LifeCell

About

LifeCell is India's first and largest stem cell bank and was formed with technology licensed from Cryo-Cell International. LifeCell operates with state-of-the-art laboratories at Chennai & Gurgaon and is spread over 100 centers in the country and footprints in GCC countries. LifeCell is also the most recommended stem cell bank by gynecologists. We hold accreditations from various national and international organizations for standards. LifeCell is also the only player in the Indian stem cell banking industry to provide comprehensive stem cell solutions including cord blood banking, cord tissue stem cell banking, menstrual blood stem cell banking, R&D and point-of-care stem cell therapy solutions for orthopedic, vascular and cardiovascular specialties.

Bank Locations:

LifeCell Arabia (Dubai)

Business Experience

Since its inception in 2004, LifeCell has collected, processed and preserved the cord blood samples of over 85000 children.

Collection Kit

The LifeCell collection kit uses the Terumo Penpol 150 ml blood bag that is sterile and can be used in the operating room during a C-section. The bag is pre-filled with the anti-coagulant CPD and has a safety lock to avoid needle pricks and damages during collection. Disinfection supplies included: 2 Alcohol Prep Pads, 1 set Sterile Gloves, 1 Sterile Sheet and 1 Iodine Swab.  

Transportation Container

The LifeCell Shipping Container has Foam Bricks which maintain temperature for longer periods compared to Gel Packs.  The container is certified by the Indian Institute of Packaging and guaranteed to maintain room temperature for 72 hours. We always record the temperature at the time point of receipt and proceed accordingly.

Shipping Info:

LifeCell has a partnership with a critical logistics provider which is International Air Transport Association (IATA) certified who picks the sample from the hospital and ensures that the samples are transported to the lab in the next available flight even during weekends and holidays. This ensures that the transit time is minimized. Shipping is included in the base price within the home country. Additional costs apply when shipped from outside.

Processing Method

LifeCell uses the manual method for cord blood processing handled by trained technicians round the clock which is commonly known as HESPAN technology, wherein Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) is used for density gradient centrifugation process. Our process allows significantly higher RBC depletion resulting in much lower hematocrit concentration. Hematocrit levels per manual processing technique at LifeCell is about 13% which is much lower than automated techniques of processing. The median Total Nucleated Cell (TNC) count recovery at LifeCell is 85% (comparable to any automated technique). The entire processing is performed in a completely closed system, along with bar coded interface thereby eliminating scope of error.

Components Stored

Parents are provided with a preservation certificate describing test results which includes the blood grouping and RH typing, Total Nucleated Cell (TNC) count, MonoNuclear Cell (MNC) count, total CD34+ cell count, CD34+ stem cell viability percentage, and sterility. Maternal blood is screened for HIV, HBV, HCV, HTLV, CMV, Syphilis, Malaria and additional tests as required by AABB and national regulatory authorities. NAT testing is performed for HIV and HCV viruses in accordance with international requirements. Additional tests at time of transplantation include CD34+ count and viability, CFU assay, HLA testing, hemoglobinopathies, done on 5 integrally attached segments to cord blood final storage bag. Additional maternal blood sample is preserved for future testing purposes.

Storage Method

Final storage of processed cord blood is in a multi-compartment cryo-bag encased in an overwrap. The bag is kept temporarily in a quarantine freezer, and after it clears infectious disease testing it is moved to a long-term storage freezer. The freezer is kept cold with the vapor phase of cryogenic nitrogen.

Licensing & Accreditation

Currently, LifeCell laboratory holds many registrations, licenses, and accreditation as follows:

AABB (formerly American Association of Blood Banks) for Cord Blood
AABB for Somatic Cell Therapies
CAP Accredited (College of American Pathologists)
DCGI (Drug Control General of India) licensed
DSIR (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research) licensed for R&D
ICCBBA Registered (International Council for Commonality in Blood Banking Automation)
ISO 9001:2008 (International Standards Organisation) certified by DNV   
ISMS (Information Security Management System) accreditation
NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories)
US FDA Registered (United States Food and Drug Administration) - First in India                                                                              
WHO GMP for Blood Establishment

Clinical Experience

As of Feb. 2014, LifeCell has successfully retrieved 27 cryopreserved cord blood units of which 3 were for autologous therapies and 24 for allogeneic therapies.

Guarantees

•    Paramedic support for collection and express shipment to courier the sample to our lab.
•    Our "Quality Guarantee program" (covers both the cord blood and cord tissue) ensures that if LifeCell fails to provide viable stem cells during retrieval, we would try to find a matching sample within 14 days from any public bank in the world, failing which we would pay Rs. 10 lakh to the parents.
•    Medical Concierge to provide transplant related information.
•    Testing of Samples at time of retrieval at no additional cost.
•    Clinical expansion of stem cells (both mesenchymal and hematopoietic) at time of retrieval
•    Worldwide Shipment of sample at time of retrieval at no additional cost.
•    Medical Insurance to offset transplant expenses. This includes remuneration of the amount spent by parents in purchasing an additional unit of cord blood from a public bank. The insurance amount is Rs. 10 lakhs.
•    LifeCell also insures the sample against any Disaster through our "Disaster Relief program"  during retrieval, etc. for Rs. 10 lakhs.
•    Our "Entitlement to full refund" ensures that in the event the sample is not collected due to the health and life related priority of the Child or mother or non-survival of the baby at birth, LifeCell refunds all fees paid by Client.
•    Our "Storage Insurance" ensures that in case of sad demise or physical disability of parent, LifeCell would continue storage of the Specimen at its own cost for the remaining term of the Agreement.

Community Service

The LifeCell Foundation is a non-profit trust founded by LifeCell International. The foundation's objective is to help families in need by facilitating access to the benefits of stem cells.

Directed Banking
LifeCell Foundation will provide expectant parents with free stem cell banking service for their baby to support the therapy of the baby’s older sibling, suffering from medical conditions that can be treated using the baby’s stem cells.

Project Siranjeevi
Every year, the country sees around 10,000 babies born with Thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder. LifeCell in association with Rotary Club of Chennai Galaxy set out on Project Siranjeevi, with a vision of bringing down the number of Thalassemia births every year in our country from 10,000 to zero, by year 2020. LifeCell has committed a periodic contribution to the corpus fund of the project, towards treatment and awareness programs. LifeCell gives FREE banking to families where an immediate relative has a diagnosis for which transplantation is standard therapy.  Discounts are given to military personnel and medical doctors.

Prices

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the world's first cord blood transplant in Oct. 2013, LifeCell announced that they are cutting their prices in half, to Rs 19,990 for the first year. Benchmark prices are higher in US by >9 times, Singapore by >6 times, and China by >3 times.

Umbilical Cord Banking - Standard Plan
5,000 Enrolment Fee
9,990 Umbilical Cord Blood Processing Fee (does not include collection fee)
5,000 Umbilical Cord Tissue Processing Fee
19,990 Total amount payable during enrolment   

Annual Storage Fee payable every year on the birth anniversary of the child
3,500 Single Site Storage at Chennai or Gurgaon
4,000 Dual Storage at Chennai & Gurgaon   

Additional Services

LifeCell offers several additional services
1.    Umbilical Cord Tissue Banking
2.    Newborn Genetic Testing.
3.    Menstrual Blood Banking