AboutBank Director: Nazish Ahmed, PhD
Victoria Angel is a public banking program and a registered Canadian charity. Victoria Angel accepts cord blood donations from select hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area. Victoria Angel is Health Canada inspected and compliant (CTO #100203).
Collection hospitals as of May 2019:
- Markham Stouffville Hospital - Markham, Ontario
- Mackenzie Health Centre - Richmond Hill, Ontario
- North York General Hospital - Toronto, Ontario
- Rouge Valley – Centenary site - Scarborough, Ontario
- Southlake Regional Health Centre - Newmarket, Ontario
The charity was originally named Victoria Angel Registry of Hope (VAR) after the Angel story of the child Victoria Angel, whose cord blood stem cells helped to cure her mother’s leukemia. The charity started in 2005 as a philanthropic division of Cells for Life family bank. In 2011, Victoria Angel became an independent registered Canadian charity. Victoria Angel has educated and screened thousands of interested parents, trained collection personnel, and stored approximately 25-30% of all donated cord blood units (compared to industry standard of 15-20%). Approved cord blood units are listed on the BMDW registry and available for search by transplant facilities worldwide. Donated cord blood is also directed to Canadian REB approved scientific research projects.
Victoria Angel is located in the Greater Toronto Area. The cord blood units are processed and stored through a contract with Insception Biosciences.
Victoria Angel is a registered Canadian charity. This public cord blood bank does not receive government funding. Victoria Angel originally partnered with the laboratory of the cord blood bank Cells for Life. Since the end of 2017, Cells for Life was acquired by Insception Biosciences and they are now the laboratory partner of Victoria Angel. Insception Biosciences is the majority donor funding the Victoria Angel public cord blood bank.
Business Experience and Accomplishments:
Victoria Angel has successfully passed biannual inspections by Health Canada (CTO # 100203). When they were using the Cells for Life laboratory, they had FACT accreditation. Under Insception Biosciences Victoria Angel is awaiting inspection to renew the accreditation.
International physicians can access the Victoria Angel inventory of medical-grade transplant units through the international BMDW registry. In early 2016, Victoria Angel released a cord blood unit for medical treatment. Donated by a family in a Toronto-area hospital, the frozen stem cells were shipped over the Atlantic to give medical treatment to a sick patient in need of a life-saving stem cell transplant.
Collection Kit and Shipping:
The Victoria Angel collection kit provides all materials required for safe collection and shipment. Cord blood is collected by trained physicians at birth using the sterile MacoPharma Collection bag, which features a unique CPD flush pad that has been shown to increase the number of collected cells. This collection bag is approved for both caesarian and vaginal births.
Victoria Angel arranges the shipping for all donors free of charge, using a stress-free bed-side pickup service. The collection kit is designed to maintain room temperature at all times. The use of a data logger helps monitor the temperature throughout the shipping process to confirm that every unit was safe during transportation.
Processing and Storage Methods:
Victoria Angel cord blood processing is performed using a semi-automated, closed processing method, which provides high cell recovery rates and excellent cell viability. Victoria Angel stores the buffy coat component of the blood that contains hematopoietic (blood-forming) stem cells.