The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Facebook Marketing (for Cord Blood Banks)

The Power (and Addictiveness) of Facebook Marketing

In a recent post, BioInformant wrote about the cost of winning the term “cord blood” on Google Adwords having reached nearly $40 per click in the U.S. and more than $20 per click worldwide, which is down-right shocking.

It is now one of the 20 most expensive search terms on Google, right up there with terms like: Insurance, Mortgage, and Attorney.

Given these exorbitantly high costs of Google advertising, the question becomes, what other alternatives do you have available?

Another alternative for business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing is Facebook, although it comes with a few interesting twists. Like all things that are powerful, please remember your ethics, wield it for good, and keep this knowledge away from the less trustworthy.

Users Aged 18-34 Represent Nearly 50% of Facebook Users in U.S.

If you have not yet integrated Facebook marketing for your cord blood bank or you have but are dissatisfied with the results, it may be that you are not aware of the opportunity it represents for your company. Each month there are 1.15 billion users are active on Facebook. In the country with the greatest volume of people on Facebook, the United States, users aged 18 to 34 represent nearly 50% of all active users.[1]  It’s not hard to recognize that the age spread of 18-34 (child-bearing years) is an ideal match for your target clients, expectant parents. It’s were your prospects “hang out” online.

This rate is rarely lower in other countries; in fact, it is often higher in other regions. In the second leading country for Facebook activity, India, users aged 18-34 represent nearly 75% of active users.[2]

Facebook allows you to target your advertising to specific demographics, more so than any other marketing platform that exists. You can target user activity by:

  • Age – Target child-bearing years
  • Gender – Women conduct more maternity-related research online
  • Interests and “Likes” – Identify prospects by their curiosity in maternity-related topics
  • Status Updates – Relevant topics include morning sickness, baby clothes, etc.
  • And More

In addition to customer acquisition, Facebook provides a proactive way to communicate with your customers, because it has a addictive component to it. This concept was explored in-depth by Eva Ritvo in “Psychology Today” and also Maria Ressa, who writes about it own her own blog and has spoke out about it at events that include the “Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Phillipines“(IMMAP).

The Brain Chemistry Behind Facebook Addiction

When a user views his or her Facebook profile and has either “likes” or comments, a domapine release occurs. It is similar to how dopamine is released in the same reward pathway that is stimulated when we eat delicious food, make money, have sex, or do drugs.[3] Dopamine is an organic chemical released in the brain that associated with pleasurable feelings. As the internet has grown in popularity, Facebook activity has become a quick way to access it.

Also, emotional experiences (think “highlights” and “lowlights” of pregnancy) are often shared on Facebook. However, the goal here is to get viewers to secrete oxytocin, the “intimacy hormone,” in order to elicit participation and support.  Feeling supported during times of stress or crisis helps mitigate the feeling caused by the release of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Interestingly, Facebook has the power to “hint” to our brain that loved ones surround us, which historically, was essential to our survival. This is largely because the human brain evolved thousands of years before photography and fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people.[4]  Facebook also provides a way to for you to meet the emotional needs of your prospective clients, since the brain of an expecting woman is seeking connection, support, and community.

Finally, Facebook can facilitate one of the all-important purposes of cord blood marketing – education. In a recent global study of 600+ recent and expectant parents conducted by BioInformant Worldwide, LLC, the number one reason that parents choose not to bank cord blood was lack of awareness. Shockingly, this has been true is nearly every country that has been polled.

Better yet, when readers of your information find it to be educational, thought-provoking, or emotion-eliciting, they will share it with others, resulting in third party information referrals – all facilitated by the Facebook platform and natural human instincts.

Facebook Marketing Tips

As you embark on a Facebook marketing campaign or relook at your current Facebook marketing, here are five tips to keep in mind:

  1. Encourage Likes – Encourage visitors to “like” your content by providing valuable free information. It leverages the powerful force of social proof. It also gets your postings better visibility within the Facebook feed.
  2. Post Consistently – Post consistently, because as easily as attention can be acquired on Facebook, it can also be lost.
  3. Ask Simple Questions – Asking questions of your audience prompts them to interact and engage with you. But, keep your engagement marketing simple. Complicated questions are less likely to get responses because it requires more work by your readers.
  4. Measure, Measure, Measure – Only by measuring the results of your Facebook marketing can you determine what’s working and what’s not. Facebook Insights is an awesome tool for accomplishing this.
  5. Consider Facebook Advertising- At this time, a limited number of cord blood banks are doing paid advertising on Facebook. In the United States, Cord Blood Registry does a large amount of this type of advertising, as does LifeBank USA, M.A.Z.E. Cord Blood Laboratories, and a few others. The advertising platform is less saturated that the more costly alternative, Google.

Start it now, because your prospect market is specific, finite, and time-sensitive  –  you only have a 9-month interval to make your sale.  May 2015 be your most prosperous yet year, filled with increased sales, stronger relationships, and a powerful online presence.

Footnotes:

[1] Facebook Statistics by Country, “Top Countries on Facebook”: http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/. Accessed Jan 4, 2014.

[2] Ibid.

[3] “Facebook and Your Brain,” Psychology Today. Available at: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-beauty-prescription/201205/facebook-and-your-brain. Accessed Jan 4, 2014.

[4] Ibid.

Future Posts about the Stem Cell Industry

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About Us

BioInformant is the only research firm that has served the stem cell sector since it emerged. Our management team comes from a BioInformatics background – the science of collecting and analyzing complex genetic codes – and applies these techniques to the field of mark research. BioInformant has been featured on news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, CBS News, Medical Ethics, and the Center for BioNetworking. Serving Fortune 500 leaders that include GE Healthcare, Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, Beckton Dickinson, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, BioInformant is your global leader in stem cell industry data.

To learn more about emerging trends and findings within the stem cell industry, view the global strategic report “Stem Cell Research Products – Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies” ” now.

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Marvelous Stem Cell Video by Harvard School of Medicine (3 Minutes)

Best Video of 2015:  “Birth and Engraftment of Blood Stem Cell”

This video published by the Harvard School of Medicine is incredible! We’ve passed it around here at the office and have given it the unofficial “Stem Cell Video of the Year” award.

It’s a zebrafish animation that shows discoveries made by the Stem Cell Research Program at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Using the zebrafish as a model, it takes you from the birth of a blood stem cell, along its travel through the body, to its site of engraftment.

These importance of these findings are that they reveal the natural process for blood stem cell activity, the first time this activity has been documented within a living system, as discussed on the Harvard School of Medicine site here.

When a human patient receives a bone marrow transplant, the transplanted blood stem cells follow a similar path of activity, making these findings useful for clinical purposes.  Leonard Zon, MD, and colleagues published their full findings in the January 15, 2015 issue of Cell.

Without question, it’s the BEST 3 minutes you’ll spend today, so check it out and let us know what you think in the comments below.


The birth and engraftment of a blood stem cell from Harvard Medical School on Vimeo.

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BioInformant is the only research firm that has served the stem cell sector since it emerged. Our management team comes from a BioInformatics background – the science of collecting and analyzing complex genetic codes – and applies these techniques to the field of mark research. BioInformant has been featured on news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, CBS News, Medical Ethics, and the Center for BioNetworking. Serving Fortune 500 leaders that include GE Healthcare, Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, Beckton Dickinson, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, BioInformant is your global leader in stem cell industry data.

To learn more about emerging trends and findings within the stem cell industry, view the global strategic report “Stem Cell Research Products – Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies” ” now.

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Unbelievable Advances in Cord Blood Processing: 4 Market Leaders You Need to Know

Introduction to Automated Cord Blood Processing

This post considers the four key processing technologies that are operating within the global cord blood marketplace. It provides a framework of understanding for current market options and the technologies that are being used by industry leaders.

Automated processing systems have many benefits, including speed, processing efficiency, and cost-savings. However, automated processing systems have not always dominated the cord blood industry. In 2006, the AutoXpress® System was launched by Thermogenesis, a company which then merged with TotipotentRX Corporation in February 2014 to create Cesca Therapeutics.[1]

The AutoXpress® (AXP®) technology was the first automated, functionally closed, sterile system to obtain stem cells from cord blood through an efficient and high yield process, allowing for the automated processing of cord blood samples. The AXP® Platform brought unprecedented automation and precision to cord blood stem cell processing. By 2007, Cord Blood Registry, the world’s largest private cord blood bank, had fully incorporated the AXP® platform into its cord blood operations, showing the willingness of company management to invest in new processing technology.

Automated processing systems efficiently recover mononuclear cells (MNC) in cord blood collections. One of the other major benefits to automated processing systems is found in the replaced need for additives and human manipulation. As the first automated processing technology to enter the cord blood market, the AXP® Platform uses optical sensor technology to formulate precision separation and retention of almost all the target mononuclear cell population. When this process is automated, there is a reduced chance of contamination and an increased reliability of results.

Four Market Leaders in Automated Cord Blood Processing

There are now four key processing technologies operating within the cord blood banking market that allow for automation of the traditional process of manual cord blood processing, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages, as described below.

1. AutoXpress® Platform (“AXP®”) and BioArchive System (By Thermogenesis, a Division of Cesca Therapeutics in Rancho Cordova, California, USA)

As mentioned, in 2006, the AutoXpress® System was launched by Thermogenesis, a company that was acquired by Cesca Therapeutics in February of 2014. It was announced as the first automated, functionally closed, sterile system to obtain stem cells from cord blood through an efficient and high yield process.

The system can reduce a unit of cord blood to an exact volume selected by an individual processer, using a closed processing set and individual collection bags for buffy coat, plasma, and red blood cells.[2] Together, the system reliably collects all fractions. One of the key benefits of the AXP® Platform is the high success rate of cell yield, an important metric because transplant survival rates improve when higher numbers of stem cells are used in cell therapy.

In addition, the system enables the tracking of data for each unit of cord blood processed. An advantage of the AXP® platform is that cord blood units processed with AXP® are richer in mono nuclear cells (MNC) than units processed by traditional means, and the CD34+ stem cell recovery is greater than 97%.[3] The system also has an in-line clot filter and multiple sampling ports to ensure quality results.

Shortly after launch of the AXP® technology, the world’s largest private cord blood bank by total units stored, Cord Blood Registry, incorporated the AXP® platform into its business operations. In addition to serving the private cord blood sector, the technology has entered the public cord blood banking sector. The National Cord Blood Program of the New York Blood Center (NYBC), the largest public cord blood bank in the world, has also adopted AXP® processing. Since its inception, the National Cord Blood Program has publicly stored over 60,000 cord blood units. In December 2013, ThermoGenesis Corp. also entered into a major deal with Bebevida, a cord blood stem cell bank in Portugal, to provide the AXP® AutoXpress® System for their service, a contract which allowed them to replace a competitor’s automated processing system and expand the reach of the AXP® system within Europe.

2.  Sepax (By Biosafe, in Eysins, Switzerland)

The Sepax system, similar to the AXP® system, is a fully-automated system that allows for efficient processing of umbilical cord blood, in a bag processing set, through centrifugation and the eventual separation into different components.

The Sepax system separates cellular components by utilizing a light beam to identify the density gradient between various cell layers, after cellular separation has been achieved through centrifugation of the full blood sample. The system uses a rotating syringe technology that provides both separation and component transfer through displacement of the syringe piston. The bag system is a single-use, sterile, fully-closed system.

Compared to the AXP® platform, the Sepax system generates a substantially better total nucleated cell (TNC) recovery.[4] It also has strong CD34+ cell recovery after cord blood unit volume reduction and is efficient in red blood cell depletion.[5]

One of the most commonly used automated processing systems within the cord blood industry, the Sepax system is used by many market leaders, including Cryo-Save, the largest private cord blood storage operator in Europe with samples stored from over 70 countries, across six continents. Cryo-Save also has processing and storage facilities in Belgium, Germany, Dubai, India, and South Africa, making this a large and important contract for BioSafe.

3.  PrepaCyte®-CB (By BioE in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA) 

Produced by BioE, the PrepaCyte®-CB system is a sterile, three-bag, closed system which is used to separate and obtain Total Nucleated Cells (TNC) including CD34+ stem cells and other stem cells from cord blood.[6] It is manufactured in accordance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMA) regulations of the United States FDA. It is a simple system that allows for greater uniformity in processing.

This system of cord blood processing has the ability to provide greater yields of clinically relevant cells, most importantly stem cells, by removing approximately 99% of all unnecessary red blood cells from the final processed cord blood unit. It also minimizes risks of contamination during processing.

According to a multi-site in-vitro comparative study, when compared to traditional hetastarch-based cord blood processing techniques, the PrepaCyte®-CB process significantly improves the recovery of therapeutically important Total Nucleated Cells (TNC) and White Blood Cells (WBC) from human umbilical cord blood.[7] These are beneficial to cord blood banks for maximizing the yield of therapeutically beneficial cells they cryopreserve.

An associated benefit of of the PrepaCyte®-CB system is that since it is BioE’s first clinical product stemming from its patented PrepaCyte® technology platform, it can be used to produce a range of cellular products as other cell types become relevant for clinical applications.

4.  Cord Blood 2.0TM (By Americord, in New York, NY, USA)

Compared to traditional cord blood stem cell collections systems, the Cord Blood 2.0 TM can obtain substantially greater quantities of stem cells for preservation. The main advantage that results is that the cord blood units can be used for hematopoietic stem cell transplant in patients who are larger in size. Historically, the volume of stem cells preserved during traditional processing of a cord blood unit has only been sufficient to allow for the treatment of patients up to 60-70 pounds.

The Cord Blood 2.0TM process is a two-step process. The first step uses gravitational force to collect a large volume of cord blood from the umbilical cord and placenta following a live birth. In the second step, the collected cord blood is processed at the Americord laboratory. The proprietary process allows for higher volumes of stem cells to be extracted compared to currently available methods.[8] It is not known yet if Americord will sub-license this automated cord blood banking system to other cord blood banking operators.

Footnotes: 

[1]  Reuters.com, (2014). Cesca Therapeutics Inc (KOOL.O) Key Developments | Reuters.com. [online] Available at: http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/KOOL.O/key-developments/article/2925203 [Accessed 6 Nov. 2014].

[2] Cesca Therapeutics,Inc., C. (2014). Cesca Therapeutics Announces Approval of Its AXP(R) AutoXpress(R) System in Taiwan. [online] GlobeNewswire News Room. Available at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2014/09/29/668956/10100317/en/Cesca-Therapeutics-Announces-Approval-of-Its-AXP-R-AutoXpress-R-System-in-Taiwan.html#sthash.vSNATzkJ.dpuf [Accessed 2 Nov. 2014].

[3] Ibid.

[4] Pilar Solves, F. (2013). Qualitative and quantitative cell recovery in umbilical cord blood processed by two automated devices in routine cord blood banking: a comparative study. Blood Transfusion, [online] 11(3), p.405. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3729132/ [Accessed 2 Nov. 2014]

[5] Ibid.

[6] WIRE, B. (2007). Clinical Study Finds BioE’s PrepaCyte-CB Significantly Improves Cell Recoveries from Cord Blood | Business Wire. [online] Businesswire.com. Available at: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20070509005094/en/Clinical-Study-Finds-BioEs-PrepaCyte-CB-Significantly-Improves#.VE8xDFeLO_J [Accessed 2 Nov. 2014].

[7] Ibid.

[8] Digitaljournal.com, (2014). Americord Launches Revolutionary Stem Cell Collection Process – Press Release – Digital Journal. [online] Available at: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2282077 [Accessed 2 Nov. 2014].at

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About Us

BioInformant is the only research firm that has served the cord blood sector since it emerged. Our management team comes from a BioInformatics background – the science of collecting and analyzing complex genetic codes – and applies these techniques to the field of mark research. BioInformant has been featured on prominent news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, Medical Ethics, CBS News, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

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Serving Fortune 500 leaders that include GE Healthcare, Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, Beckton Dickinson, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, BioInformant is your global leader in cord blood industry data.

To learn more about emerging trends and opportunities within the cord blood banking industry, view the “Complete 2015-16 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report” now.

Complete 2015-16 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report

 

How to Assess Your Cord Blood Bank’s “Quality Guarantee”

The Cord Blood Registry (CBR) is the largest U.S. cord blood bank. To date, the Cord Blood Registry has stored 500,000 cord blood and cord tissue samples, while Viacord has stored 350,000 samples and Cryo-Cell has stored 240,000 samples. While these storage counts may include cord blood and tissue units collected by their international divisions, these three industry players are the clear market leaders within the U.S. private cord blood banking industry.

Current Market Leaders within U.S., Ranked by Number of Cord Blood & Tissue Units Stored

Another interesting company within the U.S. cord blood sector is Americord, who has had the most rapid growth rate of any U.S. cord blood bank over the past few years.[1]  To date, Americord has stored approximately 35,000 cord blood and tissue units, which represents only 7% as many units as the U.S. market leader, Cord Blood Registry. Meaning, while Americord it is a most assuredly a fast-growth company, it is not yet a market leader when assessed by units stored.

Qualities that Distinguish the Top Cord Blood Banks

As industry leaders emerge, it is valuable to examine which qualities set them apart from their competitors. There are a number of identifiable markers that separate the dominant players within the cord blood industry from the less dominant ones. For instance, Americord currently has a few characteristics that could explain its growth rate advantage over Cord Blood Registry, including substantially lower costs for collection and 20 years of storage (standard contract term), no cancellation fees, and a higher quality guarantee.

Another characteristic that can distinguish one cord blood bank from another is the amount of its quality guarantee. Currently, the top cord blood banks in America offer quality guarantee packages that range from $25,000 – $90,000.  The primary reason for this guarantee is to reassure prospects that banking their child’s cord blood is a protected investment, despite the relative “newness” of stem cell transplantation. Most quality guarantees ensure that if a cord blood unit is needed for medical purposes, then engraftment of it will be a success or a dollar value will be paid out to the client.  In the event that a client’s stem cells fail to engraft, a cord blood bank offering a guarantee would then pay out the amount of their guarantee toward procurement of an alternative source of stem cells or alternative medical treatment.

Inherently, there is risk to the company offering such a guarantee, as biological responses can vary and there is never a one-hundred percent guarantee that engraftment will occur.  However, offering substantial quality guarantee packages demonstrates that a cord blood bank trusts its collection and storage processes, as well as has the financial reserves to stand behind its services.

Comparison of Cord Blood Bank “Quality Guarantees”

Below, the quality guarantees offered by leading private cord blood banks within the United States are compared. A global comparison is not feasible given the differences in currencies, exchange rates, and income levels from country-to-country. However, the findings here represent a broad spectrum of guarantees offered by leading cord blood banks, with some banks using this metric as a market differentiator.

Currently, the top cord blood banks in America offer “Quality Guarantee” packages that range from $25,000 to $90,000, with Americord topping that list at $90,000. Quality guarantees ensure that if a cord blood unit is needed for medical purposes, then engraftment will be a success or the amount of their guarantee will be paid out toward procurement of an alternative source of stem cells or treatment. Americord raised its guarantee from $80,000 to $90,000 in mid-2014 to further separate itself from the competition and increase its trustworthiness in the eyes of its clients.[2]

The primary reason for private cord blood banks to offer a guarantee is to reassure prospects that banking their child’s cord blood is a protected investment. Inherently, there is risk to the company offering such a guarantee, as individual transplant responses can vary and there is never certainty that engraftment will occur. However, offering a substantial quality guarantee package demonstrates that a cord blood bank trusts its collection and storage processes, as well as has the financial reserves to stand behind its guarantee policy.

Different cord blood banks handle guarantees differently, and this provides a healthy, diverse choice for clients. Three of the leading banks, CorCell, PacifiCord, and Cord Blood Registry, provide the industry average of $50,000 dollars. This appears to be generally accepted as the “mid-line” on the spectrum of guarantees.

On the lower end of the spectrum, ViaCord ($25,000) and M.A.Z.E. Cord Blood (cost of reimbursement only) offer much less than the industry standard. ViaCord says on its website that they offer an amount to “defray the cost of procuring an alternative stem cell source.” M.A.Z.E. Cord Blood’s guarantee states only that they  “will reimburse you for the costs of collection and storage of these cells.”[3] The company qualifies this low amount by stating that they do not put out exceptions to their quality guarantees, while other companies include a variety of exclusions and exceptions in their guarantees.

Some U.S. cord blood banks choose not to offer a quality guarantee. For instance, FamilyCord AlphaCord, and New England Cord Blood Bank do not offer a quality guarantee.

At the high end of the spectrum, Cryo-Cell ($75,000) and Americord Registry ($90,000) offer much more than the industry standard. In fact, Americord offers the largest amount of all the leading banks, despite the fact that they charge some of the lowest banking prices in the industry.

For a summary of these findings, see the table below.

TABLE. COMPARISON OF LEADING PRIVATE CORD BLOOD BANKS IN THE USA (RANKED BY VALUE OF “QUALITY GUARANTEE”)
U.S. Cord Blood Bank Amount of “Quality Guarantee” Reference Link
AmeriCord Registry $90,000 http://cordadvantage.com/press-room/80-000-quality-guarantee-is-the-highest-in-the-cord-blood-banking-industry.html
Cryo-Cell $75,000 http://www.cryo-cell.com/cord-blood/benefits/cord-tissue-stem-cells
Cord Blood Registry $50,000 http://www.cordblood.com/best-cord-blood-bank/cord-blood-processing/cord-blood-services
CorCell $50,000 http://www.corcell.com/about-corcell/#.UvEAbPldXVE
PacifiCord $50,000 http://www.pacificord.com/2_6_Cord-Blood-Banking-Stem-Cell-Storage-California-Cost-Pricing.php
ViaCord $25,000 http://www.viacord.com/cord-banking/using-cord-blood/
M.A.Z.E. Cord Blood Guarantee only the “cost of collection and storage” http://www.mazecordblood.com/guarantee.php
New England Cord Blood Bank None https://cordbloodbank.com/processing-and-storage/
Family Cord None http://www.familycord.com/
AlphaCord None http://www.alphacord.com/
LifeBankUSA If banked stem cells do not engraft during transplant, LifebankUSA will search its donor inventory for a match and make the unit available for free. http://www.lifebankusa.com/the-lifebankusa-advantage/#.VFsSo_nF91U

Footnotes:

[1]  Umbilical Cord Blood Banking and Cord Tissue Banking,. ‘With Record Cord Blood Collections, Americord Aims For Inc. 500 | Americord’. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

[2]  Prnewswire.com, (2014). Americord Backs Up Its Cord Blood Services With First Ever $90,000 Guarantee. [online] Available at: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/americord-backs-up-its-cord-blood-services-with-first-ever-90000-guarantee-251940891.html [Accessed 6 Nov. 2014].

[3]  Viacord.com, (2014). Using Cord Blood | ViaCord. [online] Available at: http://www.viacord.com/cord-banking/using-cord-blood/ [Accessed 6 Nov. 2014].

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About Us

BioInformant is the only research firm that has served the cord blood sector since it emerged. Our management team comes from a BioInformatics background – the science of collecting and analyzing complex genetic codes – and applies these techniques to the field of mark research. BioInformant has been featured on prominent news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, Medical Ethics, CBS News, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

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Serving Fortune 500 leaders that include GE Healthcare, Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, Beckton Dickinson, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, BioInformant is your global leader in cord blood industry data.

To learn more about the cord blood banking industry, view the “Complete 2015-16 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report” now.

Complete 2015-16 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report

 

Trending Now… Fully Automated Umbilical Cord Blood Processing

Introduction to Automated Cord Blood Processing

Automated processing systems have many benefits, including speed, processing technology, and cost-savings. While automated processing technology entered the cord blood sector in 2006, as of 2015 (ten years later), not all cord blood banks have yet been converted. In the United States, most cord blood banks have incorporated the technology, but in other regions of the world, the transition has been slower. Furthermore, there has also been a strategic advantage observed among to the companies that switched over sooner, as it has allowed for resources within these companies to gradually be reallocated toward other efforts, including toward relationship-building with Obstetricians, into the education of expectant parents, and toward sales and marketing budgets.

In 2006, the AutoXpress® System by Cesca Therapeutics was announced as the first automated, functionally closed, sterile system that procures stem cells from cord blood with efficient and high yield throughout. [1] The AXP Platform brought unprecedented automation and precision to the stem cell processing, which in 2006 was important and cost-saving. Even though automated processing technology for umbilical cord blood is becoming more and more standardized, automated processing systems are still fairly new. As of 2007, the AXP’s state of the art technology was being used by only one family cord blood bank, although market acceptance grew more substantially in 2008.

Since then, cord blood harvesting has made a dynamic shift to fully automated processing systems and other industry alternatives have also emerged. The greatest benefits to automated processing systems are found in the replaced need for additives and human manipulation. The AXP Platform uses optical sensor technology to formulate precision separation and retention of almost all the target mononuclear cell population. When this process is automated, there is a reduced chance of contamination and an increased reliability of results.

Benefits of Automated Processing Platforms

A key attribute of automated processing systems such as the AutoXpress® Platform is that they efficiently recover mononuclear cells in cord blood collections. In tested samples, the recovery percentage of these stem cells has been calculated at 99.3% efficiency, a 22.7 percent higher yield than the commonly-used Hespan-based cord blood stem cell processing method, which achieved an MNC recovery rate of only 80.9 percent in the largest published Hespan study released in Cord Blood Transplantation.[2]  The Hespan approach requires an additive to facilitate separation of cord blood into layers of plasma, red blood cells, the MNC population of white blood cells and stem cells. The MNCs are then collected by a laboratory technician, which is a manual (not automated) step of the process.[3]   The AXP® AutoXpress® System also gained traction because it creates lower and more desirable hematocrit levels than most previous methodologies. [4]

Not surprisingly, the shift toward fully automated processing systems has also occurred within the public cord blood banking sector. For instance, the New York Blood Center (NYBC), the largest public cord blood bank in the world, has adopted AXP processing. They have, since their inception, banked over 60,000 cord blood units. In addition, there have been more than 30,000 cord blood transplants performed worldwide, and NCBP has provided cord blood units for transplantation to more than 4,900 of those recipients, a pretty astounding accomplishment as their contribution represents nearly 20% of all cord blood transplants worldwide. [5] Again, the main benefit of the AXP® Platform cited by the National Cord Blood Program of the NYBC was the high success rate of cell yield.

Cell yield is important because transplant survival rates improve with the number of stem cells used in therapy. “Cell yield is an important measure of a cord blood collection’s transplant utility and stem cells are contained in the MNC population,” said Dr. David Harris, Ph.D., professor of immunology at the University of Arizona and scientific director for Cord Blood Registry. [6] Cord Blood Registry has had full production of the AXP®Platform since 2007.[7]

Expanding Market for Automated Cord Blood Processing Technologies

As these automated platforms become more engrained in the culture of cord blood banking, the market is expanding to other countries. While the United States leads the world in cord blood banking, both in terms of total number of cord blood banks operating within the country and in terms of total cord blood units stored, other countries are not far behind. Italy, Spain, and now Portugal are researching ways to innovate and create more efficient cord blood stem cell extractions.

 The SepaxTM automated system has also been on the rise in the past few years, having different yet similarly viable results as the AXP’s system.  An interesting publication comparing the Sepax and AXP processing systems was released in July 2013, titled “Qualitative and quantitative cell recovery in umbilical cord blood processed by two automated devices in routine cord blood banking: a comparative study.”

The key findings were: [8]   

“Both the Sepax and AXP automated systems achieve acceptable total nucleated cell recovery and good CD34+ cell recovery after volume reduction of umbilical cord blood units and maintain cell viability. It should be noted that total nucleated cell recovery is significantly better with the Sepax system. Both systems deplete red blood cells efficiently, especially AXP which works without hydroxyethyl starch.”

Other automated processing alternatives to the SepaxTM and AXP® Platform are the PrepaCyte®-CB Processing System by BioE and Cord Blood 2.0TM by Americord, as shown below:

Automated Cord Blood Processing Systems

Summary of Findings

In summary, innovation is part of the rapidly evolving field of cord blood banking. Embracing this and searching for more efficient and effective ways of procuring stem cells from cord blood is extremely important. The quantity of total nucleated cells (TNCs), which is reported as a measure of the overall cell count found within a cord blood sample, correlates with improved transplant outcomes, higher patient survival rates, and better patient outcome.  It can also determine whether a sample can be used in a full-sized adult patient. While many studies have confirmed the importance of TNCs on patient outcomes, the importance of TNC count was recognized as early as 1998 when Dr. Rubinstein and his team released their research findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.[9]

Footnotes:

[1]  StreetInsider.com,. ‘Thermogenesis (KOOL) Says GE Healthcare Launches The Company’s AXP Autoxpress Platform’. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

[2]  Registry, Cord. ‘Highest Recovery Of Cord Blood Stem Cells Achieved With New Automated Processing System, Study Shows’. Prnewswire.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

[3]  Ibid.

[4]  Pilar Solves, Francisco Carbonell-Uberos. ‘Qualitative And Quantitative Cell Recovery In Umbilical Cord Blood Processed By Two Automated Devices In Routine Cord Blood Banking: A Comparative Study’. Blood Transfusion 11.3 (2013): 405. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

[5]  Nybloodcenter.org,. ‘National Cord Blood Program | New York Blood Center’. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

[6]  Registry, Cord. ‘Highest Recovery Of Cord Blood Stem Cells Achieved With New Automated Processing System, Study Shows’. Prnewswire.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

[7]  Cordblood.com,. ‘Cord Blood Processing | Cord Tissue Processing | CBR®’. N.p., 2015. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

[8]  Pilar Solves, Francisco Carbonell-Uberos. ‘Qualitative And Quantitative Cell Recovery In Umbilical Cord Blood Processed By Two Automated Devices In Routine Cord Blood Banking: A Comparative Study’. Blood Transfusion 11.3 (2013): 405. Web. 5 Mar. 2015.

[9]  Rubinstein P, Carrier C, et al. Outcomes among 562 recipients of placental-blood transplants from unrelated donors. N Engl Jour Med. 1998:339(24): 1565-1577.

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BioInformant is the only research firm that has served the cord blood sector since it emerged. Our management team comes from a BioInformatics background – the science of collecting and analyzing complex genetic codes – and applies these techniques to the field of market research. BioInformant has been featured on news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, Medical Ethics, CBS News, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

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Serving Fortune 500 leaders that include GE Healthcare, Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, Beckton Dickinson, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, BioInformant is your global leader in cord blood industry data.

To learn more about trends and opportunities within the cord blood banking industry, view the “Complete 2015-16 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report” now.

Complete 2015-16 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report

 

Cord Blood Industry News Round-Up | March 2015

The cord blood banking industry is a rapidly evolving industry experiencing nearly constant innovation. Every month there are major events that shift industry dynamics. Often, these events are announcements of technical or scientific advancements.  Sometimes they are announcements of industry collaborations or alliances. Occasionally, they are announcements of a new industry competitor, a major milestone, or a significant grant award.

While it can be easy to track changes in your region, it can be quite difficult to track changes occurring globally, and it can be very time-consuming to stay on top of the latest science.

However, for those of us interested in the cord blood industry, tracking these shifting industry dynamics is of vital importance.  This post covers the most significant cord blood industry news as of March 2015.

Cord Blood News Round-Up for March 2015

1. Pluristem and Hadassah Medical Center Announce Significant Data Showing PLX-R18 Cells Improve Bone Marrow Transplantation

[March 3, 2015]  Pluristem Therapeutics Inc., a leading developer of placenta-based cell therapy products, announced positive data from a preclinical study of PLX-R18 cells to improve outcomes of bone marrow transplantation. PLX-R18 is being developed to treat a range of hematologic indications including complications associated with bone marrow and cord blood transplantation.

In the study, conducted in conjunction with Hadassah Medical Center, mice with damaged bone marrow who received intramuscular injections of PLX-R18 cells together with a bone marrow transplant had significantly faster recovery of blood cell production compared to those who received a placebo with the bone marrow transplant.

Alongside the study at Hadassah, a preliminary study was conducted by Hillard M. Lazarus, MD, a Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. The study was part of ongoing research there to test PLX-R18 for use in umbilical cord blood stem cell transplantation.

Read more…

@Pluristem #transplantation #hematologic #bonemarrow #preclinical

2.  News Release: Joanne Kurtzberg Chosen To Lead New Cord Blood Association

[March 3, 2015]  Joanne Kurtzberg, MD, director of the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, Durham, N.C., has been chosen to be the first President of the new Cord Blood Association. The Cord Blood Association is an international nonprofit organization that promotes public and private banking and the use of umbilical cord blood and related tissues for disease treatment and regenerative therapies.

Dr. Kurtzberg, who received her medical degree at New York Medical College, has been active in the field of cord blood transplantation and banking since the beginning.  She founded the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at Duke University Medical Center in 1990, where cord blood transplants have been a focus. Her team at Duke performed the world’s first unrelated cord blood transplant in 1993 using a cord blood unit from the the New York Blood Center.

Others elected to office were Geoffrey Crouse as Vice President, Sue Armitage as Secretary, and Kenneth Giacin as Treasurer.

Read more…

#cordbloodassociation #foundingboard #collaboration #nonprofit

3. Potential biomarker identified for neonatal sepsis in preterm infants

[March 3, 2015]  Leena Mithal, MD, pediatric infectious diseases fellow at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, discusses new research which found that acute phase reactants in cord blood of premature infants could be used in detection and risk stratification for early onset sepsis. While early onset sepsis in neonates continues to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, there are insufficient clinical and laboratory diagnostics available to apply necessary antibiotic prophylaxis.

To determine whether evaluation of acute phase reactant biomarkers in umbilical cord blood could improve early onset sepsis detection, Mithal and colleagues compared archived cord blood and placental data from preterm infants with confirmed early onset sepsis, presumed early onset sepsis, late onset sepsis as well as a control group without sepsis.

Read more…

#sepsis #neonates #biomarkers #cordblood #placenta

4.  BioLife Solutions CryoStor® Cell Freeze Media Used in Mayo Clinic Safety and Feasibility Study of Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Cells for Pediatric Cardiac Regeneration

[March 3, 2015] BioLife Solutions, Inc., a developer, manufacturer and marketer of clinical grade hypothermic storage and cryopreservation freeze media and precision thermal shipping products, announced its CryoStor cell freeze media was utilized in a porcine animal study of umbilical cord blood-derived mononuclear cells (UBC-MNC) to evaluate the safety and feasibility of these cells for cardiac regeneration in pediatric congenital heart disease (CHD).

Thawed umbilical cord blood-derived mononuclear cells were administered to piglets via intramyocardial injections, with follow-up lasting three months. No mortality or toxicity in any study animal was observed.  The safety and feasibility study was performed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, with the results recently published in…

Read More…

@BioLifeSol #animalstudy #congentialheartdisease #pediatric

5. Study Shows Stem Cells Have Potential to Help Kids’ Hearts, Too

[February 27, 2015] Several studies showing the promise of stem cells for treating patients with heart failure have made headline news recently. However, all these studies targeted adult patients. New research appearing in this month’s STEM CELLS Translational Medicine demonstrates that stem cells may have the same potential to treat children with congenital heart diseases.

The study, undertaken by researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, looked at the feasibility and long-term safety of injecting autologous umbilical cord blood cells directly into the heart muscle at the pediatric stage of heart development. The study was conducted on pigs, due to their hearts’ similarity to human hearts.

The team injected the stem cells directly into the right ventricle of groups of three- and four-week old healthy piglets, and then compared the results to a control group that did not receive any cells.

Read more…

@MayoClinic #cordblood #cardiacrepair  #pediatric 

6. ESPERITE (Euronext ESP) pioneers first treatment worldwide of Cerebral Palsy using two types of stem cells

[February 23, 2015] CryoSave, part of ESPERITE, is the only private cord blood bank sponsoring a GCP clinical trial according to GMP-ATMP international guidelines CryoSave leads and sponsors a multicentre clinical trial following GCP-ICH standards, for investigation of new treatment of Cerebral Palsy using dual infusion of two types of stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood and cord tissue processed by CryoSave.

The clinical trial aims to demonstrate safety and preliminary efficacy of sequential intravenous infusion of the ex vivo expanded mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) derived from cord tissue and the cord blood stem cells. The study will use, for the first time in clinical research, autologous MSC-derived from cryopreserved cord tissue.

Read more…

@CryoSave #clinicaltrial #cordtissue #MSC

7. Cesca Therapeutics Announces Approval of Its MarrowXpress(TM) System in India

[February 11, 2015]  Cesca Therapeutics Inc., an autologous cell-based regenerative medicine company, announced the Company has received approval from the India Drug Controller General (“DCGI”) for the import and commercialization of its MarrowXpressTM (“MXPTM“) System in India.  “We are very pleased to receive approval from the DCGI for our MXP System for bone marrow stem cell processing specifically for the preparation of intra-operative at the point-of-care or clinical laboratory preparation of bone marrow concentrate,” said Ken Harris, President and leader of Cesca’s clinical programs.

Cesca provides in-house GMP cell laboratory services, scientific support, and medical technology to Fortis’ cutting edge program at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute, including use of Cesca’s proprietary “CellWerks” approach that employs the MXP Platform. Cesca’s technology and services expand both pediatric and adult patient access to life saving cellular treatments by enabling a number of transplants that might otherwise not be an option for the patient, including cord blood processing and storage for double cord blood transplant.

Read more…

#cordblood #bonemarrow #processing #India

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About Us

BioInformant is the only research firm that has served the cord blood sector since it emerged. Our management team comes from a BioInformatics background – the science of collecting and analyzing complex genetic codes – and applies these techniques to the field of market research. BioInformant has been featured on news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, Medical Ethics, CBS News, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM).

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Serving Fortune 500 leaders that include GE Healthcare, Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, Beckton Dickinson, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, BioInformant is your global leader in cord blood industry data.

To learn more about trends and opportunities within the cord blood banking industry, view the “Complete 2015-16 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report” now.

Complete 2015-16 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report

 

Landmark Events in Stem Cell Development Shift Industry Dynamics [Timeline]

Ushering in the Era of Regenerative Medicine

Stem cell research and experimentation have been driving progress in the area of regenerative medicine for decades. Despite major advances in stem cell knowledge, current medical approaches rely on single drug or single molecule treatments, occasionally supported by removal or alteration of biological tissues by a surgeon’s scalpel.

There is irony in the term “modern” medicine, as the central focus in modern medicine has largely been to contain damage and to limit symptoms: “Diabetic? No problem, we can regulate your insulin.” Under our current framework for medicine, regeneration has not played a central role in treatment. Rather than welcome in regenerative treatments, fears of novel cell-based treatments have been perpetuated and an emphasis on drug-based treatments has been continued.

In contrast, the next decade will be ushering in an era of “futuristic” medicine, centered on remedying underlying health conditions and resolving states of health.  Under this new model, what we currently consider “modern” medicine will soon be considered “archaic” medicine.

Life extension will also become a recognized area of medicine, referencing medical techniques that will allow for the extension of the average lifespan by 30-40 years. As Peter Diamondas, head of a Life Extension Company called Human Longevity, Inc, says, their vision is to “Make 100 the new 60.” In large part, progress in the area of regenerative medicine will be driven by cell-based therapies, with emphasis on delivering stem cells to sites of damage.

Exponential Growth of Stem Cell Technologies

The incorporation of stem cell technologies into modern medicine has been surprisingly slow.  However, this makes sense when you recognize that (as with all areas of technology) advances with stem cells are following an exponential, and not linear, path of progress. Past accomplishments are only a small indicator of future progress that will be achieved.

Regardless, to become educated about the potential for future growth in stem cell technologies, it is valuable to educate yourself about historical events that have accompanied the discovery and evolution of stem cells.  Both companies developing stem cell products and investors entering the stem cell sector can achieve improved decision-making through understanding technological advances that have driven breakthrough discoveries with stem cells to date.

Timeline of Landmark Events

The timeline below presents major accomplishments in stem cell research and development from 1860 to present (approximately a 150 year historical analysis). Enjoy!

Year DESCRIPTION OF EVENT
1860-1920 “Stem cells” inferred from analysis of embryo development and microscopy of bone marrow. (Germany)
1948-1958 Stem cell mechanisms deduced for sperm development and intestinal epithelium replacement. (Canada)
1958 First bone marrow transplants performed in human patients. (USA)
1958 Dr. Johgn Gurdon of Oxford University reported cloning a tadpole with genetic characteristics of the original frog. He used a “nuclear transfer” approach in which scientists use the nucleus of a mature skin cell to replace the nucleus of an embryonic cell. (United Kingdom)
1959 Experiments in mice prove the existence of resident blood stem cells in marrow. (England)
1961 Dr. James Till and Dr. Ernest McCulloch of the Ontario Cancer Institute proved that stem cells exist. Stem cells are important because they can develop into any kind of tissue in the body. (Canada)
1968 First allogeneic human marrow transplants achieved avoiding lethal rejection reactions. (USA)
1969 First application of cell separation technology to dissect marrow stem cell hierarchy. (Canada)
1974 Dr. Rudolf Jaenisch of the Salk Institute and Dr. Beatrice Mintz of the Fox Chase Institute created the first transgenic mammals” by inserting a virus that does not normally infect race into mouse embryos and watching the virus’s genes integrate into the embryonic cells as they developed into adult mice. This landmark creation of genetically modified mice set the stage for the use of viruses to create animal models of human diseases. (USA)
1978 Transplantable stem cells are discovered in human cord blood. (USA)
1981 Dr. Gail Martin of the University of California, San Francisco, isolated stem cells from mice embryos. (USA)
1981 Drs. Marlin Evans and Matthew Kaufman of the University of Cambridge reported growing mouse embryonic stem cells in a petri dish. (United Kingdom)
1982 Marrow stem cells measured by regenerative capacity in vivo are shown to be distinct from progenitors measured by colony methods. (Australia, USA)
1982-1986 First methodology developed for targeted genetic modification in embryonic stem cells. (UK, USA)
1984 Blood stem cells measured by colony formation in vivo are first extensively purified. (Holland)
1990 Mouse marrow regenerating stem cells are first completely separated from in vivo colony-forming cells. (USA)
1992 Neural stem cells identified in the adult human brain. (Canada)
1993 Pluripotency of embryonic stem cells is proven through the generation of entirely embryonic stem cell-derived mice. (Canada)
1994 First separation of cancer stem cells from the majority of cells in a cancer. (Canada)
1994 Patients with damaged corneas are successfully treated with corneal stem cells. (Taiwan)
1995 First derivation of primate embryonic stem cell lines. (USA)
1996 Dr. Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute used Dr. Gurdon’s nuclear transfer method (see Dec. 1962) to clone a mammal (Dolly, the sheep), replacing the nucleus of a fertilized embroyo with the nucleus from an adult mammary gland cell. (United Kingdom)
1998 Dr. James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin isolated human embryonic stem cells. (USA)
2000 Retinal stem cells identified in mice. (Canada)
2001 First collaborative stem cell research network – the Stem Cell Network – is formed. (Canada)
2001 Dermal stem cells identified in adult skin tissue. (Canada)
2002 First complete purification from mice of multipotent marrow stem cells capable as single injected cells of extended marrow regeneration in vivo. (Canada)
2002 The International Society for Stem Cell Research is formed. (Global)
2002 Creation of the International Stem Cell Forum (ISCF) to encourage international collaboration, and with the overall aim of promoting global good practices and accelerating progress in biomedical science. (Global)
2003 Cancer stem cells isolated in human brain tumours. (Canada)
2003 Rare human breast cancer stem cells identified. (USA)
2004 First derivation of dopaminergic cells from human embryonic stem cells, a hope for Parkinson’s disease treatment. (USA)
2004 International Consortium of Stem Cell Networks (ICSCN) is initiated, which aims to unify international efforts to make stem cell therapy a reality for a broad range of debilitating diseases. (Global)
2005 First evidence for human bone cancer stem cells. (USA)
2005 James Till and Ernest McCulloch win the Lasker Prize for experiments that first identified stem cells and set the stage for all current research on adult and embryonic stem cells. (Canada)
2006 Normal mammary stem cells demonstrated in adult mice. (Australia, Canada, US)
2006 Drs. Shinya Yamanaka and Kazutoshi Takahashi at Kyoto University generated “embryonic stem – likes cells” by introducing four genes (later known as the Yamanaka factors) into mouse fibroblasts (a type of connective-tissue cell, which in this case where skin cells). They named the cells “induced pluripotent stem cells” or iPS cells. (Japan)
2007 Mario Capecchi, Martin Evans and Oliver Smithies win the Nobel Prize for Physiology for Medicine for discoveries enabling germline gene modification in mice. (United Kingdom, Global)
2007 First physical identification and localization of mammalian intestinal stem cells. (Holland)
2007 First evidence for human colon cancer stem cells. (Canada)
2007 Dr. Yamanaka and Takahashi repeated the same feat with human cells, reprogramming human adult skin cells into iPS cells (see 2006) that are comparable to human embryonic stem cells. (Japan)
2007 Dr. Yamanaka described a modified protocol for the generation of human iPS cells from adult skin cells without the c-Myc retrovirus – a retrovirus capable of forming tumors. (Japan)
2007 Dr. James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin reported a method for converting human skin cells in cells that closely resemble embryonic stem cells. (USA)
2007 Dr. Rudolf Jeanie of the Whitehead Institute applied iPS technology to treat a human disease in a mouse model, showing that reprogrammed iPS cells obtained from healthy skin cells could improve the symptoms of sickle cell-like anemia in mice. (USA)
2008 Sam Weiss is awarded the Gairdner Prize for the discovery of neural stem cells. (Canada)
2008 Dr. Jaenisch showed that iPS cells reprogrammed into neurons could improve symptoms in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease. (USA)
2008 Drs. Yamanaka and Keisuke Okita used a modified iPS protocol developed in 2007 to generate virus-free iPS cells. (Japan)
2009 John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka win the Lasker Prize for discoveries in nuclear reprogramming. Yamanaka is also awarded the Gairdner Prize. (Global)
2009 iPS cells created with minimal residual genomic alteration. (Canada)
2010 Adult cells reprogrammed directly to neurons, cardiac muscle and blood cells. (Canada, USA)
2010 iPS cells created by transfection of mRNA. (USA)
2010 First clinical trial of human embryonic-derived stem cells for treatment of spinal cord injury. (USA)
2010 Dr. Marius Wernig of Stanford University converted mouse skin cells into functional neurons in a petri dish. (USA)
2010 Dr. Deepak Srivastava of the Gladstone Institutes directly reprogrammed mouse non-muscle cells into beating heart cells. (USA)
2010 Dr. Mick Bhatia of McMaster University converted human skin cells directly into human blood cells. (Canada)
2010 Dr. Sheng Ding of Scripps Research Institute used only one factor and a cocktail of pharmaceutical chemicals to reprogram skin cells into iPS cells. (USA)
2011 Isolation of multipotent human blood stem cells capable of forming all cells in the blood system. (Canada)
2011 Dr. Sheng Ding, now of Gladstone Institutes, reveled methods of directly reprogramming adult skin cells into neurons that can transmit brain signals. (USA)
2012 John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent. (United Kingdom, Japan)
2012 Dr. Srivastava showed that scar tissue that formed after a heart attack can be directly reprogrammed into beating heart cells in living animals, significantly improving heart function and strength. (USA)
2012 Dr. Steven Finkbeiner of the Gladstone Institutes, along with the International Huntington’s Disease (HD) consortium, reprogrammed skin cells from HD patients to iPS Cells, developing the first-ever human cell-culture model of HD. (USA)
2012 Japanese researchers announced plans for the first human clinical trails using iPS cells to treat age-related macular degeneration – a leading cause of blindness. (Japan)
2012 Dr. Yadong Huang of Gladstone Institute transformed skin cells – with a single genetic factor – into neural stem cells that developed on their own into an interconnected functional network of mature brain cells. (USA)
2012 Dr. Yamanaka, laboratory at the Gladstone Institutes discovered that environmental factors critically influence the growth of IPS cells, taking an important step towards understanding how these cells develop – and towards the ability to use stem cell based therapies combat disease. (USA)
2013 Induced pluripontent stem cells (iPSCs) enter the first ever clinical trial in humans, led by Masayo Takahashi of the RIKEN Center in Japan. The trial investigates the safety of iPSC-derived cell sheets for use in patients with macular degeneration. (Japan)
2014 A historic patent challenge occurs between a group called “BioGatekeeper” and Drs. Yamanaka and Takahashi, who hold a U.S. patent claiming a method for creating iPSCs (U.S. Patent No. 8,058,065).  (Global)

Future Posts about the Stem Cell Industry

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About Us

BioInformant is the only research firm that has served the stem cell sector since it emerged. Our management team comes from a BioInformatics background – the science of collecting and analyzing complex genetic codes – and applies these techniques to the field of mark research. BioInformant has been featured on news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, CBS News, Medical Ethics, and the Center for BioNetworking. Serving Fortune 500 leaders that include GE Healthcare, Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, Beckton Dickinson, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, BioInformant is your global leader in stem cell industry data.

To learn more about the stem cell industry, view the global strategic report “Stem Cell Research Products – Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies” ” now.

Stem Cell Research Products - Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies | Market Report