The Government of Tamil Nadu became the first in India to
recognize the importance of Public Cord Blood Banking by announcing a grant of
Rs. 9 Crores ($1,671,300 USD) to the Public Cord Blood Bank established in 2008
by Jeevan Blood Bank and Research Centre, a not-for-profit organization. This
grant, to be disbursed over three years, will help Jeevan collect, process,
test and store a minimum of 3000 cord blood donations from Tamil Nadu.
"This is a long awaited major boost to Public Cord Blood
Banking in India. It must be remembered that in every country, the Government
has played the major role in this domain. I am hopeful that other states will
find some funding in the 12th
plan allocation for healthcare and
promote cord blood banking in their states" said Dr. P Srinivasan, Co-Founder
and Chairman of Jeevan.
Umbilical Cord Blood, discarded after childbirth, is one of
the richest sources of blood forming stem cells and is being used across the
world for over two decades for the treatment of blood cancers, Thalassemia and
Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA) matching of the donor and the recipient
is critical to the success of transplant of stem cells. Globally, HLA matching
is dependent on the ethnicity of the patient and donor. In the absence of an
Indian inventory, the chances of an Indian finding a match is less than 10%
across the world. Even if lucky enough to
find a match, it will cost the patient close to Rs. 20 lakhs to import the
This grant by the Government of Tamil Nadu is expected to pave
the way for other state Governments to participate in creating a larger
national inventory with adequate representation of all linguistic groups in
India. This will help more Indians find a match and a hope for cure.
Jeevan will make available stem cells from donated umbilical
cord blood for the treatment of blood disorders, subject to match, free of any
cost to patients from Tamil Nadu including the employees of Government of Tamil
Nadu and their dependents.
In 2011, Jeevan released the first stem cell unit for treatment of a 5 year old boy.† On 14th
November 2012, it launched
real time search facility for HLA match at www. bethecure.in† and in 2013
January Jeevan released the second unit of stem cells for transplant.