Economy

Babycell reports spurt in demand to store umbilical cords

Madhumathi D.S. Bangalore | Updated on July 20, 2011 Published on July 20, 2011




As if monsoon discounts and off-season FMCG showers are not enough, a stem cell bank has packaged one such plan for babies that will be born on August 15.

Regenerative Medical Services Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of the Mumbai-based active pharma ingredients manufacturer Satyan Pharmaceuticals P Ltd, said it had seen 25 per cent rise in parents enrolling to store their due-in-August babies' umbilical cord blood cells after it offered earlier this month an 85 per cent cut for Independence Day births.

The average monthly strike rate for RMS's cord blood stem cell banking arm Babycell was 275 enrolments, according to Mr Satyen Sanghavi, Chief Scientist of the family-owned RMS.

Pan-India, “cord blood stem cell banking has an annual growth rate of 230 per cent. Since we started operating in 2009, 2500 people have enrolled with us,” said Mr Sanghavi.

Among Babycell's customers are a vegetable vendor from Vashi, TV artistes, celebrities and companies.

The demand among parents to store their unborn child's umbilical cord cells at birth was only going up, he said, even as the draft guidelines on stem cell research and banking await approval. Started in November 2009, Babycell generates 60 per cent of RMS's turnover — which includes another regenerative stream, that of therapies using adult stem cells.

It was partly this growth of the cord blood stem cell banking that was driving Babycell to new cities and towns. “We are now focussing on the South and East. Although there are three major companies in the South we expect to do 35 per cent of sales from the South by 2012,” Mr Sanghavi said.

Apart from Fortis and boutique child-birth clinic Cradle in Bangalore, Babycell is in talks to tie up with top hospitals for connecting with parents-to-be; and with diagnostic labs which would be collection franchisees in Coimbatore, Kochi, Hyderabad, Patna, Nagpur and Nashik. The samples are screened and stored at the Rs 25-crore Lonavla lab.

Through its technology tie-up with South Korea's Sewon Cellontech, RMS provides cellular therapies that re-grow tissues from adult cells. Mr Sanghavi said hospitals used them to treat burns, wounds, knee joint problems, pain, cosmetic and gynaecological procedures. “There is a huge potential for stem cell therapies that can treat 75 diseases from leukaemia, thalassemia to diabetes and brain injury. It is wrong to say there are too many cord blood banks. In fact, by 2015, there would be 15 registered companies compared to the present seven or eight,” Mr Sanghavi added.

Published on July 20, 2011

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Sincerely,

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.