LifeCell launches community stem cell bank

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on January 13, 2018

Mayur Abhaya

Biotechnology firm LifeCell has launched community stem cell banking in India, Baby Cord Share, which allows sharing of preserved umbilical cord stem cells among its members.

Addressing media persons, Mayur Abhaya, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, said sharing stem cell among community increases the chance of finding a matching donor, which is challenging in the current scenario.

Customers can avail of the community stem cell banking at the price of ₹16,990 with an annual storage fee of ₹4,000. Lifecell has so far preserved two lakh stem cells and 50,000 cells are added every year. The company has a capacity to preserve five lakh stem cells and a total of ₹60 crore has gone into building the infrastructure.

Around 1,000 surgeries that require stem cells happen annually for blood cancer and other inherited conditions like Thalassemia. There are over one lakh people suffering from leukaemia. There are only 12 licensed private stem cell banks in the country. Abhaya said with technological improvement diagnosis has become more precise and number of patients who need stem cell transplant will only increase. At this point having public stem cells bank will benefit larger community, he added.

In India around 70 patients are unable to find a match due to limited stem cell donors of 1.8 lakh, which is less than 1 per cent of global donor base. Even among the available stem cells, 40-50 per cent of population refuse or are unavailable at the time of transplant. According to an Indian Council of Medical Research study, an inventory of 2.5 lakh cord blood units are required to provide similar or higher matching probability.

Published on March 10, 2017

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