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Over the past five years, the global cord blood banking industry has substantially matured and consolidated. This has created both serious threats and novel opportunities for the industry. Serious threats to the industry include low rates of utilization for stored cord blood, expensive cord blood transplantation procedures, difficulty educating obstetricians about cellular therapies, and an increasing trend toward industry consolidation.
Digital competition for cord blood has been growing increasingly competitive, with cord blood banks competing for online viewership of ads, website content, and ultimately, clients. Most cord blood banks are using Google Adwords to display advertisements within Google Search as a method of acquiring online visitors.
The term “cord blood” has now become one of the 20 most expensive search terms on Google. Winning online traffic through Google AdWords for the search phrase “Cord Blood” now costs $45.87 in the United States. The cost for acquiring traffic through Google AdWords for the phrase “Cord Blood” is $32.91 when all geographies are allowed.
Industry leaders are also publishing enormous quantities of industry-relevant content to dominate in organic (non-paid) online search.
However, there are also emerging opportunities for the industry, such as accelerated regulatory pathways for cell therapies in leading countries worldwide, including the U.S., Japan, and South Korea. Cord blood banks are diversifying into new types of stem cell storage, including cord tissue storage, placental stem cells, amniotic stem cells, menstrual stem cells, adipose tissue, and more.
Holding companies are emerging as a global theme, allowing for increased operational efficiency and economy of scale. Cryoholdco has been acquiring cord blood banks throughout Latin America and Sanpower Group has been purchasing them within Asia.
Additionally, growing investment is flowing into cord blood stem cell expansion technologies. Key strategies being explored for this purpose include:
- Nicotinamide-mediated (NAM) expansion
- Notch ligand
- Enforced fucosylation
Major market players developing cord blood expansion technologies include Gamida Cell Ltd, Nohla Therapeutics, Novartis, Fate Therapeutics, and others.
Finally, growing numbers of investors are entering the cord blood banking marketplace, led by groups such as ABS Capital Partners & HLM Management, KKR & Company, Bay City Capital, GTCR, LLC, and Excalibur.
While market factors can vary by geography, it is crucial to have a global understanding of the market. Research advances, clinical trial findings, and technology advances do not know international boundaries. The cord blood market is global in nature and understanding dynamics limited to your region is not sufficient for making strategic, informed, and profitable decisions.
Today, cord blood banks now exist in every developed country, as well as within most developing nations. With approximately 450 companies marketing cord blood banking services worldwide, maturation of the market means that each company is fighting harder for market share. While the U.S. cord blood banking industry is the most mature cord blood banking market in the world, Asia is extremely close behind and growing more quickly than the U.S. market.
Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Dynamics
In 2016, Sanpower Group and its subsidiary Nanjing Cenbest announced the acquisition of China Cord Blood Corporation (NYSE:CO) and Shandong Cord Blood Bank, positioning it to hold four licenses out of the only seven issued provincial-level cord blood bank licenses in China.
According to the company, Sanpower Group has “reserved 800,000 cord blood samples at home, and the associated reserves nearly amount to 1,100,000 when counting in the Cordlife reserves across various Southeast Asian countries and regions.” This positions Sanpower Group and its subsidiary Nanjing Cenbest as the world’s largest cord blood banking operator not only in China and Southeast Asia, but in the world.
Currently, the largest cord blood bank in the United States, Cord Blood Registry, reports to have 700,000 cord blood and tissue units in storage, positioning it substantially behind Sanpower Group. Within China, Sanpower Group reports to control approximately 800,000 cord blood samples. Therefore, Sanpower Group leads CBR by 100,000 units, or 14.2% (800,000 / 700,000 = 1.142), respectively. With CBR controlling more than 50% of the market share in the U.S. and Sanpower Group controlling more than 50% of the market share in China, these two entities are the largest cord blood operators in the world.
Other regions have witnessed major events as well. In 2008, a Taiwanese company, HealthBanks Biotech Company Ltd. became the first company to offer cord tissue storage. It was not until July 2010 that the first private U.S. cord blood bank began offering the service (Cord Blood Registry). Since then, the trend of cord tissue storage has had a major impact on the cord blood banking industry, with a large percentage of cord blood banks now offering the service.
In China, the government shocked the industry by announcing that only one cord blood bank would be allowed to operate within each province, and official government support, authorization, and permits would be required.
In Italy and France, it is illegal to privately store one’s cord blood, which has fully eliminated the potential for a private market to exist within the region.
In Ecuador, the government is now creating the first public cord blood bank and has instituted laws such that private cord blood banks cannot approach women about private cord blood banking options during the first six months of pregnancy. This created a crisis for the private banks, and there are now only two remaining in Ecuador.
Most recently, India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) restricted commercial banking of stem cells from most biological materials, including cord tissue, placenta, and dental pulp stem cells, leaving only umbilical cord blood banking as “permitted and licensed” within the country.
Clearly, it is vital to understand market dynamics and risks, as well as the emerging opportunities, within different regions of the world.
This 265 page reports includes:
- Market size determinations for cord blood and tissue storage, with projections to 2022
- Volumes of cord blood and cord tissue storage worldwide
- Rates of worldwide cord blood storage (units per year)
- Rates of cord blood utilization
- Trend rate data for umbilical cord blood grants, patents, and scientific publications
- Clinical trial analysis, including comparison of cord blood vs. cord tissue trials
- Current and future conditions treatable with cord blood
- Regulatory pathways affecting cord blood banking in major healthcare markets
- Digital marketing assessment and comparison of industry leaders
- Competitive environment analysis, including identification of market leaders
- Leading investors within the cord blood marketplace
- Medical opinions of cord blood banking
- Crucial trends and unmet market needs
- And more
- ABS Capital Partners & HLM Management
- AMAG Pharmaceuticals
- Bay City Capital
- Biocell Center
- Cell Care (Australia)
- Cesca Therapeutics
- China Cord Blood Corporation (CCBC)
- Cord Blood Registry (CBR)
- Core23 BioBank
- Cryo-Cell International
- Fate Therapeutics
- Future Health Biobank
- Gamida Cell Ltd.
- GeneCell International
- Genesis Bank
- GTCR, LLC
- HealthBanks Biotech Company Ltd
- Human Longevity Inc.
- Insception Lifebank
- KKR & Company
- LifeCell International
- Nanjing Cenbest
- Natera, Inc. (EverCordTM)
- New England Cord Blood Bank
- National Cord Blood Program (NCBP) at the New York Blood Center
- Nohla Therapeutics
- Pluristem Therapeutics
- Precious Cells Group
- Sanpower Group
- Shandong Cord Blood Bank
- Stem Cell Cryobank
- STEMCELL Technologies
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Transcell Biologics Pvt Ltd,
- VAULT SC Inc.
- Vita34 AG
- And More
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