The world`s first umbilical cord blood bank was established over 20 years ago – in 1992. Exactly at that time professor David Harriss determined to preserve his own son`s umbilical cord blood that laid the foundation of personalised umbilical cord blood banking.
There are more than 400 umbilical cord blood banks in the world today. Most of them are private cord blood banks that provide personalised cord blood banking. Expectant family can preserve their child`s cord blood during birth for further placement in the private bank`s cryostorage. In case anyone in the family gets ill, their umbilical cord blood deposit can easily be discarded from the bank to be used for stem cell therapy.
The second type of cord blood banks is public. They allow to store donated umbilical cord blood samples so that the deposits can be used by any person in need of treatment around the globe – on condition that the sample is a match with the patient otherwise as well as in organ transplantation immunologically mismatched stem cells will be rejected by the recipient`s organism. The cost of the donor umbilical cord blood unit starts at 20000$ each. The same amount of money will be required to find any donor umbilical cord blood unit and test this sample for a match.
Public cord blood banks are open and working successfully in the US, Canada, Germany, Spain, Croatia, Japan, China, South Korea and others. There is no such public bank in Ukraine however, our family cord blood bank HEMAFUND allows You to bank your child`s umbilical cord blood just in case.
The stem cell banking has become possible owing to the discovery of long-time biomaterial preservation in liquid nitrogen. Low temperature regime (-196 °С is temperature of liquid nitrogen) has proved to effectively maintain umbilical cord blood without loss of stem cells quality and quantity. This data is supported by years of successful umbilical cord blood preservation both in the world and in Ukraine with HEMAFUND (founded in 2005).
Umbilical cord blood banking legislation differs from country to country. For example in the USA umbilical cord blood banks` practice is strictly controlled by FDA (organisation that is also involved in medicine and food control). In addition, cord blood banks in states New-York, New-Jersey and California require additional accreditation to practice legally. Biobank, that doesn`t have such an accreditation, has no right to function at all.
In the EU cord blood banks are coordinated and controlled by international organisation Netcord supported by European Parliament. Netcord both controls the activities of biobanks, and propagates umbilical cord blood banking among people.
Ukrainian legislation requires umbilical cord blood banks to satisfy license conditions developed by The Ministry of Health Care of Ukraine. Subject to this satisfaction, the biobank is granted permission for licensed activities such as cells and tissue preservation. HEMAFUND stands highest Ukrainian standards.
Umbilical cord blood preservation and research is widely supported among Red Cross, Orthodox and Catholic Churches and Hebrew Community. Orthodox Church has already had an official statement released on their official website in 2005 – supporting adult stem cells (umbilical cord blood stem cells belong to this type of cells) research and admitting stem cells` great potential in curing disease. At the same time, Vatican donates millions of euro to different companies engaged in stem cell therapy development.