Swiss Stem Cell Bank

About

SSCB, Swiss Stem Cells Bank, originated from the co-operation between two well known realities in the Swiss medicine and research outline: the Molecular diagnostics laboratory and the Cardiocentro Ticino in Lugano.  SSCB is the first Swiss structure to offer a private banking service for stem cells, and the only one to handle laboratory and banking activities entirely and exclusively on the Swiss territory.  SSCB is one of the founding members of Cord Blood Europe.

Labs and Locations

Choosing SSCB means choosing quality, reliability and professionalism for which Switzerland and Swiss services are famous worldwide.  For structural safety, SSCB has chosen one of the best Swiss cardiovascular clinics, the Cardiocentro Ticino in Lugano, for its banking service. It is equipped with operating theatres, intensive care unit and monitored with a technical service able to operate 24 hours a day, all year long.

Business Experience

  • The bank has started its activity in cord blood banking since second half of 2005. 
  • SSCB is the first Swiss structure to offer a private banking service for stem cells, the only one to handle laboratory and banking activities entirely and exclusively on the Swiss territory.
  • SSCB during its activity has collected about 13,000 cord blood samples from around Europe, mostly from Italy.
  • SSCB offers a comprehensible and complete service, with the utmost care and professionalism at every stage.
  • Either directly through our dedicated call centre, by telephone or by e- -mail, SSCB aims to give  the customers an exhaustive information about stem cells, their therapeutic utilization and the different options for umbilical cord stem cells conservation.

Collection Kit

  • SSCB collection kit provides supplies for collection of cord blood by gravity. 
  • The brand of the blood bag is Terumo Penpol. 
  • The anti-coagulant is CPD. 
  • The bag and supplies are sterile both inside and out for C-section use.

Transportation Container

The blood sample must be transported correctly in its transportation kit supplied by the SSCB. The transportation kit follows the IATA PI 650 procedure, which is the international standard for sending and transporting diagnostic samples.

Shipping Info:

  • After the collection of the blood sample (normally done by the obstetrician present in the delivery room), the SSCB operators arrange the retrieval of the sample directly from the place of birth.
  • The blood is transported to SSCB laboratory in Lugano by a reliable courier who guarantees delivery to the laboratory within the time limit for the processing phase.
  • The retrieval of the blood sample occurs within 48 hours following the birth to ensure the necessary treatment.
  • The courier also secures shipping during holidays or weekends.
  • Shipping is included in the base price within the home country, costs extra from outside.

Processing Method

Once at the laboratory, the blood is immediately processed.  SSCB processing method uses the automated Sepax system from the Swiss company Biosafe.  Sepax is an automated cell separation system which relies on a light beam to sense the density gradient between different cell layers after the blood has been spun in a centrifuge.  The bag kit is sterile, functionally closed, and single-use.  Cord blood never comes in contact with the outside environment ensuring a state of the art separation of stem cells before storage.

Components Stored

SSCB separates blood into its components and the white blood cell layer that contains stem cells is isolated for storage.  Once testing for microbial contamination is completed, SSCB sends to the parents a certification to attest the fulfillment of the sample storage, identified with a univocal identification code. The document contains the number of separated and stored cells and also the result of the analysis performed on the sample.

Storage Method

Stem cells, sealed in specially provided cryo-bags and identified with an individual bar code, are progressively cooled at a controlled rate until the temperature of -100° C. In order to control this delicate processing phase, temperature is progressively taken down by a computer ensuring a safe and trustworthy procedure. At this point the bag is immersed in liquid nitrogen at the constant temperature of -196°C. Technologies and rigid operative protocols ensure the utmost security conditions, both during the sample preparation and freezing phase and in the following years to come.

Licensing & Accreditation

SSCB is licensed by Swissmedic, the Federal Swiss Board which supervises the quality and safety within the medical field.

Clinical Experience

SSCB has partnerships with Cardiocentro Ticino in several research projects on stem cells. The Cardiocentro Ticino has a clean room accredited by SWISSAMI that is used for the research.  One clinical trial is to treat patients with Myocardial Infarction. This is a multi-center project involving different Swiss hospitals: the patient enters the operating room and undergoes a procedure to take a bone marrow sample. The sample is processed inside the clean room of Cardiocentro Ticino and stem cells thus obtained are sent to origin hospital, where they will be re-injected into the patient's heart. This is all done within 24 hours. As of Aug. 2011, more than 130 patients have already participated in the clinical trial.

Insurance

  • SSCB guarantees the utmost clarity: the price shown at the moment of agreement covers everything including the entire storage period.
  • SSCB makes for each sample a provision in order to cover future cost and to assure the 20 years storage.
  • Storage fees paid in advance are held in an escrow account.
  • If, for any reason unrelated to SSCB, it was not possible to store stem cells, the amount the clients have paid to SSCB will be refunded, minus any expenses incurred up until that moment.

Prices

  • The first installment of CHF 1,000 (2,000 CHF in case of twins) is paid at the moment of registration, before the collection kit is sent.
  • If collection of the umbilical cord blood collection is not possible, or if it was  impossible to complete the storage procedure, the amount deposited as down payment will be refunded minus any expenses incurred up to the service interruption.
  • The balance is then CHF 3,510, VAT included, which is invoiced within 30 days and is sent together with the certification which attests storage.

Additional Services

SSCB offers optional newborn genetic testing:  These tests are carried out on samples of cord blood and are designed to identify the susceptibility of the newborn to the following genetic disorders:

 Celiac disease
 Lactose intolerance
 Cystic Fibrosis

Prices with Additional Services

Not applicable.