This most talked about life saving umbilical cord blood bank arrives in Andhra Pradesh, India. Now parents can bank their baby's cord blood with Cord Care (A Division of PathCare Labs (P) Ltd.,) - Andhra Pradesh's first Cord Blood Stem Cell Banking disclosed Dr. G.V. Prasad, Managing Director and CEO of PathCare Labs (P) Ltd. addressing a Press Conference in Hyderabad today. It is South India's second and India's fifth facility.
Cord Care is a division of PathCare Labs, a Hyderabad based Futuristic Diagnostic Service Provider with a state-of-the-
PathCare has embraced a policy of stringent quality standards, ethical practices, professionalism, innovation, optimism and dedication for carrying it into the realms of global leadership in providing accurate clinical referral testing services.
Cord Care’s Cord Blood Stem Cell Storage facility is designed to meet global norms for processing and cyro-preservation of samples efficiently, aided by the most advanced technology and computerization. The only stem cell bank with national coverage supported by Regional Laboratories and more than 600 Collection Centers spread across the country.
Cord Care’s Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank has been set up at PathCare Labs, Hyderabad with the state of the art facilities such as • Fully Automated Stem Cell Processing Section • Testing Laboratory • Cryo-Preservation Centre • IT and Logistics support centre • Power Back-up etc.
The Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank is established would be affiliated and certified by a key Governing Agencies such as DBT (Department of Bio-technology)
Cord blood stem cell transplants have better success rates than bone marrow transplants and are preferred because these cells are young. It has also been scientifically found that cord blood stem cells have better tolerance of HLA mismatches. Thus cord blood can make a difference between life and death in difficult transplants.
At the cord blood stem cell bank large scale cryogenic facilities preserve cord blood at around -196ºC. It takes just 5 to 10 minutes to collect Cord Blood since the cord blood is collected after the baby is born and the umbilical cord has been clamped and cut. It is a very simple and painless process for both mother and child.
Cord Care has a facility to store upto one lakh samples said Dr. G.V. Prasad. The collection, processing and preservation of cord blood is done at a fee of Rs. 75,000 and the samples are stored in cryogenic vaults for a period of 21 years. This is certainly a lifetime investment which can make a difference between life and death.
Stem cell banking in India is gaining momentum. "In India the industry put-together has banked about 25,000 cord blood units over the last three years. This number is set to increase substantially with increased market reach and awareness, increase in regulatory approvals for stem cells based products and lowered resistance to private banking will together encourage more clients to choose stem cell banking, Dr. G.V. Prasad said.
Stating further Dr.G.V.Prasad added that with more than 80,000 births a day or 26 million births a year, India is poised to be the largest source for umbilical cord blood in the world. It's no surprise then that leading stem cell banking companies are keenly eyeing India. The investments are considerable and mostly run into millions of dollars. Due to high birth rates, India presents lucrative opportunity for stem cell banking business.
Analysts estimate that Indian stem cell banks, which are currently at Rs. 100 crore, would generate Rs. 2,700 crore in revenues by 2012, accounting for 17 per cent of the world market. "Companies with foreign funding are entering the market and are planning to capture at least 21 per cent of the total market,".
Further, India offers unmatched advantages in terms of land and manpower cost competitiveness, availability of technical workforce with high skill sets and regulated market. The Country has all the essential ingredients to emerge as a key repository of cord blood for companies across the globe.
With rapid economic growth, widening base of high income group couples, the Country has huge target population that could be enticed towards the benefits of cord blood storage. Estimated cost of cord blood storage cost around USD 1,500 to USD 2200 for a 20 year period and India has huge customer base which could afford this said Dr. G.V. Prasad.
Presently, lack of awareness and highly technical nature of the process is the key reason for a small customer base in the Country. However, the market has tremendous potential that could be tapped by initiating an awareness campaign and a customized marketing plan observed Dr. Prasad.
As of now, there are four players in this five-year-old market. Most of these cord blood banking companies are having an overseas parent company which is responsible for the initial investment. Leading private players in area of cord blood banking are: Life-cell International, Chennai; Cryo banks International India, Gurgaon; Reliance Life Sciences, Mumbai and Cord-life Sciences India, Kolkata.
The pharmaceutical clusters at Hyderabad would offer various operational and infrastructure benefits to the Cord Care Stem Cell bank. Since the city is housed with several pharma, biotech, CRO’s and R&D companies as its prospective tenants, it would offer significant options for operational and technical collaboration. Further, the envisaged Clinical Trials would facilitate testing of pioneering stem cell therapies. Joint research collaboration between biotech firm and stem cell bank would expedite the process wherein the bank would extend its hi-end storage facilities to be used for trials in the vicinity. Thus the cluster would assist the bank realize various growth avenues arising out of such a configuration said Dr. Prasad.
Established in January 2008 within a span of 18 months PathCare Labs has established 8 regional processing laboratories across India. PathCare Labs in Hyderabad is spread in over 20,000 sft, area adhering to CLP, CLSI, FDA and WHO guidelines. It is certified by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), Government of India. PathCare Central Clinical Reference Lab is equipped with State of the Art equipment certified by US FDA and CE marked and is backed with highly skilled professionals comprising of Pathologists, Bio-chemists, Microbiologists, Genetists and support staff for sample accession and handling.
Path Care Labs is also all set in a road map to expand in the field of diagnostics and the infrastructure. It proposes to expand its services to the segments like
· PAN India presence through Regional Labs (20 Labs)
· Hospital Lab Management at Small Hospitals and Clinics (100 Labs)
· Supporting Clinical Trails for diagnostic tests
Stem Cell Therapy through preservation of Cord Blood in a bank certainly has great and promising future for many.