In a recent article, BioInformant compared the top three largest cord blood banks within the United States. The purpose of the analysis was to consider comparative metrics between the largest market leaders in the cord blood industry within the United States, the most mature cord blood market worldwide.
In this article, we compare the three largest cord blood banks outside of the United States. In this analysis, the metrics used to identify the top three international cord blood banks were the number of cord blood and cord tissue units stored, number of transplants, rate of growth, and regions served.
The three companies identified as the market leaders in this international analysis are: Cryo-Save, CryoHoldco, and China Cord Blood Corporation (CCBC).
Top 3 International Cord Blood Banks
Located in Zutphen, Netherlands, Cryo-Save is the largest cord blood bank in Europe, with more than 268,000 cord blood and tissue stem cell units in its storage capacity.1 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. Cryo-Save has stored stem cell samples from over 70 countries on six continents, using processing and storage facilities in Belgium, Germany, Dubai, India and South Africa.
Cryo-Save uses an automated processing method, the Sepax system developed by the Swiss company, Biosafe. The Sepax system is a fully-automated system for separating cellular components that utilizes a light beam to identify the density gradient between various cell layers after cellular separation has been achieved, by spinning down the full blood sample within a centrifuge. It uses a bag system that is a single-use, sterile, fully-closed system.
The company uses its “Cryo-Save” trademark across more than 40 countries, where company divisions and business partners operate under licensing agreements. Cord blood and cord tissue units from most operating divisions and licensees are stored in their central Belgium facility, with the exception of operators functioning in Germany, Dubai, India, and South Africa. Its primary Belgium facility has both AABB accreditationand ISO 9001:2008 certification. Its other laboratories are well credentialed, too.
Interestingly, similar to several other operators within Europe (most notably within the UK), Cryo-Save is following the emerging trend of diversifying into additional types of stem cell biobanking for purposes of augmenting its central cord blood banking service. The company now offers cord tissue banking services across all of its branches. In May 2010, the company also launched an adipose tissue stem cell storage service, called “Cryo-Lip.”2
The company’s three stem cell storage services are shown below:
- Hematopoietic stem cells obtained from the umbilical cord blood (“Cryocord”)
- Mesenchymal stem cells obtained from the umbilical cord tissue (“Cryocord+”)
- Mesenchymal stem cells obtained from adipose tissue (“Cryo-Lip)
Cryo-Save has multiple labs located across the globe, with a strong presence in Europe, as shown below:
- Europe: Niel/Antwerp, Belgium (2009); Aachen, Germany (2009); Lyon, France (2014)
- Rest-of-World: Dubai, UAE (2006); Bangalore, India (2008); Cape Town, South Africa (2011)
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. Cryo-Cell Mexico (CCM) was founded in 2002 by local entrepreneurs in Guadalajara, Mexico, after an investigation of stem cell therapies that was prompted by the illness of a family member.
CCM was 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) and has created a joint venture with a smaller bank that is affiliated and has exclusive access to the leading chain of private hospitals in Mexico (Q1 2016).
Notwithstanding its activity in Mexico, CryoHoldco’s scope and focus is pan regional. This led it to the acquisition of Stem Medicina Regenerativa, the largest stem cell bank in Colombia, in early 2016.
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 over 100 sales offices across our countries and regions of operation. CryoHoldco’s state-of–the-art storage facility in Guadalajara, Mexico, has a capacity of 300,000 samples.
Like other leading stem cell banks, 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.
3. China Cord Blood Corporation
Headquartered in Beijing, China, China Cord Blood Corporation (CCBC) was the first umbilical cord blood bank to begin operating within China.
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. The for-profit division funds the company’s donation-based public division, as no government support is received for this purpose.
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 hold only one license each. As such, it is also the largest cord blood bank in the China, having either exclusive or partial operating rights within regions that account for nearly three-quarters of the annual births within China. It is also the fastest growing cord blood bank worldwide, according to Mr. Chen Bing Chuen (“Albert”), Chief Financial Officer and Director of the China Cord Blood Corporation.3
The company’s prime services include cord blood collection, laboratory testing, hematopoietic stem cell processing, and stem cell storage services.
China Cord Blood Corporation is one of the founders of the highly recognized non-profit organization – AsiaCORD (Asia Cord Blood Bank) Organization.
The company operates laboratories in Beijing and Guangdong.
The cord blood bank in Beijing is operated by Beijing Jiachenhong Biological Technologies Co. Ltd., which received its cord blood banking license in September 2002. The Beijing cord blood laboratory was awarded AABB accreditation in early 2013.
The cord blood bank in Guangdong is operated by Shenzhen Nuoya Pharmaceutical Equipment Co. Ltd, which received its cord blood banking license in June 2006.
Comparison of Top 3 International Cord Blood Banks
A comparative analysis of services and features, as well as pricing, is shown below for these global market leaders.
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1 Esperite.com, (2014). Cryo-Save news, annual reports and interim reports | www.cryo-save.com. [online] Available at: http://esperite.com/u/news__reports.html?mnSelY=2010&mnSelM=&mnSeliG=62&mnSeliM=634 [Accessed 4 Nov. 2015].
2 Esperite.com, (2014). Cryo-Save news, annual reports and interim reports | www.cryo-save.com. [online] Available at: http://esperite.com/u/news__reports.html?mnSelY=2010&mnSelM=&mnSeliG=62&mnSeliM=634 [Accessed 4 Nov. 2015].
3 Chen, A. (2014). Presentation: The Commercialization of Umbilical Cord Blood Banking in China and its Operational Challenges. World Cord Blood Congress, September 17, 2014.