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Scientists Give the Go-Ahead for Private Storage of Stem Cells From Umbilical Cord Blood

ZUTPHEN, Netherlands, June 4, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Four world-renowned stem cell experts have recently given their full support to private cordblood banking. The four scientists supported the "Family Cord Blood Bank" which has just been established in the US by CORD:USE.

Cryo-Save (Euronext/AIM: CRYO), the largest stem cell bank in Europe, is very pleased with this positive development. "We expect that the merit of private storage of stem cells will also increase in Europe and that the sometimes unreasonable arguments, which prevent people from storing stem cells in a number of countries, will disappear", according to CEO Arnoud van Tulder, "combined storage seems to be the way of the future".

What is the merit of umbilical cord blood?

Umbilical cord blood contains very valuable cells; stem cells which can multiply and grow into cells which can cure serious and sometimes deadly diseases. They are used to combat more than 70 different diseases and research into new applications is continuously increasing; at present, more than 3,000 clinical studies are in progress. The blood and the stem cells are analyzed and processed using advanced technology and subsequently stored in the gas phase of liquid nitrogen. When needed, the cells can be used immediately.

Private versus public storage?

As a parent, you can have the umbilical cord blood with the stem cells of your child stored in the private or family blood bank. The stem cells are then available for later use and guarantee an exact match for the child concerned, and 25% chance that they are also an exact match for a brother or sister. Worldwide, hundreds of thousands of parents already decided to store the stem cells from the umbilical cord blood of their children in a private bank.

When the choice is public storage, the parents decide to make the stem cells available to others. The cells can then be utilized to save the life of another, unknown person, who shows a match with the donor blood. However, the donor parents do not have any guarantee that the stem cells remain available for their own child as well. In addition, it turns out that only 30 to 50% of all donations are indeed stored. The rest is destroyed. You will only get the guarantee that the stem cells are available if your child needs them by storing in a private or family bank.

Cryo-Save goes for combined storage

With more than 130,000 samples stored and activities in more than 38 countries, Cryo-Save is the largest stem cell bank in Europe.

The stem cells are taken from the umbilical cord and umbilical tissue. In Italy, Cryo-Save offers combined storage for both private as well as public use. This offers the guarantee that the blood is available for one's own child if it is ever needed, but is also available to help others. Pending approval of the authorities, Cryo-Save plans to introduce this "best-of-both worlds" combined-storage service in other countries as well.

For more information: Cryo-Save Group +31(0)575-548-998, Arnoud van Tulder, CEO, Marc Waeterschoot, Executive Director

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SOURCE Cryo-Save Group
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