Cells for Life


Cells for Life is one of the oldest and largest cord blood companies in Canada. Since 1997, Cells for Life has stored over 36,000 cord blood units. We take pride in the fact that Cells for Life was founded by medical professionals and continues to be managed by a professional team of doctors, scientists and registered nurses. Our Medical Director, Obstetrician Dr. Michael Virro is supported by our clinical educators whom have extensive experience in labour & delivery and pediatrics. In addition, we have developed strong, long term relationships with hospitals, clinics, medical and birthing professionals across Canada to maintain quality throughout the entire process.

Labs and Locations

Cells for Life is the only Canadian cord blood bank located in a secure hospital location since 2007 at the the world-renowned Toronto General Hospital. It is designed with every possible safeguard including the most reliable storage freezers, emergency back-up power, 24-7 surveillance, and security systems.

Cells for Life, Laboratory at Toronto General Hospital
585 University Ave., Suite BC8131
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 2N2

Business Experience

Cells for Life Cord Blood Institute Inc. (905-472-0060905-472-0060), experts since 1997, is one of the oldest and largest cord blood banks in Canada. Over 36,000 samples stored. One of the first cord blood banks in Canada to obtain AABB (2004) and FACT (2012) accreditation, we are also Health Canada Inspected & Compliant (CTO# 100044).

Our  exemplary Scientific Team is headed by Dr. Elisabeth Semple, an internationally recognized leader in the field. Her years of experience and strict adherence to quality standards make Cells for Life second to none.

Cells for Life contributes research, published data and presentations at national and international conferences. Most recently Dr. Semple presented an abstract on "Detection of Bacterial Contamination in Cord Blood: A Matter of Sampling Volume" at the 2012 International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT), and at the 2010 Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group (CBMTG) Dr. Semple presented an abstract on "Collected volume of cord blood increases with training and experience".

Collection Kit

Sterile MacoPharma Collection Bag, approved for caesarean and vaginal birth. Unique CPD flush pad to recover as many cells as possible. Collection and disinfection method of the umbilical cord have been validated on a regular basis.

Transportation Container

The Cells for Life collection kit contains gel packs to maintain room temperature at all times. A data logger is used to monitor the temperature throughout the shipping process. We validate the collection kit on a regular basis to ensure it maintains a constant temperature.

Shipping Info:

Shipping of the collected cord blood is included in the processing fee (see prices for more details). At Cells for Life we use 2 different shipping methods depending on the birthing hospital:
a) Personalized service - Cells for Life Drivers pick-up cord blood units from the mother's bedside at over 40 different hospitals in Southern Ontario and the GTA, or
b) Cells for Life staff organize shipping - using approved medical couriers throughout Canada.

Processing Method

Cord blood processing at Cells for Life is done by one of two semi-automated, closed processing methods which provide high cell recovery rates and excellent cell viability. We use a method referred to as top-and-bottom method, also used by Quebec’s Hema-Quebec public cord blood bank. The addition of a starch solution, as done by some companies, is not required with our methods.

Components Stored

Cells for Life stores the buffy coat that contains white cells and stem cells.

Storage Method

Samples are stored in 25mL cryobags, with 3 segments, double-wrapped and then placed in a stainless steel protective canister. All samples are placed in quarantine until receipt of infectious disease testing. During quarantine and final storage, all Cells for Life samples are stored in vapour phase of cryogenic nitrogen consistent with industry best practices.  Cells for Life freezers are the most efficient storage freezers available on the market today.

Licensing & Accreditation

Cells for Life is Health Canada Inspected and Compliant (CTO# 100044), AABB Accredited since 2004, FACT accredited since July 2012, FDA Registered and we have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Clinical Experience

Since 1997 Cells for Life has stored over 36,000 samples and we continue to grow each year. Six (6) Samples have been released for use at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Canada. Five (5) of these samples have been used for siblings (allogeneic) in the treatment of Hematological Diseases, and 1 used their own sample for transplant (autologus) in the treatment of a brain tumour.


Cells for Life will not increase the annual storage fee for the duration of the 18 years, as stated in the contract.

Community Service

The "Angel" Directed Donation Medical Need Program - Cells for Life was the first Canadian cord blood bank to establish a medical need program in 2002.  The program provides funding to expectant parents with a family member who is currently suffering from a disease that can be treated with cord blood stem cells in the near future.

Cells for Life Supports Public Banking – We process and store publicly donated samples for Victoria Angel Registry of Hope Public Cord Blood Bank. Cells for Life has provided significant financial support and effort to this first public cord blood bank for Ontario. Victoria Angel accepts cord blood donations and will release matched samples to patients in need.


(All fees subject to applicable taxes)

Year 1:

Payment 1 (due at registration):
$25 One time Registration fee (first time clients only) 
$115 Collection Kit (non-refundable)
Payment 2 (after birth all-inclusive):    
$960 Shipping*, Processing, Storage, Medical Testing & 1st Year Storage      
(* Shipping restrictions may apply, please contact us for further details)
 $1100 Total 1st Year (plus applicable taxes)

Payment Plans: 3 consecutive monthly installments ($25 administrative fee applies)

Year 2-18 (storage fee):

Option 1: Annual Storage fee $125/year (no increase for 18 years)
Option 2: Pay in advance years $1800 (saves $325)

Returning Clients: Receive additional savings on processing fees
Referral Program: Refer family and friends to reduce your annual storage fee