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Family Bank: CellSure
CellSure is a unique bank that stores stem cells from the placenta as an alternative to cord blood banking. Cellsure relies on the fact that a large proportion of the baby's blood remains in the placenta after birth. By processing the placenta to release stem cells, Cellsure offers parents storage of the same stem cells that are in cord blood, as well as additional stem cells that are found in the placental tissue. Cellsure does not separately collect and store blood from the umbilical cord.
Labs and Locations
Cellsure is a low-profit limited liability company (L3C) that is located in the biotech park at the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City: 615 Arapeen Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
Not only does CellSure have a unique cell banking concept, CellSure also has a unique business model: Parents that bank with Cellsure are offered a choice between donation of their birth tissues at no cost, or family storage of their birth tissue stem cells for a price of $199 per year. With either choice, all mothers that participate with CellSure donate their umbilical cord tissue. Thanks to this fully integrated public/private banking model, CellSure can afford to offer private storage of newborn stem cells at a very low price. All mothers that participate with CellSure must pass a full medical screening, because every participant is a donor. The CellSure vision is to build a biorepository that is accessible to every child across the nation.
The CellSure kit comes with everything your healthcare provider will need, as well as instructions for use. The placenta and umbilical cord are triple bagged before being shipped to the CellSure laboratory.
The Cellsure kit for collection and shipping contains an active cooling system, not just insulation. Once the kit is packed and the cooling system is triggered, it will keep the contents cooled to the appropriate shipping temperature for 48 hours.
Once the expectant mother completes the enrollment process, the CellSure collection kit is shipped via FedEx to their home. The expectant mother is responsible to take the kit with them when you go to the facility where they will give birth. Following the delivery, the new mother (or partner) contacts CellSure who will arrange for a medical courier to collect the kit. The medical courier will ensure the kit arrives at the CellSure laboratory.
CellSure fully processes the placenta to release stem cells; they do not store whole placenta or pieces of tissue. During pregnancy, the placenta serves as a mediator between the mother and baby, and as a result there are parts of the placenta that are considered to be maternal tissue and other parts are fetal tissue. CellSure only stores cells from the fetal, or baby’s side, of the placenta. CellSure processes most of this fetal side of the placenta, not just a little piece.
The CellSure processing method is purely mechanical, the stem cells are never exposed to enzymes. CellSure releases stem cells and cryopreserves them immediately in their “native” state, they are not cultured through passages that may reduce their potency.
CellSure stores a mixture of stem cells that are found in the placenta. These include:
- Blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells like those found in umbilical cord blood
- Endothelial stem cells from the lining of blood vessels
- Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) like those found in umbilical cord tissue
- Epithelial stem cells from the amniotic membrane that acts like the skin of the placenta
CellSure stores placental stem cells in a 25cc cryogenic storage bag with 5 compartments. These compartments enable parents to access the cells multiple times for multiple therapies. The bags go into final storage in cryogenic tanks that are cooled by liquid nitrogen.
Licensing & Accreditation
- The CellSure laboratory is FDA registered and operates to cGMP/cGTP standards
- CellSure is compliant with all state regulations on birth tissue donation.
- CellSure is in the process of obtaining accreditation by relevant tissue banking authorities.
CellSure is a low-income limited liability company (L3C). At the same time that CellSure empowers expectant mothers with the choice to Donate or Store from any hospital, CellSure also is pursing the vision to build a biorepository that is accessible to every child across the nation, all without making a profit.
Personal storage with CellSure costs a flat $199 per year. There is no high processing fee for the initial year.
Parents that enroll with CellSure will also receive a free account with MyID, a company that provides a secure on-line account to store all your family medical records.