Cord Blood Awareness Month: The Future of Umbilical Stem Cell Banking

Newborn screening considerations

Since its establishment of the first private cord blood bank in the United States, Cryo-Cell has long been a leader in the industry of umbilical stem cell preservation. More than thirty years later, our mission remains the same: to provide our clients with the premier cord blood and cord tissue cryopreservation service and to aid in the advancement of regenerative medicine.

Cryo-Cell International is moving forward by entering into a patent option agreement with Duke University. This agreement will give Cryo-Cell the option to obtain a license to Duke’s patent rights, regulatory data, and proprietary processes related to cord blood, cord tissue, and DUOC-01. Ultimately, through this agreement, we aim to broaden umbilical stem cell treatment options for all families who chose to cryopreserve cord blood and tissue cells at any cord blood bank .

The prospect of standardized treatment using cord blood cells remains largely unknown by expectant parents. Even more so is the fact that the majority of new parents aren’t aware of their choices regarding cord blood and cord tissue stem cell preservation. As we celebrate Cord Blood Awareness this month, we thought it fitting to share the news of this partnership and the monumental impact it will have on our families.

What Does This Patent Option Agreement Mean?

This will advance the work of Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg and her colleagues to bring novel cord blood and cord tissue-based cellular therapies to the clinic. The execution of the licensing agreement will attempt to expand the treatment opportunities for patients under the FDA’s Expanded Access Program at a Cryo-Cell stem cell infusion clinic (or clinics). 

Why Cryo-Cell International?

Duke University’s Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg is a world-renown researcher and clinical expert on cord blood and serves as Cryo-Cell’s medical director. Dr. Kurtzberg, who also serves as lead investigator in the clinical trials using umbilical stem cells to treat neurological diseases at Duke University, stated, “We are excited to enter into this exclusive option agreement with Cryo-Cell and are looking forward to working together to bring novel cord blood and birthing tissue-based cellular therapeutics to the clinic.”

This partnership will benefit families who store with Cryo-Cell through a streamlined experience when accessing infusion treatments that are currently only performed at Duke University to treat autism, cerebral palsy, and other neurological diseases in accordance with the FDA expanded access rights granted to Duke. In addition to Duke University, these infusion treatments will also be performed at a Cryo-Cell medical clinic once the Duke license agreement has been executed and Cryo-Cell receives clearance from the FDA.

What is the Future of Umbilical Stem Cell Banking?

Cryo-Cell believes that this is a significant step in the transformation of the company. Our vision is to move from Phase III clinical trials and Expanded Access to licensed biological products that will deliver approved therapies for a wide range of conditions.

Over the next six months, Cryo-Cell will work toward finalizing a long-term agreement to advance to the next phase, which will ultimately open the door to greater treatment possibilities. Cryo-Cell continues to propel the industry forward in an initiative that aims to develop a infusion clinic within the next 12-18 months.

We are excited about what lies beyond the horizon of the cord blood banking industry. This phase is just the beginning of what will be considered a revolutionary outcome for families in need of umbilical stem cell therapies. Current research is discovering new uses for the stem cells found within cord blood and tissue as they pertain to respiratory conditions, autism, cerebral palsy, adult stroke, brain injury, and many other disorders.  Several clinical trials are underway at Duke and elsewhere, seeking positive outcomes for stem cell transplant and infusion recipients. The future is bright in terms of medical innovation made possible through the novel use of umbilical stem cells.

Newborn screening considerations

What Lies Ahead for Cryo-Cell?

As research continues on the effects of cord blood and cord tissue in the treatment of prevalent neurological diseases and other degenerative conditions, it is imperative that expectant parents are educated on the benefits of these life-saving stem cells. Our team at Cryo-Cell is committed to helping parents understand the possibilities that lie within umbilical stem cell preservation.

Cryo-Cell will be hosting ongoing virtual seminars for expectant parents to learn more about cord blood banking and their options. Cord blood awareness begins with education, and we are doing our part to spread the word—we hope you will too!

We look forward to you joining us and to helping our families protect what matters most as we navigate a new future of access and potential.

Click the button below to register for an upcoming virtual seminar happening via Zoom!


Last Updated on: 09/29/2023 by Diane Paradise