AboutLifebankUSA (a Celgene company) is the only company that offers the option to increase the number of stem cells banked by collecting blood and tissue from the placenta in addition to the umbilical cord.
Labs and LocationsLifebankUSA owns their own laboratory and storage facility at the company headquarters in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey.
Business ExperienceLifebankUSA is one of the largest stem cell banks in the United States. It is a business unit of Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Celgene Corporation. LifebankUSA has provided cord blood storage services since 1998. Since 2006, LifebankUSA has been the only company offering storage of placental blood (a patented practice), and since Nov. 2011, LifebankUSA also offers placental tissue banking. LifebankUSA has live customer support available 24/7; parents or physicians can phone during delivery. Expectant parents can find out more information and/or enroll by calling 1-877-543-3226 or visiting www.lifebankusa.com
Collection KitThe LifebankUSA collection kit provides a ChloraPrep® One-Step Frepp® Applicator to clean the umbilical cord prior to collecting the cord blood and a sterile container to hold the entire placenta. In the collection bags, LifebankUSA uses an FDA-recommended anticoagulant for cord blood preservation—citrate phosphate dextrose (CPD) solution. This cell-protecting solution is also recommended by the US Department of Health and Human Services. CPD preserves stem cell metabolism, allowing the cells to maintain their integrity in the time between collection and processing, resulting in more CD34+ cells. The LifebankUSA collection kit also contains a sterile C-section adapter.
Transportation ContainerThe LifebankUA shipping container is validated to maintain room temperature under test conditions.
Shipping Info:Once the cord blood is collected and the Kit is ready, a family member calls the medical courier to schedule a pick-up. The medical courier comes directly to your room to pick-up the Collection Kit. Both the courier staff and LifebankUSA client service representatives are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, for efficient handling of your child’s cord blood. LifebankUSA uses private domestic courier transport via Quick International and there is no fee for the courier service.
Processing MethodWhile all cord blood contains red blood cells, these cells have no therapeutic benefit and can actually lead to complications if not removed. LifebankUSA removes red blood cells through a process called “red blood cell depletion”. This procedure manually separates white and stem cells by sedimentation with the chemical hetastarch to ensure that cord blood units are, on average, 99% pure. Unlike LifebankUSA, some other cord blood banks have purity levels of approximately 80%. This means that their final storage product contain more red blood cells that may cause complications if the cord blood stem cells are used for treatment. Removing red blood cells eliminates the need for additional preparation at the time of transplant if your baby’s stem cells are ever needed. This is important because further manipulation may lower the number of cells available for use.
Components StoredOnce your bar-coded and labeled collection kit arrives by courier at LifebankUSA, each component is inspected and accounted for during a strict protocol verification process. At LifebankUSA, rigorous measures are taken to protect against contamination. These measures include, among others, minimizing exposure to air and ensuring sterile conditions. Your baby’s cord blood is processed in a specialized laboratory. During processing, plasma is extracted and red blood cells are removed. Then, stem cells are separated and collected from the plasma. In addition, tests are conducted to determine cell count, cell viability, and the number of CD34+ cells (the cells that have been shown to improve transplant success and survival).
Placental blood processing is performed in a separate lab in the same facility where the technician uses a pump to remove the stem cell–rich blood to prepare for storage. Once the trained experts at LifebankUSA process your baby’s stem cells, they place the cord blood–derived stem cells and placenta-derived stem cells into separate storage bags. Each LifebankUSA storage bag has 2 compartments, which together preserve up to a total of 4 segments. After the processing, parents are provided with a certificate describing test results (cell counts, viability).
Storage MethodOnce the trained experts at LifebankUSA process your baby’s stem cells, they place the cord blood–derived stem cells and placenta blood-derived stem cells into separate storage bags. Each LifebankUSA storage bag has 2 compartments, which together preserve up to a total of 4 segments. Importantly, the compartmentalized bags allow transplant physicians to use a portion of the stem cells or all of them, as needed. Processed placenta tissue is stored in vials. All of the isolated stem cells are “cryopreserved” in a vapor-phase cryogenic nitrogen storage tank at approximately –190°C. The temperature is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, LifebankUSA storage tanks are maintained to the highest standards and have an emergency backup system that helps provide optimal long-term security for your baby’s stem cells.
Licensing & AccreditationLifebankUSA is accredited by the AABB and is registered with the FDA.
Clinical ExperienceLifebankUSA has released 39 units for transplants. LifebankUSA is the first company to report a successful transplant with placenta-derived stem cells.
LifebankUSA has a donation program where mothers in New York and New Jersey can donate their baby's cord blood and placenta to help save lives through LifebankUSA's clinical trials and research.
Clinical Experience and Research:
LifebankUSA is the only company that banks stem cells from both cord blood and the placenta. Together, LifebankUSA and Celgene Cellular Therapeutics are aggressively pursuing medical breakthroughs that will maximize the treatment potential of cord blood and placental stem cells in the field of regenerative medicine. Their clinical trials are transplanting both cord and placenta stem cells together, or using placental stem cells alone to develop a pipeline of treatments for conditions that include Crohn's disease and peripheral artery disease.
InsuranceA Quality Guarantee is provided by LifebankUSA to ensure a sample is available for transplantation if it is needed. In the rare case that a baby's banked stem cells do not engraft when called upon for transplant, LifebankUSA will search its donor inventory for a unit that is deemed clinically appropriate by the recipient’s transplant physician. If a match is found, LifebankUSA will make this unit available for transplantation free of charge.
Community ServiceThe Family in Need Program is for families who currently have a child in need of a stem cell transplant, and who are banking a newborn's umbilical cord blood with the intention that it will be used for the sick sibling. In this situation, LifebankUSA will waive all enrollment and storage fees involved with banking the unit for the family.
PricesWhen you bank your baby's stem cells with LifebankUSA®, you have many options: you can bank stem cells from cord blood alone or you can bank even more stem cells with Placental and Cord Blood banking. Either way, you can add tissue banking to your collection.
Visit the LifebankUSA pricing page to view the price of each option and estimate your payments with the payment calculator. Find out about our many flexible payment plans, including our 18- and 25-Year Pre-Payment Plans.
Additional ServicesLifebankUSA collects stem cells from 2 perinatal sources of stem cell–rich blood: the umbilical cord and the placenta. Stem cells collected from both sources have been used in transplants and only LifebankUSA has this patented technology and is registered with the FDA. Transplanting more stem cells increases the probability of transplant success and survival. Additionally, having multiple storage compartments offers the potential to give multiple treatments to your child or family members.
Specific cell types: Placental blood increases by 41% (on average) the yield of cells that test positive for CD34+, a marker used by transplant physicians to predict engraftment and survival. Banking placental blood with cord blood also increases by 209% the yield of cells that test positive for CD105+, a marker shown by Mesenchymal Stem Cells, which are proving useful in the emerging field of regenerative medicine.
Tissue banking: When you bank with LifebankUSA, we offer storage of tissue from the placenta. Placental tissue contains Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) and MSC-like cells. While stem cells found in cord blood and placenta blood have been used to successfully treat patients, there are currently no approved uses for cells derived from the umbilical cord or placenta tissue. Possible therapeutic applications are in early research stages and LifebankUSA’s parent company is actively involved in their development.
LifebankUSA will store the placenta tissue for you as part of our complete banking package using our cryogenic tanks for long-term preservation. In the event your baby’s tissue cells are ever needed for future therapies, the tissue may then be processed and cultured using available technology at that time†.
Tissue banking is just one more layer of protection and peace of mind offered by LifebankUSA.
† Clients will be responsible for the cost of shipping the tissue and any culturing or expansion of the cells.