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Family Bank: Cells4Life
Founded in 2002, Cells4Life is one of the leading cord blood banks in the UK. From our systems and processes, to the range of services we offer, and even how and where our cord blood samples are stored, everything about Cells4Life has been designed to provide as many stem cells and as many stem cell types as possible at the point of therapy. In 2020, Cells4Life also became the first and only stem cell bank in Britain to offer placenta storage. Parents can choose to store placenta tissue either alongside cord blood and cord tissue banking or as a separate standalone service.
Labs and Locations
Cells4Life has a 2nd generation, purpose-built laboratory based at our state-of-the-art Head Office in Sussex. Along with our customer care team, cord blood collection service and courier service, Cells4Life’s laboratory operates 24/7, 365 days per year. This ensures samples are processed as quickly as possible after birth, delivering highly viable cord blood samples.
Cells4Life is also the only UK company that offers the option to store cord blood units across two separate locations within the UK, meaning that in the unlikely event that there is a problem at one of our facilities, clients have the security of knowing that part of their sample remains safely stored elsewhere.
In addition to our UK facilities, Cells4Life has local offices throughout Europe and the Middle East and has provided our services to customers in over 54 countries.
Units 2&3 Oak House, Woodlands Office Park
Albert Drive, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9TN
Cells4Life was founded in 2002 and was the first private company to offer a stem cell storage and collection service in the UK. Cells4Life also provides its services all over the world, storing cord blood and tissue samples from customers in 54 countries.
Cells4Life has a strong commitment to research and develoment. New in 2020: Cells4Life is the only stem cell bank in the UK that offers parents the option to store the amniotic membrane and/or the chorionic villi portion of the placenta. Both amnion and chorionic villi are currently being used in numerous clinical trials to push the boundaries of conventional medicine. Placenta banking enables parents to make the most of their baby’s birth and maximise the therapeutic possibilities of their baby’s sample.
Cells4Life also developed and patented TotiCyte, a unique cord blood processing technology that delivers more stem cells at the point of therapy than existing industry standard systems. This is known as the CellsPlus service.
Cells4Life provides clients with a specialised cord blood collection kit which contains all of the necessary contents for the safe collection of umbilical cord blood, umbilical cord tissue and placental tissue. Included within the tamper evident packaging are pictorial instructions for optimum collection of the cord blood, cord tissue, and placental tissue.
For international shipments we use the Nanocool system in our kits. This space age technology maintains the samples at 2-8C for up to 72 hours at the press of a button. There is no requirement for priming with this system.
Included in the base price, Cells4Life has a dedicated single purpose courier collection service that operates 24/7 365 days a year in the UK - even on the weekends and holidays. This ensures that samples are always processed as soon as possible, enabling us to deliver the most viable cord blood samples possible.
Cells4Life gives parents the choice between 3 different cord blood processing methods:
1. CellsPlus, powered by TotiCyte - Patented & Exclusive to Cells4Life
The single most important consideration when banking cord blood is to make sure the sample contains as many stem cells as possible at the point of therapy. This determines both the size and weight of person a sample can treat and also the number of therapies it could provide.
Cells4Life’s CellsPlus service provides more stem cells at the point of therapy than industry standard cord blood processing methods. This could mean the difference between a sample only being usable to treat a small child versus containing enough cells for a fully grown adult and increases the chance that the cells could be used for multiple therapies, throughout a child’s life.
2. Cells, powered by the AXP system
Cells4Life’s most affordable cord blood banking plan is the Cells service, which is powered by the AXP system. This is the processing method used by the NHS in the UK, is used widely in the USA, and is an industry leading system for cord blood processing
3. Whole cord blood storage
Cells4Life also offers the option to bank whole cord blood. This means that the sample is not processed to reduce its volume, meaning no stem cells are lost during the processing phase. Whole cord blood needs to be 'washed' before transplant to remove red blood cells.
In addition to umbilical cord blood, Cells4Life also offers the option to store tissues from the umbilical cord and placenta.
1. Cord Tissue Storage
Cells4Life can store a small section of the umbilical cord itself. This complements cord blood storage because it captures more and different types of cells:
- More mesenchymal stem cells (MSC)
- Unrestricted somatic stem cells (USSC)
- Vascular endothelial stem cells
- Perivascular stem cells
Cord tissue is a rich source of MSCs. Research shows that these cells, together with the umbilical cord blood stem cells, are crucial for tissue repair or replacement.
2. Amnion Storage
The amniotic membrane of the placenta has powerful healing properties. It is already used to treat burns and wounds, and is subject to a growing list of clinical trials.
Cells4Life is the only bank that gives parents-to-be the option to selectively bank this tissue from the placenta.
3. Placental Cells Storage
In addition to the amnion, Cells4Life also gives parents the option to bank the chorionic villi cells from the placenta. This is known as Placenta Cells and provides even more regenerative therapy opportunities for the future.
Cord Blood and Cord Tissue: Parents are provided with a certificate describing test results (volume of blood stored, cell count, viability, cord blood and cord tissue sterility and maternal disease marker testing).
Placental Cells and Amnion: Cells4Life is the only stem cell bank in the UK that offers parents the option to store the amniotic membrane and/or chorionic villi. The amniotic membrane is stored as a sheet. The processing of the chorionic villi tissue is proprietary.
Cells4Life gives the option to store cord blood, cord tissue and amnion in multiple separate storage containers to enable them to be used in more than one treatment in the future. Following initial processing, the sample undergoes a controlled rate freeze for 24 hours to -80 degrees Celsius and is then stored in vapour stage cryogenic nitrogen tanks at -180 degrees Celsius. All of our tanks are monitored in real time with a 24 hours alarm system, to ensure that they are always maintained in optimum conditions.
Licensing & Accreditation
Cells4Life is licensed by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) license number 11083. Cells4Life is the only UK cord blood bank to have a laboratory that is certified under ISO13485. In 2019 Cells4Life became accredited under the international AABB standard, accreditation number 1722851.
Cells4Life offers private umbilical cord blood, cord tissue and placental tissue storage.
- 13 sample releases
- First cord blood bank in the UK to have provided cord tissue for treatment.
- First cord blood bank to have provided three separate samples from the same cord blood unit for three separate treatments.
- First cord blood bank in the UK to provide placenta banking services.
Within the UK, Cells4Life offers stem cell treatment insurance. Their +PROTECT policy provides a lump sum payment of between £75,000 to £150,000 in the event an approved stem cell therapy is required.
- Cells4Life operates a cord blood donation service at a number of hospitals in the south east. To find out how to donate click here.
- Cells4Life works with Just4Children, a UK-based charity, to help families seeking stem cell therapies raise the required funds for treatment
Please visit our website for the most up to date prices and services for each market.
In the UK, the Cells4Life packages available are:
- Silver (cord blood Cells only) £1,495 + £65 per year
- Gold (cord blood CellsPlus) £1,905 + £65 per year
- Platinum (cord blood CellsPlus & Cord Tissue) £2,640 + £100 per year
- ULTIMATE (cord blood CellsPlus, Cord Tissue, Amnion & Placenta Cells £4,890 + £200 per year