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Family Bank: Hemocord
Hemocord was founded by physicians and cryobiologists in 2004. Among the founders is Dra. Karolyn Sassi Ogliari, who has years of experience as a medical doctor in obstetrics and fertility practice. Her PhD is in pathology from the University of São Paulo, and she did post-doctoral work in neuroscience at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. The Medical Director of the lab is a Hematologist and Hemotherapist, specialized in Cord Blood Transplant with Fellowship at the Saint Louis Hospital in Paris, were the first cord blood transplant took place with Dr. Eliane Gluckman.
Labs and Locations
Hemocord’s lab is in their home country. The laboratory works with a highly trained nurse team for cord blood collection, where professionals are spread in several different cities in the South Region of Brazil. Hemocord has collected cord blood in 10 different States in Brazil, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Amazon.
- Hemocord is banking for more than 10 years.
- The inventory of cord blood and tissue samples kept in the banks laboratory is of 5000 – 6000 units as of October 2016.
- The bank began processing cord tissue for mesenchymal stem cell extraction in 2014.
- There is a specialized nurse staff 24hs/7d answering telephone for the parents that are on the move to the hospital for normal delivery or cesarean section.
- Hemocord has a history of supporting cord blood and cord tissue research in leading academic institutions in Porto Alegre in the neuroscience field since 2009.
- Hemocord has a social branch (Linor Sassi Institute for Health Support with Stem Cells) that provides trained staff to collect the cord blood for families that can benefit from cord blood collection for a sibling transplant, but cannot afford banking privately or cannot reach a public institution at time of the birth.
All supplies are provided for cord blood collection. The cord blood flows by gravity into a blood collection bag with CPD as the anti-coagulant. The collection kit is sterile inside and outside, which makes it suitable for all deliveries, including C-sections. Special disinfection solution, such as Clorexidine is provided to clean the umbilical cord before collection, which reflects on our very low rate of contamination.
The collection method is performed in three steps whenever possible: intrauterine stage, extra uterine stage, and placental vessel aspiration for optimization of blood volume collection.
Hemocord’s transport container includes a Thermo-insulated box (Termolar®), inside a thermo-insulated bag or a foam-insulated box, depending on the location from which the umbilical cord is coming from. The containers have gel packs validated to maintain temperature between 4 oC -24oC, and contain a logger that monitors the temperature during the whole transportation to our laboratory.
Hemocord works exclusively with specialized logistic companies licensed to transport biological material that compromise to get every umbilical cord to our lab within 36 hours after collection procedure.
- Hemocord makes the shipping arrangements and expenses are of parents’ responsibility.
- Our contract price covers 50% of the shipping cost if the price exceeds R$ 500.
- The couriers are available24/7, 365 days a year.
- In our home city, Porto Alegre, our trained nurse collectors can bring the cord from the hospitals directly to our lab.
- Hemocord covers shipping costs at the moment of clinical use of the sample inside or outside of Brazil.
Hemocord’s standard processing method is the Manual cell separation. This "Rubinstein method" has been adopted successfully for more than 20 years. Parents are provided with a document describing all test results (including cell counting and sterility tests).
UMBILICAL CORD BLOOD
Hemocord stores the buffy coat holding white cells and stem cells in a ready-to-use cryopreservation blood bag, plus 3 contiguous samples. Two separate samples are stored in vials for future usage/ tests. A maternal plasma sample is also stored.
UMBILICAL CORD TISSUE
Hemocord stores mesenchymal stem cells present in the cord tissue also in a ready-to-use cryopreservation blood bag.
The final product storage is in vapor phase cryogenic nitrogen tanks. Storage in vapor nitrogen is the state of the art to avoid viral contamination between units.
Licensing & Accreditation
- Licensed by National Health Agency (ANVISA)
- Accredited by National Accreditation Organization (ONA)
- In process for American Association of Blood Banks accreditation (AABB)
- If the final cord blood nucleated cell count is too low, which can limit the usage for transplant, parents are informed and may choose not to store it and receive refund on the storing fee. If the unit was not yet cryopreserved, the refund would be of the processing and storage fee.
- Hemocord will not charge for the shipping to the transplant center in case of usage of the unit inside or outside the Country.
Linor Sassi Institute for Health Support with Stem Cells (Instituto Linor Sassi de Amparo à Saúde com Células-Tronco): Free collection, processing and storage is given to expecting parents who have a child in need of a transplant. In Brazil, many expectant parents cannot reach the cities and hospitals where the public healthcare service collects and stores the cord blood for siblings future transplant. Hemocord created a community service branch (non-profit, non-governmental organization), with the purpose of providing our vast team of trained professionals to collect and store the cord blood for these parents in their own city, avoiding extra burdens and costs of moving from their home town for the delivery. The Linor Sassi Institute also has a team of medical doctors and nurses that can support families that seek reliable information on clinical trials with cord blood and non-hematologic diseases.
UMBILICAL CORD TISSUE
Hemocord offers the option of collecting the umbilical cord tissue, immediately after the placenta and umbilical vessels are drained and cleaned. The umbilical cord tissue is rich in mesenchymal cells that are being thoroughly explored for their potential in healing and regenerating important tissues such as muscular, bone, cartilage and neural. Several clinical trials are underway.
Our laboratory extracts the mesenchymal stem cells before cryopreserving, which provides a better yield after thawing. This is important to consider when the time comes, should there be a future application approved in diseases like sport injuries, heart diseases or diabetes. We cryopreserve the cells in a ready-to-use blood bag, one small piece of the umbilical cord in a vial and 1 separate vial with the cell solution.
ADULT BONE MARROW AND PERIPHERAL HEMATOPOIETIC STEM CELLS
Hemocord processes and cryopreserves bone marrow and peripheral hematopoietic stem cells for adult patients that need an autologous bone marrow transplant. In place of the traditional storage of bone marrow in -80oC freezers, that have durability limited to 2 years, Hemocord stores the units in vapor phase nitrogen tanks that offer a higher temperature stability and longer durability for future use.
Prices with Additional Services
Cord Blood stem cell banking (Single Birth)
Enrollment + collection + courier + processing + 1st year storage fee = R$ 3.500,00
Annual storage fee = R$ 647,00
20 Years of pre-paid annual storage = R$ 10.352,00
Cord Tissue stem cell banking (Single Birth)
Enrollment + collection + courier + processing + 1st year storage fee = R$ 2.800,00
Annual storage fee = R$ 550,00
20 Years of pre-paid annual storage = R$ 8.800,00
Cord Blood + Cord Tissue stem cell banking (Single Birth)
Enrollment + collection + courier + processing + 1st year storage fee = R$ 6.300,00
Annual storage fee (cord blood + cord tissue) = R$ 647,00 + R$ 550,00 = R$ 1.197,00
20 Years of pre-paid annual storage (cord blood + cord tissue) = R$ 19.152,00
Discounts: Hemocord provides discounts to medical doctors.
Discounts for pre-paid annual storage
Storage payment plans available upon request.
- 20 Years = 20%
- 15 Years = 18%
- 10 Years = 15%
- 05 Years = 12%