology. We can perform all blood-related laboratory tests for hospitals, blood banks, institutes, obstetrics clinics, insurance companies and pharmaceutical organisations. Sanquin Diagnostic Services provides over more than 600 different diagnostic tests.

Monitoring

Sanquin collaborates with scientific associations and professional organisations in the TRIP ('Transfusion Reactions in Patients') Foundation, a nationwide system for the scientific reporting of blood safety in the Netherlands. In 2005 the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport gave approval for a surcharge on the price of blood products, with which the financing of TRIP was guaranteed.

Reagents

Reagents are products used in hospital laboratories to detect various characteristics or abnormalities in blood samples. Sanquin was one of the first producers of blood group reagents. We develop a broad range of blood group and immune reagents in our own research facilities and diagnostic laboratories. The products are available all over the world.

Research

An essential part of Sanquin Research's mission is its fundamental, clinical and applied blood transfusion research in all its facets. One of the main objectives is the development and constant improvement of Sanquin's entire range of products and services.

Education

Our staff members provide education and training to poly-technics and universities, medical specialist training, and schooling for blood transfusion physicians and specialists. Sanquin offers apprenticeships to university students and laboratory technicians. Specialist and post-graduate courses for medical professionals are also available.

Innovation

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: partnering@sanquin.nl.

SanSepsis

Sanquin has come up with an innovative technology to remove bacteria that are bound to red cells with a filter. This can be very important in the treatment of patients with sepsis (blood poisoning). In the Netherlands, approximately 3,500 patients die every year as a result of sepsis. In 2018 we launched SanSepsis, a partnership between Sanquinnovate and NLC, to further develop our sepsis technology. Together with the AMC, we are preparing an initial clinical trial to test the technology on sepsis patients.