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Placenta banking services should be viewed with caution


There is very little scientific evidence for the value of banking placenta cells clinically.

Biovault is always excited about developments in tissue and cell banking and we keep a close eye on innovation within our Industry.

However, in line with our ethical and cautious approach, fostered through our long working relationship with the NHS we are sometimes sceptical of the value of some of these developments.

One of these is the recent launch of a placental banking service by one of our competitors. Their service offers two additional services to the well established cord blood and cord tissue banking services at an eye watering cost of nearly £10,000 (£4890 for processing and £200 per year storage for 25 years).

The first is banking of amniotic membrane from the placenta. Amniotic membrane has long been used by clinicians in Ophthalmic surgery and in wound treatment, and is already provided by NHS Blood and Transplant to the NHS as an “off the shelf” product at low cost.

Biovault believes there is little value in offering a private service to parents for banking their amniotic membrane, when in all reality should it be required the NHS would and could source through their own tissue bank. We feel it is misleading to parents to suggest they need such a service.

Further details on the NHS Amniotic membrane can be found here https://www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/tissue-and-eye-services/products/eyes/amniotic-membrane/

The second element is banking of cells from the chorionic villi in the placenta. Very little detail is given on the processing and banking of these cells, and there is little scientific evidence yet for the value of these cells clinically, although some promises on future potential indications are made by our competitor.

Biovault will review the use of these cells when such data becomes available, and should there be a compelling case for their private banking we will offer a service.

Cord blood stem cells have been used as a clinical treatment for blood disorders and cancers for many years, with clinical trials well progressed for conditions such as Autism and Cerebral Palsy. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) extracted from cord tissue are also in clinical trials and there is confidence that they will develop into approved therapies.

Biovault offer cord blood and cord tissue banking for 25 years for £2,450, and cord blood only for £1,950 with a 0% payment plan available.

Umbilical cord blood

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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