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Family Bank: Virgin Health Bank - UK


Virgin Health Bank was developed to meet the needs of families in the UK who are considering banking their baby’s cord blood stem cells and want the support of an ethically motivated cord blood bank committed to delivering high quality service.  Unique for the UK, we offer you a choice of cord blood banking services: private storage in Family Banking service or public donation in our Community Banking service.  Both provide an initial 25 years of storage.

Labs and Locations

Virgin Health Bank entrusts its clients samples to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge which is an HTA licensed stem cell laboratory, using a red cell depletion method which public banks use for the production of stem cell units for transplant. Virgin Health Bank is the only independent cord blood bank to store its clients samples in an NHS laboratory. Blood testing of virology and microbiology is performed onsite at Addenbrooke's Hospital.

Addenbrooke's Hospital
Stem Cell Laboratory
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Hills Road,  Cambridge  CB2 0QQ
United Kingdom

Business Experience

Virgin Health Bank is an enterprise under the Virgin brand name founded by Richard Branson.  They first launched cord blood banking in the UK in early 2007, with their unique Community Banking option that gives 80% of the collection to a public storage inventory.  In Feb 2012, Virgin Health Bank entered a partnership with Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Trust, the first such deal between a private cord blood bank and an NHS hospital.  The terms of the partnership are that CUH contracts their laboratory services to Virgin and has access Virgin's Community Banking inventory for research, while in exchange Virgin can market their Family Banking services at CUH.

Collection Kit

  • Supplies provided for gravity collection into a blood bag
  • Fenwal collection bag
  • Alcohol & Chlorohexidine disinfection supplies
  • CPDA-1 anti-coagulant
  • Collection kit is sterile inside & outside for C-Section use

Transportation container

  • Container has gel packs
  • Container is validated to maintain room temperature under test conditions.
  • Container is guaranteed to maintain room temperature for a certain number of hours

Shipping Info

  • Shipping arrangements are made by the Virgin Health Bank
  • Contract price includes shipping.
  • Courier available 24 hours 7days a week
  • Shipping within the UK is included in the base price

Processing Method

Manual cell separation by sedimentation & spin

Components Stored

  • Parents are provided with a certificate describing test results (cell counts, viability)
  • The component of blood that is stored is the buffy coat holding white cells and stem cells, plus testing portions

Storage Method

  • Final storage is in cryo-bags
  • Storage container is encased in over wrap
  • Temporary storage in quarantine freezer, then move to long term freezer
  • Freezer uses vapor phase of liquid nitrogen

Licensing & Accreditation

Unconditional UK HTA License number 22514

Clinical Experience

Virgin Health Bank has released one cord blood collection from its Community Bank which was used in a successful transplant in a National Health Service hospital in the UK.


Storage fees paid in advance are held in an escrow account.

Community Service

Virgin Health Bank’s Community Banking service enabled families to donate an element of the cord blood collection to a Community Bank for use with unrelated patients whilst retaining the cells from the first 5mls of cord blood for their own use. Stem cell units that have been donated to the Community Bank are made available to transplant physicians on a free of charge basis.


Family Banking plus 25 years of storage (25ml final sample): Total cost: £1,895 as of July 2018

Community Banking plus 25 years of storage (5ml final sample): Total cost: £ 995 as of July 2018

Additional Services

Not applicable

Prices with Additional Services

Not applicable

Address: 250 Gunnersbury Avenue,W4 5QB, United Kingdom.