The cord blood banking industry is a global industry composed of private banks, public banks, hybrid banks, a cord blood association in the U.S. and Brazil, and even global insurance plans to cover parents offered by CellPlan and Miller Insurance.
As the cord blood industry expands, the question becomes, what role with these cord blood associations play in supporting industry growth, collaboration, and education?
Cord Blood Associations, an Industry Trend
Cord Blood Associations first appeared with the formation of a cord blood association in Brazil in 2013, and subsequently, with the U.S. based Cord Blood Association in December of 2014.
The Associação Brasileira de Bancos de Células Tronco (ABBCT) was formed in Brazil in 2013, for purposes of bringing together cord blood industry leaders across academia, industry, and government. The association aims to promote transparency, as well as ethical and quality standards, across the Brazilian cord blood industry. For English speakers, the translation of “Associação Brasileira de Bancos de Células Tronco” means “The Brazilian Association of Stem Cell Banks.”
By December of 2014, a Cord Blood Association had also been formed in the United States, as well as an Advisory Committee to direct it, with four seats allocated for representatives from public cord blood banks, four seats allocated for representatives of private banks, and five seats allocated for cord blood industry “members at large.”
The association describes itself as an “international nonprofit organization to promote public and private banking and use of umbilical cord blood and related tissues for disease treatment and regenerative therapies.” Currently, the association disseminates most of its announcements through its LinkedIn page and through the website it launched in June of 2015, www.cb-association.org.
Role of a Cord Blood Association is to Support Industry Collaboration
The primary benefit of these cord blood industry associations is to allow cord blood banks, as well as industry representatives, to utilize collective resources, thereby more powerfully influencing public relations efforts, government funding decisions, press budgets, and more.
To further explain the operational purposes of the U.S. Cord Blood Association, an excellent video by Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, is included below. As the first president of the Cord Blood Association and current director of the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank in Durham, North Carolina, she discusses the first cord blood transplant performed in France and the evolution of the cord blood community through 2015.
She also addresses the importance of cord blood industry collaboration.
Introduction to the Cord Blood Association, by Joanne Kurtzberg