When choosing the best cord blood bank, you want a company that is going to be around for the life of your child. A good indication of whether a company will be around in the future is how long they have been in business. Look for a cord blood bank that possesses a strong track record. Founded in 1989, Cryo-Cell is the world's first family cord blood bank, and today, it remains one of the world's largest family cord blood banks, serving clients from 87 countries. Viacord was established in 1993 as a subsidiary of ViaCell, which was purchased in 2007 by PerkinElmer, a large health corporation. Cord Blood Registry was founded in 1995 as a small family company and was purchased in 2015 by AMAG Pharmaceuticals. AMAG sold CBR in 2018 to G.I. Partners, a private equity firm.
Control of Processing and Storage
Make sure the cord blood bank you choose has full control over the cord blood–banking process. Some companies do not perform their own processing or storage. Cryo-Cell, ViaCord and Cord Blood Registry each operate their own processing, testing and cryo-preservation operations for complete control over quality.
How a cord blood bank processes the cord blood is of the most important factors in choosing a cord blood bank. Cryo-Cell and Viacord use the HES processing method because it has been the industry standard since 1988. In addition, Cryo-Cell offers a premium cord blood–processing method called PrepaCyte®-CB. It is able to deplete up to 99% of the red blood cells (what you don't want) while recovering the highest number of stem cells (what you do want). Cord Blood Registry uses an automated method called AXP. Automated methods help eliminate human error and quicken processing times but can lead to a degradation in overall quality.
Certainly one measure of comparison for cord blood banks is whether their stem cells have been usable in transplants upon thawing. Every sample released by Cryo-Cell has been viable upon thawing. This perfect record allows us to offer the industry’s best Cryo-Cell Cares $100,000 Payment Guarantee. Furthermore, samples processed and banked by Cryo-Cell have been successfully used in many life-saving stem cell transplants. View Transplant Matrix. Viacord and Cord Blood Registry do not publish their transplant viability records. In addition, some of these cord blood banks have taken part of business deals where they have served as temporary storage facilities for cord blood samples being prepared for transplantation. This leads to confusion about what a cord blood bank can constitute as one of its own transplantations.
Care in Transportation
One often overlooked aspect of the various differences between cord blood banks is the type of care put into their products. Cryo-Cell is the only cord blood bank to give a superlative amount of protection during transportation. We use a collection kit that can safeguard stem cells approximately 30 times longer than kits provided by ViaCord and Cord Blood Registry. The performance statistics were confirmed through multiple cross-continent tests under extreme temperature variations.
Another area of concern is the type of anti-coagulant used in the cord blood collection bag. Some companies use bags that contain an animal sourced pharmaceutical-grade dry anticoagulant, likely sourced from mucosal tissues of slaughtered meat animals such as porcine (pig) intestines or bovine (cattle) lungs to transport cord blood. This type of anti-coagulant has long been linked to toxicity and allergy reaction among transplant patients. Cryo-Cell and Viacord, follow FDA recommendations and use bags containing a citrate phosphate dextrose solution to transport cord blood. Cord Blood Registry is one of the few to still use an anti-coagulant not recommended by the FDA.
Foresight and Going the Extra Mile
Another thing that separates cord blood banks is how often it routinely implements measures above and beyond the general industry practices to offer its clients added measures of assurance.
The five-chambered cryo-preservation bag is an example. Only Cryo-Cell and Viacord have invested in the segmented bag in order to provide their families with multiple treatment options.
Licenses and Accreditations
There are certain licenses and accreditations that people should look for when comparing cord blood banks. All cord blood banks should be FDA-registered and cGTP-compliant. In addition to the federal government, several states (California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland) require licensure.
If you want a cord blood bank that has gone the extra mile to ensure the highest standards and protocols, look for accreditation by AABB and the Foundation for the Accreditation for Cellular Therapy (FACT). Only cord blood banks with AABB or FACT accreditation can display their respective logos on their website or printed materials.
In addition to the federal and state licensees, Viacord and Cord Blood Registry are AABB-accredited. Cryo-Cell has accreditation not only from the AABB but also from FACT because we adhere to the most stringent of cord blood quality standards.
For over three decades, Cryo-Cell International has been committed to providing the highest quality and best available services to our families and healthcare professionals. This dedication has driven Cryo-Cell to maintain its leadership position in the industry by continuing to evolve through our innovations and our key partnerships. Prestigious hospitals such as Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles have chosen Cryo-Cell to be their exclusive cord blood banking partner.
In 2018, Cryo-Cell entered the public cord blood banking sector in partnership with Duke University Medical Center. Cryo-Cell's public bank has been chosen by the HRSA of the U.S. Department of Health, along with other leading banks such as those operated by M.D. Anderson and Duke University, as one of the nation's highest quality cord blood banks to help build the National Cord Blood Inventory.
Cryo-Cell's most recent partnership includes a patent license agreement with Duke University. This partnership aims to advance the work of Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg and her colleagues to bring greater access to novel cord blood and cord tissue-based cellular therapies to treat conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, and other neurological conditions under the Expanded Access Program.