The DKMS Life Science Lab is a subsidiary of the non-profit organization DKMS. Since its foundation in 1997, it has initiated many groundbreaking innovations. We were the first genotyping laboratory worldwide that applied Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology for high-throughput typing. This unique capability allows us to type more than one million potential stem cell donors annually.
We support the DKMS in the fight against blood cancer and other diseases of the hematopoietic system. We contribute to the improvement of treatment options through the best possible typing of stem cell donors and patients to save the lives of as many patients as possible.
With our scientific work and research, we promote the further development of donor selection and treatment options for patients.
Our unique high-throughput genotyping capabilities have been key for the growth of the DKMS donor pool. Today, more than ten million potential lifesavers belong to the DKMS family. With their help, DKMS so far has given more than 100,000 people with blood cancer a second chance at life.
To boost the chances of survival and cure for people with blood cancer, the DKMS Life Science Lab gGmbH not only thrives for the best quality of HLA typing but also collaborates with clinical research centers all around the world including the Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) in Dresden.
We continue twenty-five years of pioneering innovation with another new development from our laboratory. The so-called Swabster is a self-developed robot that supports us in error-free automated sample processing. This high-precision device accurately places donor buccal swabs in their predetermined position on a 96-well plate and removes the plastic stem, eliminating traditional sources of human error.
From 2020 to 2021, the DKMS Life Science Lab also used its expertise and resources to fight SARS-CoV2. In just a few months, a completely new workflow was established in the lab and mobile collection teams were set up. In this way, we were supporting the public health departments of Saxony and in particular of Dresden by providing additional testing capacity in the fight against the pandemic.
At the new location, the DKMS laboratory now has a total area of over 4,500 square meters. available. Every day, up to 7,000 buccal swab samples from new donors are analyzed here in a complex process. In addition, the donor typing profile was also expanded this year to include HLA-DPA1,-DQA1, and -DRB3,4,5, so that a total of 12 HLA genes are now included in the genotyping profile.
The DKMS Life Science Lab is awarded the HLA Award for its outstanding scientific work from the official journal of The European Federation for Immunogenetics (EFI).
From January 2017 to January 2018, the DKMS Life Science Lab has developed a method to determine the cytomegalovirus (CMV) status by buccal swabs and thus created the possibility to determine the CMV status for donors together with the initial registration.
With the typing of the KIR genes at allelic group level, we were able to master another milestone that makes our typing services unique in the world.
In 2013, as the world’s first HLA typing lab, we started using novel sequencing technology, NGS, for HLA typing in a truly high throughput and highly parallelised fashion. Using this process, over 1 million potential stem cell donors are typed each year.
In 2001, DKMS took over the laboratory as a 100% subsidiary. Since then, we have been part of the DKMS family.
Our laboratory was founded in 1997 as MMD (Medical Molecular Diagnostic GmbH) in Dresden. However, its beginnings date back to 1991, when it was part of the University Hospital Dresden.