MONROVIA, Calif. Aug. 8, 2012 – Prolacta Bioscience has announced that more than one million dollars (USD$1,000,000) has been donated to various charitable organizations over the past five years. Prolacta’s contributions to the International Breast Milk Project (IBMP) have exceeded $567,000 since 2007. Donations to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® have surpassed $406,000 since 2010, and Make-A- Wish® has received over $61,000 from Prolacta since 2011. All of the donations were due to the generosity of breast milk donations made by moms across the country who had extra breast milk while nursing their babies, and chose to donate to Prolacta.
"As a mother of a premature baby, I fully understand the importance of breast milk and have seen the need for it first hand," said Carrie Kalasz, a Helping Hands Milk Bank (HHMB) breast milk donor. Carrie lost her mother to ovarian cancer and her grandmother to breast cancer. She has donated nearly 700 ounces of breast milk through HHMB. "Not only am I breastfeeding, but I'm donating, and I chose to donate through Helping Hands Milk Bank because of their charitable donations to Susan G. Komen, a foundation that I have always held close to my heart."
Prolacta makes the groundbreaking product Prolact+ H2MF®, which is the only human milk fortifier (HMF) made exclusively from 100% human milk - as opposed to cow milk - for critically ill, very low birth weight, premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Prolact+ H2MF is made from mothers’
surplus breast milk, and is exclusively used for very sick preemies who are in the NICU. It is added to the mother’s milk - or to donor milk if mother’s milk is unavailable – and fed to the preemie through a feeding tube. Prolact+ H2MF is only administered in a hospital setting by prescription and cannot be purchased directly by consumers, since it is specially formulated to meet the specific nutritional needs of preemies.
Prolacta’s financial contributions stem from an agreement with Helping Hands Milk Bank (HHMB) and Milk For Wishes Milk Bank (MFW), through which one dollar is donated for each ounce of qualified human breast milk that is collected through HHMB and MFW. The agreement with the IBMP Milk Bank provides for a one-dollar donation for each ounce of qualified human breast milk that is collected and remains in the United States. The remaining milk that is collected through IBMP Milk Bank is processed by Prolacta at no cost, and IBMP ships primarily to Africa for infants suffering from HIV/AIDS, malnourishment, poverty and disease. Donations through these virtual breast milk banks benefit Susan G. Komen, Make- A-Wish, and IBMP respectively.
“We are incredibly humbled by the generosity of moms from across the country,” said Scott Elster, president and CEO of Prolacta Bioscience. “Their commitment and dedication helps countless premature infants receive the highest standard of care through a completely human milk-based diet.”
For mothers who want to ensure that their extra breast milk is used for critically ill premature babies, these and other Prolacta affiliated milk banks are commonly chosen since the mom is also able to select different charities to support, making the donation that much more meaningful. With the use of Prolacta’s human milk-based products, neonatologists can avoid the use of traditional cow milk-based products in the NICU. This supports the revised policy statement issued earlier this year by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), recommending that all preterm infants receive human milk, whether their mother’s own milk or pasteurized donor breast milk. The policy statement is the first released by the AAP in six years which also pointed to a reduction in odds of extremely preterm infants (those born weighing 500- 1250g) developing the often-fatal disease, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), when fed an exclusively human milk diet.
“The Prolacta program demonstrates the power of volunteers and corporate citizens to make a significant difference in women’s and children’s health, now and for the future,” said Dorothy Jones, VP, Marketing for Komen. “It combines human milk-based nutrition for premature babies with investments in long-term research and health programs to save generations of women from breast cancer. We are grateful for Prolacta’s support and the generosity of human milk donors.”
The number of premature births in the United States is growing, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a half-million babies in the United States (one in eight) are born prematurely each year.1 Prematurity occurs in infants who are born at less than 37 weeks of gestation, and it is the leading cause of death among newborn babies.
About Prolacta Bioscience
Prolacta Bioscience, Inc. (www.prolacta.com) is a life science company dedicated to improving quality of life by Advancing the Science of Human MilkTM. Prolacta creates specialty formulations made exclusively from human milk for the nutritional needs of critically ill, premature infants in NICU. It is the first and only company to provide a human milk fortifier made from 100% human milk, Prolact+ H2MF. Prolacta operates a pharmaceutical grade processing plant and designed and patented processes that enable them to make their one-of-a-kind lifesaving products. Prolacta is committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of the most vulnerable premature babies through world-class research and innovative products.
Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 212,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; nearly 14,000 in 2011 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at www.wish.org<http://www.wish.org/> and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. Today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure works to end breast cancer in the U.S. and throughout the world through ground-breaking research, community health outreach, advocacy, and programs in more than 50 countries. Visit komen.org. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
About International Breast Milk Project
International Breast Milk Project is an international humanitarian aid organization dedicated to providing life-giving donor milk to infants in critical need around the world. IBMP has provided over 288,682 ounces, or 72,170 bottles, of life-giving donor breast milk to infants in South Africa suffering from HIV/AIDS, malnourishment, poverty and disease. www.breastmilkproject.org