Biovault Family Become the World’s First CellPlan Excel Bank

CellPlan launched this summer with a mission to make world-leading stem cell transplantation available to every family. Stem cell treatments can be expensive, especially when travel and accommodation are required to access the best care. CellPlan insurance covers up to £1 million in medical and travel expenses and offers its members consultations with leading medical specialists.

Biovault Family share CellPlan’s commitment to unlocking stem cell treatments for all. We are delighted to have met CellPlan’s stringent criteria to become the world’s first CellPlan Excel Bank.

CellPlan Excel is a trusted community of the best cord blood banks in the world. Membership of CellPlan Excel guarantees the quality of service provided by cord blood banks, and offers families excellent peace of mind.

Bank with Biovault Family, Protect with CellPlan

A diagnosis of blood cancer affects the whole family. There are now 82 diseases that can be treated with umbilical cord blood stem cells (UCBSCs). 7 of these can be treated with the donor’s own UCBSCs, and all can be treated with stem cells from a matching donor. This means that your baby’s cord blood can be used to treat members of your immediate family: your baby’s brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, grandparents and you, the parents.

Biovault Family insist on the highest standards in cord blood collection, processing and storage. We work with the NHS and industry leaders worldwide to ensure that cord blood banking is not only a ‘just in case’ choice. We work with transplant nurses every day who save and enhance lives using the stem cells in our care.

Why I banked with Biovault Family and protected with CellPlan

For Gill Sepe, a grandmother from Surrey, CellPlan offers peace-of-mind: if one of her family falls ill, they will receive the best possible care.

 Stem Cell Treatments

Gill had been aware of stem cell treatments for some time when her first grandchild Frankie, now 5 years old, was born. Like many of us, Gill had seen medical documentaries and success stories featured in the news but had thought that such therapies may be financially inaccessible to her own family: “I had no real idea of the costs involved, other than that they were massive.”

Although there is no history of blood cancer in the Sepe family, there have been other cancers, such as lung cancer, and Gill herself suffers from an autoimmune disease that, she says: “thankfully, doesn’t give me any problems now but perhaps in the future, it might deteriorate.”

Cord Blood Banking with Biovault Family

A short time ago, Gill happened to see a presentation by Joao Andrade, CellPlan’s CEO at a business meeting. “He was so passionate about the massive potential of stem cell treatments,” she says “and how CellPlan insurance cover would revolutionise the way in which the average person could access treatments across the world for a fraction of the cost of paying privately.”

Umbilical cord blood contains haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs): an established treatment for leukaemias, lymphomas, multiple sclerosis, metabolic diseases and numerous disorders of blood cell proliferation, including sickle cell disease and Fanconi’s anaemia. Since the first transplant of umbilical cord blood HSCs in 1988, it is estimated that over 35,000 umbilical cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide. (Cell & Gene Therapy Insights, 3/8/17)

Stored umbilical cord blood offers an alternative source of HSCs that has advantages over both peripheral blood and bone marrow. The collection of cord blood is quick, non-invasive and painless, and the HSCs are generally healthier and in higher numbers than those sourced from older donors.

“By the time I heard Joao speak for a second time some months later, my daughter was pregnant,” Gill says, “so it really was a no-brainer to get on board.” When Gill’s granddaughter, Daisy was born her umbilical cord blood and tissue was stored with Biovault Family.

For Gill, the most important feature of cord blood banking is that it gives her family access to life-saving stem cells should they ever need them; access, moreover to cells that belong to her own granddaughter, 4-month-old Daisy. This means that the HSCs are a perfect match for Daisy and are highly likely to be accepted by Frankie and other family members. “When my daughter realised that the stem cells could also be used to help her son and two step-children,” Gill says, “she thought it was a fantastic idea.”

My main reason for offering to bank my granddaughter’s cord blood and tissue was that, as a grandparent, I could feel I had played a useful role in her and her family’s future health.

CellPlan Protection

When Gill researched private stem cell transplantation she realised that the cost could be prohibitive, with many treatments costing hundreds of thousands of pounds. “I found another company on the internet offering stem cell insurance,” Gill says, “but the limit of their cover is just £250,000, which would not cover all available treatments!”

CellPlan covers not just medical expenses up to £1,000,000 but also travel and accommodation expenses for the patient and a family member. “If you are in a position where a loved one is needing expert care,” Gill says, “it is good to know that everything is taken care of.”

“When I read on the CellPlan website that I would have access to the world’s leading clinical stem cell transplant experts and that they have specialist doctors available on every continent I felt that should anything happen, my grandchildren would be in the very best hands.”

And what about the cost? “My daughter and I feel relaxed about the future in the knowledge that the children have the best chance of recovery in any condition they may develop. The cost of CellPlan is a fraction of the cost of insuring my car so, in my mind, it is a bargain!!”

Find out more about Biovault Family services, here. Or start the process

Applying for CellPlan insurance is easy. You can request a quote, brochure, or call back here.

stem cell preservation

BSc (Hons) Microbiology

Chief Executive Officer | Biovault Family

Biovault Family CEO, Kate Sneddon, joined Biovault in July 2009 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2016. As health industry professional her experience includes working as a microbiologist and leader at GSK for over 10 years. Her expertise in cord blood banking has been recognised in her awards, features in Parliamentary Review and Parents Guide to Cord Blood, as well as contributions to research with UCL and others.

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