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Family Bank: Future Health Biobank
Future Health Biobank is a leading cord blood and cord tissue stem cell bank. Established in 2002, they now store over 150,000 samples from over 75 different countries, making them one of the biggest cord blood banks in Europe. In 2016 they launched a new diagnostics division to the company which offers a range of screening tests.
Labs and Locations
Future Health Biobank owns and operates two state-of-the-art laboratories; one in the UK and one in Switzerland. Both laboratories operate according to GMP quality requirements. The Swiss lab has been inspected by Swissmedic, and the UK lab is licensed by the HTA.
The Swiss laboratory only provides storage services.
Future Health Biobank S.A.
Route de Pra de Plan 3
All processing is performed in the UK laboratory:
Future Health Biobank Ltd.
10 Faraday Building
Nottingham Science and Technology Park
Nottingham NG7 2QP
Future Health was founded in 2002 following 3 years of international research. As of April 2019, they have processed over 150,000 cord blood & cord tissue samples from over 75,000 families.
Future Health uses a purpose-designed cord blood collection bag, which already contains the correct volume of anti-coagulant (CPD) for cord blood, packed in individual aluminium sterile packaging with two needles for increased safety. Needles have optimal diameter to maximize the volume of blood collected.
Future Health provides its clients with a purpose-built collection kit for cord tissue that was designed in-house. The kit contains a preservation tablet and a new improved transportation solution, which will control any potential contamination from the birthing process and maintain the tissue in its optimum state.
Both collection kits are sterile and are suitable for C-Section use.
The cord blood and the cord tissue are transported in a thermally insulated shipping box designed by Future Health Biobank that is fully accredited by International Air Transport Association (IATA) for protection against adverse temperature and shipping conditions. It also bears the UN3373 label. The kits are then transported by medically approved couriers. The proprietary transportation box was designed by Future Health Biobank and built especially for them.
The transportation system was fully tested and accredited by an authorized external testing facility. Accreditation number: P1 650 Conform DHL / IBE G-07.004. The container includes gel packs and a temperature data logger to monitor shipping conditions.
Future Health Biobank's base price includes shipping by approved medical couriers at no extra cost to the client.
Future Health Biobank processes cord blood in a designated purpose-built area of their laboratory called a "clean room" to ensure maximum sterility of the sample and prevent contamination. Future Health Biobank uses state of the art automated processing systems.
The processing kit is a single-use kit to prevent contamination and ensure sterility of the sample. The kit is designed specifically for the separation of the stem cell fraction from the remainder of the cord blood via a "volume reduction" method. Samples from all components of the cord blood (plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and stem cells) are kept as part of the stored samples. This enables the use of all these components in the future.
The Future Health Biobank in-house microbiology laboratory conducts detailed microbiological and qualitative testing of the cord blood sample, including stem cell counts and viability. Maternal blood tests at birth are carried out using Serology and Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT – PCR).
Parents are provided with a certificate of results which includes notification of the storage period. This includes maternal blood test results and the number of viable leukocytes (CD45+) and Stem Cell (CD34+) count, as well as a certificate of storage. Thus our customers will receive the most accurate sample results possible.
Future Health Biobank separates the "buffy coat" fraction of the cord blood that contains the stem cells using the industry standard method of "volume reduction", so that they may be retrieved separately and used directly for transplantation. This is the method that is adopted by the vast majority of private and public banks and it is the industry gold standard.
In addition, Future Health Biobank also stores samples of plasma and the mononuclear cell fraction from the cord blood. These samples may be used for future testing, diagnostic purposes, tissue typing (histocompatibility testing) or any other future medical or diagnostic application, without disturbing the main sample.
• Final stem cell storage is in a cryobag with multiple compartments plus additional test sample segments. The multiple compartments allow for multiple uses of the sample. Each compartment is identified by a bar coded cryo-label.
• Before being placed in the freezer tanks, the cryobags are placed within a secondary protective overwrap bag, which is designed to prevent any cross-contamination between samples.
• Each cord blood sample is placed in a metal canister for enhanced mechanical protection and efficient heat transfer. The canister also has a metallic bar coded identification labels.
• The freezer tanks are filled with the vapour phase of cryogenic nitrogen, another protection against cross contamination of blood samples.
• The freezer tanks are capable of operating without electricity and there is 24/7 recording of storage condition parameters.
• The cord blood and tissue cells are stored in separate freezer tanks, in different storage locations. This is partly a security measure and partly a recognition that they may have separate medical indications for use.
Licensing & Accreditation
Future Health Biobank operates two separate laboratories, one in the UK and one in Switzerland.
Future Health Biobank is the UK's first fully accredited private Human Tissue Bank. It holds a full license from the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) (22503), a Blood Establishment Authorisation (BEA 21314) from the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and an International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO 9001:2008) quality management certification for its processes and systems.
Parents can rest assured that the service and facilities meet the highest standards. They were also awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Enterprise for International Trade in 2010. Future Health Biobank was also the first UK Human Tissue Bank to offer a service to collect and store cord tissue as well as cord blood.
The Future Health laboratory in Switzerland has a Swissmedic GMP license that follows FACT/Netcord guidelines to process and store umbilical cord blood and tissue for both autologous and allogeneic applications.
Future Health participates in a number of research projects in association with Universities that are related to stem cells from cord blood, cord tissue, dental pulp and adipose tissue. The projects range from improvements in processing and testing methods to the transformation of a stem cell into a specialised cell type.
1. If the cord blood fails quality control, there is no charge for processing.
2. The laboratories are protected by 24/7 security systems and security personnel on site.
3. In case of a "catastrophic" event, Future Health has a disaster recovery plan in place which allows all of their cryopreservation tanks to be relocated to another licensed facility until theirs is back to normal.
4. Having two different laboratories in separate strategic countries means twice the security for client's cord blood.
• Discounts to medical doctors
• Discounts for twins
• Discounts for repeat clients
Prices are different for each country so please contact Future Health Biobank to get the latest price information and special offers.
Future Health Biobank also offers additional stem cell banking services:
- Dental pulp stem cell banking
- Adipose tissue stem cell banking
At the start of 2016 Future Health Biobank launched a new wing to their business in the form of a diagnostics division. This new area offer clients a range of screening tests which presently include:
- "Vision" [Non Invasive prenatal test which involves a simple blood test to identify a range of conditions such as Down’s syndrome from as early as 10 weeks gestation]
- "Outlook" [Newborn screening test which identifies conditions such as lactose intolerance in babies and children using just two simple mouth swabs]