LifeCell, the leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood banking, and India’s next-generation comprehensive healthcare solutions provider for mother and the baby, recently announced the milestone of preserving 60,000 qualified cord blood units in its ever-growing repository of Indian origin stem cells. Currently, cord blood stem cells have found life-saving applications in the treatment of more than 80 cancerous and non-cancerous disorders including multiple myeloma, thalassemia, aplastic anemia and more.
Community stem cell banking is a novel banking model conceptualized by LifeCell wherein a baby’s preserved cord blood stem cells become part of a common pool that is shared only among the community members. This gives protection to the baby as well as immediate family members including the siblings, parents, and maternal and paternal grandparents. As the community pool or inventory size grows, it gives families a better chance of finding a matching donor. This becomes particularly important because there is a current need for 50,000 stem cell transplants every year in India compared to the current transplantation rate of 2000. Moreover, in the majority (>90%) of blood-related disorders, stem cells from a healthy donor are required for the treatment as the baby’s own stem cells cannot be used. Since an individual’s best chance of finding a donor may be with someone of the same ethnic background, LifeCell’s repository with 60,000 qualified cord blood units ensures a >97% chance of finding a match.
The Community banking model has also overcome the limitations of Indian public stem cell banks owing to high dropout rates, lack of funds, and small inventory size. Notably, the chances of finding a matching donor in a public bank outside India is less than 10% and the cost of procurement of a cord blood unit can range anywhere from 15 to 20 lakhs.
On this new achievement, Ishaan Khanna, CEO – LifeCell International, added, “It is indeed a proud moment for us to have surpassed this monumental achievement of 60,000 qualified cord blood units. Community stem cell banking is a breakthrough initiative from LifeCell. Recognized by leading medical bodies including IAP and ISPAT, this model is aimed at providing access to novel & life-saving treatment options for every Indian. I am pleased that we are fulfilling this commitment with the many success stories including the nation’s first community double cord blood unit transplant. We, at LifeCell, are sure that our inventory will grow exponentially in the coming years, making it easier to find matching cord blood units for Indian families.” With the novel concept of community stem cell banking in India, LifeCell has taken a huge stride in preserving 60,000 cord blood units in such a short period. With this rapid expansion in the inventory size, LifeCell aims to significantly contribute to addressing the demand for an increasing number of cord blood transplants in the country.