Cord blood banking is the storage of stem cells contained within the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies for future medical use. It is a global phenomenon, because cord blood banks now exist in every developed country, as well as within most developing nations.
With nearly 500 cord blood storage providers in existence, this post considers the top ten most influential and innovative cord blood banks worldwide.
The criteria used for this analysis was the degree to which a cord blood bank has unique attributes that set it apart from the rest of the marketplace, such as having a large global reach, innovative business model, unique products or services, advanced marketing models, or other world-class attributes which distinguish it from the rest of its competitors.
The following companies were identified based on the impact they are having on the global cord blood banking industry. It is critical to be educated about these ten companies, because they set important standards and practices that affect all market participants.
Top Cord Blood Banks Worldwide
1. Cord Blood Registry
Located in San Bruno, California, USA, Cord Blood Registry (CBR) was founded in 1992 by Wendy Grant and Tom Moore. With a 20+ year history, it is one of the oldest and most trusted cord blood banks worldwide. In addition to being the only company in the region with its own storage facility, it has also had a long-standing history of AABB accreditation.
Additionally, CBR is the largest cord blood bank in the United States and worldwide by number of cord blood and cord tissue units stored (more than 500,000 to date).
Finally, Cord Blood Registry was acquired by pharmaceutical giant AMAG Pharmaceuticals for $700 million in June of 2015, making it a well-capitalized company.
Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, ViaCord is the second largest cord blood bank in the world. ViaCord has stored more than 300,000 cord blood and cord tissue units.
ViaCord was founded in 1993 by Cynthia Fisher. ViaCord has the region’s highest percentage (90%) of successful treatments using prepared cord blood stem cells.
Located in Oldsmar, Florida, USA, Cryo-Cell is the third largest cord blood bank in the world. To date, Cryo-Cell has stored 240,000 cord blood and cord tissue units.
Because Cryo-Cell was founded in 1989 and started to store cord blood stem cells in 1992, positioning it as the world’s first cord blood bank.
It serves clients from 87 different countries and makes its services available to millions of people. Cryo-Cell uses herapin-free bags to transport cord tissues in order to provide protection from allergic reactions.
4. China Cord Blood Corporation
Located in Daxing, Beijing, China Cord Blood Corp is the fastest growing cord blood bank worldwide, according to Mr. Chen Bing Chuen, the Chief Financial Officer and Director of China Cord Blood Corporation.1
It is also the largest cord blood bank in China, controlling more than 50% of the Chinese cord blood banking market share, as determined by units stored.
Recently, the Chinese government established that it would only allow one cord blood bank in each of the Chinese provinces. The Chinese government therefore issues one cord blood banking license per province, and the licensed company must therefore function as both a public (donation-based) and private (for-profit) bank.
China Cord Blood Corporation currently holds the exclusive license for three of the regions and has partial ownership in a 4th province. All of the other companies (four total) hold only one license each.
Located in Zutphen, Netherlands, Cryo-Save is the largest cord blood bank in Europe, with more than 250,000 blood stem cells in its storage capacity. Cyro-Save was founded in 2000 and changed its name from Cyro-Cell to Cyro-Save in 2003.
Its subsidiary, Cryo-Save Arabia, was the first private cord blood bank to initiate operations in the Middle East when it launched on September 11, 2006.
Cyro-Save later launched an adipose tissue stem storage service in 2010.
6. New York Cord Blood Program
Located in New York City, the New York Cord Blood Program (NCBP) is the largest non-profit cord blood bank in the world. N
CBP started its operations in 1992 under New York Blood Centre.
It has more than 60,000 blood stem cells in its storage facility and collects approximately 7,000 new units each year. NCBP is currently working to enhance this capacity to collection of about 10,000 new units each year.
Impressively, NCBP has released more than 5,300 cord blood units to patients for use in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). NCBP was also the first cord blood bank to be awarded NetCord-FACT accreditation in 2003.
Impressively, NCBP also received FDA licensure for its product, HEMACORD®, in November 2011, which was the “first time ever that the FDA has licensed a stem cell product.”
Located in São Paulo, Brazil, CordVida is the largest cord blood bank in South America. It was the first cord blood bank in Brazil to offer cord tissue storage services, a service which it launched in May 2012 through a partnership with the regenerative medicine company AuxoCell Laboratories, Inc.2
CordVida was founded in 2004, received AABB accreditation in 2008, and is today responsible for approximately half of all umbilical cord blood transplants made in Brazil using private cord blood units.3 CordVida operates its own processing and storage facility in São Paulo, Brazil.
Located in New York City, Americord was founded in 2008. Over the past three years, the company achieved a growth rate of 2,200%, making it one of the fastest growing cord blood bank in the world.4
Americord has several characteristics that explain its growth rate advantage over other major competitors. These include substantially lower costs for collection and 20 years of storage (standard contract term), no cancellation fees, and a higher quality guarantee.
Currently, the top cord blood banks in the U.S. 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 of it will be a success or the amount of their guarantee will be paid out toward procurement of an alternative source of stem cells or a different medical 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.
Additionally, Americord recently launched a new cord blood processing technology called CordBlood 2.0TM.5 This technology will allow the company to harvest twice as many stem cells as with other cord blood processing technologies.
CryoHoldco is a stem cell bank holding company that is the market leader in Latin America and one of the largest stem cell banks in the world. CryoHoldco is about five times larger (5X) than any other stem cell bank in Latin America—with more than 125,000 cord blood samples stored. When cord tissue units are also included, it has more than 130,000 stem cell units in inventory.
CryoHoldco was created in 2015 with the purpose of forming the premier stem cell banking company in Latin America. The first asset that was acquired by CryoHoldco was Cryo-Cell Mexico, the first stem cell bank in Latin America. Since investing in Cryo-Cell Mexico in mid 2015, CryoHoldco has been active in the market and has acquired a controlling interest in a regional stem cell bank in Mexico (Q4 of 2015), as well as acquired Stem Medicina Regenerativa (early 2016), the largest stem cell bank in Colombia.
Today, CryoHoldco represents the largest stem cell banking operation in Latin America, with over 130,000 stored samples, two state-of-the art lab and storage facilities in Mexico and Colombia, a growing network of 10,000+ affiliated doctors, and 100+ sales offices. CryoHoldco’s state-of–the-art storage facility in Guadalajara, Mexico, has a capacity of 300,000 samples.
Finally, CryoHoldco has a diversified revenue stream and product offering, which includes: cord blood and cord tissue banking, as well as storage of mesenchymal cells derived from dental pulp. In 2016, the company will also launch adipose tissue storage and a maternity bank.
Founded in 1997 in Leipzig, Germany, Vita34 was the first private cord blood bank to be established within Europe. With nearly 20 years of expertise in cord blood banking, the company now has nearly 150,000 units in inventory, making it the clear market leader within Germany.
The company has also established an impressive global reach through the utilization of partnerships, with subsidiaries and distribution partners spread across 26 countries. While these partnerships are largely concentrated within Europe, it is also active within China, Vietnam, and South America.
As with many other market leaders, Vita34 also acquires smaller competitors, recently establishing a majority (75%) stake in the German cord blood bank Stellacure in 2014.
Vita 34’s other distinguishing trait is its high rate of successful cord blood transplants, releasing 30+ units for therapeutic use within Europe.
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To learn more, view the “Complete 2015-16 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report.”
1 Chen, A. (2014). Presentation: The Commercialization of Umbilical Cord Blood Banking in China and its Operational Challenges. World Cord Blood Congress, September 17, 2014.
2 WIRE, B. (2012). AuxoCell Laboratories Licenses Umbilical Cord Tissue Stem Cell Service to Brazil’s CordVida | Business Wire. [online] Businesswire.com. Available at: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120606005447/en/AuxoCell-Laboratories-Licenses-Umbilical-Cord-Tissue-Stem#.VGDHAfnF91U [Accessed 7 July. 2016].
4 Prnewswire.com, (2014). With record cord blood collections, Americord aims for Inc. 500. [online] Available at: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/with-record-cord-blood-collections-americord-aims-for-inc-500-240158921.html [Accessed 4 December. 2015].
5 Process, A. (2014). Market News. [online] Research.tdameritrade.com. Available at: http://research.tdameritrade.com/grid/public/markets/news/story.asp?docKey=100-296p3339&provider=PRNewswire [Accessed 4 Nov. 2014].
6 ThePortugalNews.com, (2014). Portugal home to Europe’s second largest cord blood stem cell bank – The Portugal News. [online] Available at: http://www.theportugalnews.com/news/portugal-home-to-europes-second-largest-cord-blood-stem-cell-bank/29403 [Accessed 4 July. 2015].
7 AABB.org, (2014). AABB Accredited Cord Blood (CB) Facilities. [online] Available at: http://www.aabb.org/sa/facilities/celltherapy/Pages/CordBloodAccrFac.aspx [Accessed 11 May. 2016].