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Family Bank: BabyCord Jordan
BabyCord Jordan is the first and so far the only family cell bank licensed by the Jordan Ministry of Health. BabyCord Jordan provides storage of stem cells isolated from umbilical cord blood and umbilical cord tissue. Currently, BabyCord Jordan serves clients from Jordan and other regional countries and performs all cell banking activities at their own state-of-the-art facility, set up with the highest American and European standards in Amman.
Labs and Locations
BabyCord Jordan laboratory is strategically located twenty minutes from city congestion and five minutes from the Queen Alia International Airport, in a highly secure lab complex.
BabyCord Jordan (BCJ) was initially established in 2005 to market and facilitate the collection and transportation of cord blood units for family banking at the New England Cord Blood Bank (NECBB) in the USA. Today, BCJ is an independent cord blood bank led by notable medical advisors and experts in scientific and regulatory aspects of cell banking. They have developed a fully functional facility for cell banking under current Good Tissue and Manufacturing Practices (GTP/GMP) and have developed unique SOPs in accordance to the highest American and European regulations. The BCJ facility in Amman is expertly-designed and equipped to assure operational stability with different laboratories assigned for samples receipt/qualification, processing/freezing, product characterization, cryo-storage and research/development. Collectively, the team at BCJ has more than 100 years of experience in the development of health care business, stem cell transplantation, laboratory medicine and production/banking of therapeutic cells.
BabyCord Jordan is staffed with a 24/7 professional medical team that is available at all hours of the day to be present at the time of delivery to perform the cord blood and tissue collection. All collections are performed by the BCJ team of dedicated nurses to ensure the largest possible volume of cord blood is retrieved, and maintain premium service under aseptic conditions. Supplies are provided for gravity collection of cord blood and placental blood into a US-FDA and/or CE certified Cord blood collection bags with the FDA-approved anti-coagulant Citrate Phosphate Dextrose solution (CPD). The kit contains supplies for cord disinfection, test tubes for collection of maternal blood, and cord tissue transport media in specialized container. The components of the kit are sterile for use in the operating room during a C-section delivery.
Freshly collected cord blood is transported using customized Styrofoam-lined insulated boxes with temperature regulated gel packs. All containers have been validated to maintain room temperature under extreme hot and cold weather conditions. The BCJ transporter is guaranteed to maintain room temperature for over 72 hours. All cord blood units arrive to our 24-hour facility within 2 hour of collection and no later than 4 hours, ensuring optimum viability of the extracted and stored stem cells.
When cryopreserved cord blood is transported for patient therapy, we provide free of charge a vacuum-jacketed liquid nitrogen dry shipper charged with LN2 and qualified to maintain temperature below -150 oC for an extended shipment time of 7-10 days. Conditions of product transportation and shipment is continuously monitored using NIST certified temperature loggers.
BabyCord Jordan staff are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any cord blood collection and shipping arrangements. We have special arrangements in regards to courier of any cord blood unit from anywhere in the region and this can be facilitated by us in the event that you are sending the cord blood from out of Jordan. This can be done on any day of the week, during weekend and holidays.
All processing and storage is done at our state-of-the-art facility compliant with European and American standards. At no point in the process is the baby’s cord blood sent out to any third party for processing or storage unless requested by you.
BabyCord Jordan (BCJ) offers a variety of processing methods to ensure the optimum stem cell recovery from your child's cord blood.
- For large collections (TNC over 200 million) BCJ processes cord blood using the functionally closed and automated Sepax 2 cell separation technology. This is a state-of-the-art platform introduced by Biosafe SA of Switzerland that utilizes single-use kits and carries a 510(K) medical device clearnace from the US-FDA. The kits contain hydoxyethylstarch (HES) to assure high cell recovery.
- For smaller collections (TNC less than 200 million) BCJ will select a custom processing method to optimize cell retrieval. One optioin is Ficoll-Hypaque density separation to yield mononuclear cells (MNC), a fraction of cells with potential use to treat degenerative diseases. MNCs are stored in multi-compartment cryo-bags to allow multiple dose infusion. Another option is plasma reduction using the centrifugation method which eliminates any cell loss associated with cord blood processing.
BabyCord Jordan takes every possible step to ensure the quality of the stem cell products produced in our laboratory:
- BCJ processing methods have been validated to yield Total Nucleated Cell (TNC) counts and CD34+ stem cell assay results that are comparable to published standards.
- After processing, the final product depleted of red cells and plasma is cryopreserved in a cryo-bag with two compartments: 5mls and 20mls. This configuration allows partial use of the stem cell product.
To eliminate risk of contamination and cross contamination, BCJ :
- Only processes one unit at a time by highly trained technologists competent in sterile techniques
- All critical steps are performed in an ISO-5 class certified biosafety cabinets located within an ISO-7 class controlled and monitored room.
- All cell production rooms have positive differential air pressure.
Parents are provided with a certificate documenting specifics of their cryo-preserved cell product including: nucleated cell counts, stem cell count, viability, sterility, maternal blood screening results for infectious and viral diseases, and umbilical cord tissue segment processing and freezing status.
- In addition to the final stored unit, there are two integrally attached segments containing a product-representative sample that are stored to confirm product identity (HLA type and ABO/Rh blood group) and quality (cell count and viability) prior to the time where these cells may be required for treatment.
- Additional maternal and cord blood samples are prepared in-process and archived frozen (below -70 oC ). Such samples can be used for any future testing such as initial HLA typing of the baby’s blood, HLA haplo-matching with the mother’s blood, HLA matching with other family members, screening of cord blood for hemoglobin diseases, and/or verification of maternal screening results for infectious diseases.
Each unit of cord blood that arrives at the BCJ laboratory is given a unique identifying number. Once the cord blood is processed, it is stored in a multi-chamber cryogenic freezing / storage bag. To shield the stem cells from freezing damage, we use the traditional cryoprotection solution: 10% DMSO (Dimethyl Sulfoxide)/ 1% Dextran. The bag is then placed in an overwrap to provide an additional safety during storage, frozen at a computer-controlled rate freezing system and finally stored in our liquid nitrogen (LN2) tanks. This freezing process ensures the safety of the baby’s cells and allows long-term storage at -321° Fahrenheit (-196°C).
The frozen cord blood stem cells are stored in tanks located in our constantly monitored, secure laboratory facility. Frozen banked bags are easily tracked and clearly marked with the baby’s maternal name, date of processing, and contents, as well as its unique Cord Blood (products) Identification Number.
Our storage Liquid nitrogen tanks are auto-filled with LN2 and can maintain their internal temperatures below -150°C for up to three weeks without any electric input, in case of failure or natural disasters. The BCJ facility is further protected from power outages by two on-site electric generators that also have a further third back up system.
Licensing & Accreditation
- Licensed by the Jordanian Ministry of Health.
- Accredited by ISO 14001:2004, ISO 9001:2008 and OHSAS 18001:2007
- All tests are done applying internally validated methods or at CAP accredited laboratories.
- BCJ operates in compliance with AABB and FACT standards, and received the AABB in its facilities in December 2015 for a preliminary visit towards full accreditation.
BabyCord Jordan has released 3 cord blood units for therapy at both the King Hussein Cancer Centre (KHCC) in Jordan and at the Duke University Medical Center in the United States.
- Parents are provided with a personalized certificate from the lab director outlining the results of the cord blood processing. Clients may also receive personal contact from the director to discuss any results that may be out of the reference range or need further explanation.
- If the cell count or viability is low, we notify the client and provide them the option to continue banking those cells, or discard them.
- If the cord blood for any reason is lost or destroyed, BCJ will compensate the client as per the laws of the stem cells of Ministry of Health, as each unit is insured under UK’s Lloyd’s Insurance company. The BabyCord facility and laboratories are fully insured against all risks.
- Our community service program has been set up for families who currently have a child in need of a stem cell transplant, and who are banking a newborn's umbilical cord blood with the intention that it will be used for the sick sibling. For eligible cases, BCJ will waive all enrollment and storage fees. We are committed to sponsor families who have a child with a known and treatable blood disorder who cannot afford the service for the aim of treatment.
- Discounts are available for twins and triplets and previous clients.
- BCJ sponsors certain projects focusing on the increase of public awareness and cell therapy research and regularly patriciates in public and medical related exhibitions and conferences.
BabyCord Jordan offers two pricing options:
- Annual storage option:
- Cord blood and cord tissue processing (Cord blood and tissue collection, transportation, processing, maternal blood and cord blood testing, and cryopreservation including free neonatal screening + HLA typing) + 1st year’s storage fee = 1475.0 JD
- Annual Storage Fee after 1st year = 95 JD/year
- 30 years prepaid storage option:
- Cord blood and tissue processing + 30 years storage fees = 2880.0 JD (This is a significant discount vs the annual storage option)
Interest Free Financing (paying in installments) is also available
Cord Tissue banking:
BabyCord Jordan current policy is to store segments (pieces) of umbilical cord tissue, free of charge, in parallel with banked cord blood units. Cord tissue is excellent source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are proving useful for use in the field of regenerative medicine.
BabyCord Jordan has developed the technology to isolate and expand (generate) MSCs, in large numbers (tens to hundreds of millions) from frozen cord tissues. This can be discussed with the treating center (in the event of planned treatment) to be undertaken at BCJ as an additional service.
BabyCord Jordan, complementary to cord blood and tissue banking and at no additional cost, offers to the family at our laboratories a complete Neonatal screening for metabolic disorders.
Further to the services above, BCJ also offers free of charge Cord Blood (neonate) HLA screening for HLA-A, HLA-B, and HLA-DR1 alleles, when indicated.
Unique post-release Services:
Unlike other family cord blood banks, BCJ has the capability to serve its clients at the time of product release for treatment and will provide the following unique relevant services at no additional cost:
- Confirmatory testing of the frozen cord blood quality as guided by testing of cord blood attached segment.
- Thaw and preparation of cord blood product for infusion at any local or international accredited transplant center. Depending on the prefrence of the treating doctor, cell products can be thawed by the standard reconstitution or by using the wash method.
- Evaluation of thawed cord blood for cell count, viability and stem cell contents at the time of transplant.