Cord Blood Registry Launches Industry-Leading Innovations for Newborn Stem Cell Collection

Monday, March 1, 2010 General News
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SAN BRUNO, Calif., March 1 Cord Blood Registry (CBR) (CBR), the global leader in the collection and preservation of newborn stem cells from the umbilical cord, announced today the launch of its new stem cell collection system that saves a greater number and diversity of a newborn's stem cells - from both the blood in the umbilical cord and the cord tissue itself - for a wider range of potential therapeutic uses.

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CBR's new collection system incorporates two distinct industry-leading innovations: 1) an improved cord blood collection device designed to increase the volume of cord blood stem cells available for preservation by up to 30 percent; and 2) the introduction of a supplementary option to collect and preserve a segment of the umbilical cord tissue, which is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), a type of stem cell that assists in building bone, cartilage and connective tissue as well as mediating the body's inflammatory response to damaged or injured cells.

MSCs are currently being researched for use in treating a wide range of conditions including heart disease, stroke, bone disease and injury, and autoimmune diseases (like type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis). MSCs are needed for building connective tissue, so another potential treatment application may be for common joint and sports injuries.

Together, cord blood and umbilical cord tissue are a rich and diverse source of newborn stem cells that can only be collected immediately after birth, so there are no ethical concerns in preserving them for future medical use. This population of stem cells is a preferred source for current research in regenerative medicine because these cells have demonstrated the ability to develop into all of the major cell types in the body and help heal injured tissue. Collecting both types of newborn stem cells will provide an individual a more diverse cellular resource for potential future use as medical research in regenerative therapies using stem cells advances.

New Device Enables Collection of Greater Stem Cell Volume

CBR's new cord blood collection device has been designed to collect a greater volume of cord blood by combining the benefits of the existing bag and syringe collection methods and incorporating an active flow chamber that helps the physician to better visualize the collection as well as assist in dislodging a clot or tissue plug. Increasing the collection volume of cord blood will ultimately yield more stem cells preserved for future use. This is important because having more cells stored and available for treatment can result in better clinical outcomes and may facilitate multiple uses in regenerative medicine applications.

As the industry pioneer, CBR became the first stem cell bank to offer expecting parents the ability to preserve their newborn's cord blood stem cells for future use. During the last 18 years, the company has focused on developing technology to ensure the best collection and storage technology and the highest stem cell recovery rate in the industry.

"This company was founded on the principle of continuous innovation and quality," stated Tom Moore, chief executive officer. "Because CBR's cell recovery rate of 99 percent is already the highest in the industry, the only way we could offer our clients the ability to collect more cells is by collecting more cord blood. This is what we have achieved with our next generation collection system, which can save up to two times more cells."

Cord Tissue Collection Preserves Greater Diversity of Stem Cells

As stem cell science accelerates, researchers are investigating the use of specific types of stem cells for specific applications. Mesenchymal stem cells are an increasing focus of regenerative medicine research, with more than 80 clinical trials currently underway in the U.S. Because umbilical cord tissue has significantly more MSCs than the cord blood, CBR has developed a technology to successfully preserve umbilical cord tissue, so that the newborn MSCs contained in the tissue can be later processed for medical application.

"Our new collection system is unique to the industry and maximizes the quantity, diversity and therapeutic potential of the newborn stem cells collected at the time of birth," noted Heather Brown, MS, CGC, vice president of scientific & medical affairs at Cord Blood Registry. "Cord blood is a rich source of hematopoietic and progenitor stem cells that are currently used in a wide variety of therapies. Umbilical cord tissue offers our clients an opportunity to store a second, complementary source of their newborn's stem cells. The innovations launched today further underscore our commitment to helping our clients preserve a valuable medical resource for their family and to helping advance the field of regenerative medicine."

Initial fees for collection and storage of cord tissue are $595 when purchased in combination with cord blood; thereafter, the annual storage fee for cord tissue will be $125 -- the same as the current annual storage fee for cord blood.

About Cord Blood Registry

Cord Blood Registry® (CBR®) is the world's largest stem cell bank, focused on the collection, processing and storage of newborn stem cells from umbilical cord blood and ensuring their viability for medical use. CBR is the most recommended family cord blood bank by obstetricians and was the first family bank accredited. The company has been profitable and cash flow positive from operations since 1999. CBR has processed and stored cord blood units for more than 300,000 newborns from around the world and has released more client cord blood units for therapeutic use than any other family cord blood bank. CBR is the leader in research and development efforts in collaboration with the world's leading clinical researchers focused on advancing regenerative medical therapies using a child's own cord blood stem cells. The company continues to enhance its industry-leading technical innovations for stem cell collection, processing and storage that optimize quality and cell yield. For more information, visit

Media Contacts: Christine McMurry David Zitlow Cell: 415-250-4440 Cell: 650-235-0234

SOURCE Cord Blood Registry

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