Joe Yaccarino

Giving the Gift of Life Via Tissue Transplantation

MTF Biologics serves patients and advances science.

How many lives can one single person affect? Edison-based MTF Biologics, the world’s largest tissue bank, examines this question every day in the literal sense of tissue transplants to recipients in need. 

MTF Biologics, through its team and through working with a diverse network of organizations, is leveraging innovation and technology to help stretch the impact of a single tissue donor to help change as many lives as possible.

“MTF’s mission is to take that donated gift, and transform it into a surgical solution that helps patients throughout the world,” says Joe Yaccarino, president and CEO, MTF Biologics.

Some examples of usable tissues include bone, skin, soft tissue, adipose (fat) and placenta. Upon receiving these tissues, MTF processes them and transforms them into tissues that are ready for surgery, and can be used in procedures such as joint and spinal injury repair, post-mastectomy breast reconstruction and the healing of burns and wounds.

MTF, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1987, originally operating as a bone bank that served the need for orthopedic oncologists. It has since grown to become the world’s largest tissue bank, and since its inception, has received tissue from more than 125,000 donors and distributed more than 8 million grafts for transplantation.

Martha Anderson, executive vice president, donor services division, notes that there is also a big focus on contributing to academic research. MTF works with a network of more than 50 leading academic medical institutions across the country, including the Mayo Clinic, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). 

“These institutions, among others, have the ability to apply for research grants through us,” Anderson says. “We give out about $2 million in grants each year.”

In addition to working with and providing grants to the various academic medical institutions, MTF has a large research and development team that is constantly conducting innovative, scientific research.

“We are interested in broad research, but we are also interested in our own research, which includes important projects for us that we learn from working with surgeons and partners, and working in the field and recognizing challenges,” Yaccarino says.

It all comes back to the mission of seeing how many people’s lives can be saved or changed from one single donor’s tissue. Yaccarino says that up to 100 recipients can be helped from one donor’s gifts. 

MTF has 1,100 employees worldwide, including 400 employees at its Edison facility. The company has additional locations in Pennsylvania, Colorado and California.

“We strive to show that our tissues are truly making a difference,” Yaccarino says. “We have numerous studies and clinical papers that show how effective these tissues are, which we take great pride in.”

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