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Family Bank: Americord
Americord is a pioneer in the development of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking. They offer the broadest and most technologically advanced product line in the industry. They focus on providing more treatment options for clients by combining innovative technology for superior value.
Americord is the only company that offers Cord Blood 2.0™ technology that collects up to twice as many stem cells as the industry average. In addition, they are one of very few companies with expertise in three stem cell products - cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue.
Labs and Locations
Laboratory services are provided by Lifeforce Cryobanks in Altamonte Springs, Florida:
- A fully licensed and FDA registered laboratory
- Serves as a public bank in the NMDP/Be The Match national registry
- Lab Accreditation: AABB
- State Licenses: CA, IL, MD, NJ, NY
Americord was founded in 2008 by Martin Smithmyer, a biologist and MBA with an expertise the medical industry. The company’s mission is to improve lives through stem cell science. Americord actively looks for unique and innovative ways to improve the therapeutic utility of cord blood and tissue stem cells and to provide the best possible outcomes at the lowest total cost.
The company’s Medical Director, Dr. Robert Dracker, was previously the Medical Director of Biocyte, the nation's first private cord blood company that processed the stem cells for the first cord blood transplant in the US. Dr. Dracker then served as the Medical Director for ViaCord, the 2nd largest cord blood bank in the US. He has served on the Working Group on Cord Blood Stem Cell Guidelines for New York State, and as the Chairperson of the Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Committee for the NY State Department of Health, an architect of the New York licensing requirements for cord blood banks that are the most stringent in the nation.
Americord allows parents to decide what to bank right up until delivery, with their 3-in-1 Collection Kit for the collection of cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue. Expectant parents can reserve a kit and then return it free of charge should their plans change. There are no cancellation fees, no annual storage fees, and no withdrawal fees.
The 3-in-1 Collection Kit features their proprietary Cord Blood 2.0 process that safely collects and processes umbilical cord blood to yield up to twice as many stem cells as the industry average.
- Americord uses the Pall cord blood collection bag that has been approved by the FDA.
- The cord blood collection bag contains CPD, an FDA approved anti-coagulant which is heparin-free.
- The sterile Pall cord blood collection bag is the only one officially approved by the FDA for all births, including C-sections, eliminating the need for sterile extension sets.
- The collection kit also includes ChloraPrep applicators for sterilization of the umbilical cord.
- Americord container has a thermal insulation bag and foam insulated shipping box to maintain appropriate shipping temperature.
- The container is validated to maintain room temperature under warm and cold weather test conditions.
- Americord calls their shipping procedure Single-Step shipping: With Single Step Shipping, once the cord blood is collected, the parents call Americord and the number is seamlessly routed to a dedicated medical courier who already has the client information.
- Americord's standard contract price includes shipping with a certified medical courier for no extra charge.
- The courier is available on weekends and holidays and maintains a secure chain-of-custody.
Cord blood stem cells are manually separated by trained technicians following a modified "Rubinstein method" with the chemical Hespan. The lab prefers this method, because the entire process can be performed in a "closed" system, greatly reducing the chances of external contamination while processing.
- Parents are provided with a certificate describing test results (cell counts, viability) if requested.
- Processed stem cells are stored in the Pall 25 mL dual compartmented cryo bag, with 3 attached integral segments plus a separate 2 mL cryogenic vial in case of future HLA typing.
- Americord uses specialized cryo-bags, not the older vial storage.
- The storage bags are encased in over wrap.
- The bags first go into temporary storage in a quarantine freezer, then move to a long-term freezer.
- Freezers use vapor phase (not liquid) cryogenic nitrogen to ensure sterility.
- The long-term storage tanks are MVE 1500 series auto-fill vapor phase dewars that are monitored and connected 24/7 with a 9,000 gallon bulk tank and liquid nitrogen delivery system.
Licensing & Accreditation
Americord operates to the highest quality standards in the industry. The company is registered with the US FDA for collection of stem cells from cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue (only one of two companies with placenta registration).
- Americord has released 3 cord blood units for successful autologous transplants.
- Americord is also funding and conducting several studies related to the increased collection of blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells from the placenta.
Americord offers the highest quality guarantee in the industry, providing clients up to $90,000 in financial assistance should the banked stem cells fail to “engraft”. The guarantee can be used to defray the cost of the procurement of an alternative source of stem cells if medically indicated.
Americord established a Corporate Giving Program to support research focused on the therapeutic uses of stem cells from umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue. Highlights include donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, The Masonic Cancer Center, and Duke University.
Cord Blood 2.0 - 20 years of storage included - $3,499
Cord Blood 2.0 & Cord Tissue - 20 years of storage - $5,998
Cord Blood 2.0 & Placenta Tissue - 20 years of storage - $5,998
Cord Blood 2.0 & Cord Tissue & Placenta Tissue - 20 years of storage - $7,997
These are one-time prices with no hidden fees. Every plan includes 20 free years of free storage and a medical courier. If parents prefer, there are 24 month payment plans available. For more information, please use the Parent's Guide link to visit our website.
Americord offers to reimburse charges by health care providers who collect the cord blood and perinatal tissues, up to $200.