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Tag Archive: cord blood

  1. Biovault prides itself on being an ethical company

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    But, what does this mean and how do we apply our ethics to our day-to-day practices?

    Biovault Family prides itself as an ethical company offering umbilical stem cell banking to parents in the UK, Europe and Middle East, but in relation to this service what does “ethical” mean?  

    It fundamentally comes down to looking at the service offered in its entirety and ensuring that at each stage, information given, level of care and transparency of approach is considered with the parents, child and ultimately clinicians who may use the cells in mind.  

    Biovault is in the unique position of working directly as part of the NHS South West Peninsula Transplant programme. This interaction on a daily basis with healthcare professionals (consultants, nurses, biomedical scientists) that are treating patients with complex cancers and conditions where stem cell transplant may be the last viable treatment option allows us to fully understand the requirements, standards and challenges these healthcare professionals face.

    Biovault Family seeks to educate parents at each stage in the process, ensuring that information given is accurate, complete and honest.  

    Examples of this include, 

    • If the mother has a condition, that means she is not suitable as a donor, or the scope of use may be limited we will advise of this in advance of providing the service.  
    • We apply criteria to cell counts and cell quality of the cord blood and advise customers where we think storage may not be appropriate.  
    • We provide clear information on approved treatments and those in clinical trial stage to ensure parents understand the limitations with the cells stored based on current information.

    What are the ethical practices that Biovault has in place?

    Biovault educates parents on cord stem cell banking and the options available to them. We work with customers to ensure their birth plan is supported and the cord stem cells can be collected.  Our sales team do not apply pressure to parents during the sales process.

    Biovault’s agreement with the parents is clear and unambiguous with no hidden costs such as annual storage charges, unless a specific annual storage payment package is chosen.  Where affordability is a challenge Biovault offers options, packages and support to parents.

    Where a prepaid storage package is chosen Biovault transfers the ongoing storage costs for the period chosen to an Escrow company who hold that money separately to Biovault to ensure the funds to cover the remaining storage are in place and governed separately from Biovault.

    Should the cells be required for a treatment a full data package is supplied to the clinician in advance allowing them to make informed choices based on the quality and quantity of cells available.

    How does this differentiate Biovault Family from other cord blood banking companies?

    Many banks use high pressure sales tactics to entice parents to store their child’s cells with them.  They spend little time educating parents and seek purely to make the sale and “fill in the gaps” later.  Our Client advisors are more than happy to spend time with customers to ensure expectations are met and share experience.  During the CV-19 pandemic they have been a source of advice to many customers on what to expect at hospital with access restrictions.

    The long-term storage fees can be hidden by other companies. We speak to many parents who are unaware of the annual storage costs for which they will be liable, from other banks packages.

    We care about the families we support and ensure they have all the information they require, and can rely on us if times get tough and the cells are required.  We will always seek to give accurate and comprehensive results.

    We are proud of our organisation. If you want to find out more, get in touch with the team who will be on hand to help.

  2. Come see us at The Baby and Toddler Show in Liverpool, 28th – 29th May

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    Our team are heading to The Baby and Toddler Show in Liverpool this weekend, 28 to 29 May, and we can’t wait to meet expectant parents.

    Win a Moses basket

    Visit our stand on F12 for your chance to win a beautiful Moses basket worth £100 from The Little Green Sheep.

    All you need to do is to scan the QR code on the stand, enter your detail and wait to see if you’re the lucky winner!

    Buy tickets

    There are plenty of great offers on tickets for The Baby and Toddler Show.

    Save 40% – Enjoy an amazing saving of 40% with code EXLP70.

    We also have 50 complimentary ticket on offer – use code EXLP55 to enjoy free entry.

    Hope to see you there!

    Got a question in the meantime?

    Get in touch with our team who will be able to answer all your questions about cord blood and cord tissue banking.

  3. Enjoy 50% off ALL packages – Offer ends 13th May at 5pm

    Comments Off on Enjoy 50% off ALL packages – Offer ends 13th May at 5pm

    Great news! We’re offering an incredible 50% off all our packages to store your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue.

    This offer is to any expectant mum whose due date is on or before 30th June 2022. You’ve got until Friday 13th May at 5pm to take advantage of this offer.

    To enjoy your 50% off, just add JUNE50 to the voucher code box on the form.

    Why should I store my baby’s cord blood and cord tissue?

    Your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue contain life-saving stem cells – these stem cells are amazing!

    Cord blood contains haemopoietic stem cells that can differentiate into different types of blood cells – red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets.

    Cord tissue contains mesenchymal stem cells that can turn into tissue cells, such as nerve, bone, tendon and muscle. Cord tissue is currently being used in an impressive number of clinical trials in terms of regenerative medicine to treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Cerebral Palsy, to name a few.

    After birth, these stem cells are at their healthiest. Collection takes place after birth, so there’s no risk to you or your new baby. You can also delay cord clamp in line with the World Health Organisation’s guidelines.

    There is a small window to store these amazing cells – usually these are thrown away with the placenta after birth. By banking them, you are protecting your child well into adulthood.

    Pregnant woman and cord blood

    Our packages

    We offer two main packages:

    Family package

    Our Family package stores your baby’s cord blood with an annual, 25 or 50 year option. With our 50% offer, you’ll pay the below:

    Family Annual –

    • Original cost – £1,650
    • Discount cost – £825
    • Annual cost – £60 per year storage

    After a deposit of £160, this works out to £55.42 a month spread out over 12 months.

    Family 25 Years –

    • Original cost – £2,150
    • Discount cost – £1,075

    After a deposit of £160, this works out to £76.25 a month spread out over 12 months with nothing further to pay for 25 years.

    Family 50 Years –

    • Original cost – £3,150
    • Discount cost – £1,575

    After a deposit of £160, this works out to £117.92 a month spread out over 12 months with nothing further to pay for 50 years.

    Family Plus

    Our Family Plus package stores your baby’s cord blood and cord tissue, with an annual, 25 or 50 year option. With our 50% offer, you’ll pay the below:

    Family Plus Annual –

    • Original cost – £1,950
    • Discount cost – £975
    • Annual cost – £90

    After a deposit of £160, this works out to £67.92 a month spread out over 12 months.

    Family Plus 25 Years –

    • Original cost – £2,650
    • Discount cost – £1,325

    After a deposit of £160, this works out to £97.08 a month spread out over 12 months with nothing further to pay for 25 years.

    Family Plus 50 Years –

    • Original cost – £4,050
    • Discount cost – £2,025

    After a deposit of £160, this works out to £155.42 a month spread out over 12 months with nothing further to pay for 50 years.

    How do I take advantage of this offer?

    To enjoy 50% off all our packages, all you need to do is be due to give birth on or before 30th June 2022.

    Click the button above and make sure you add in JUNE50 to the voucher code box on the form – we’ll take care of the rest.  

    Why choose Biovault Family?

    There are numerous reasons to choose us to bank your child’s cord blood and cord tissue. For now, here’s just a few. We:

    • Offer a fully inclusive package saving up to £5,000 compared to other blood banks with no additional storage charges if you store for 25 or 50 years
    • Transfer the storage element of your fee to a separate Escrow account. This gives you complete peace of mind in case anything happens.
    • Partner with the NHS, so we have higher accreditations than any of the other blood banks and we release stem cells back into the NHS daily
    • Offer 1 year’s free StemCellCare insurance, which pays out a lump sum of £75,000 if you need to use your stem cells
    • Store in one location – Once your stem cells have been processed, they are in an extremely fragile state. Due to this we believe the risk of damage occurring during transit is higher than the risk of a catastrophic event occurring at our facility
    • Have a voucher referral scheme – hand out your vouchers to anyone who is pregnant, and if  they sign up to our services you receive a £100 love to shop voucher and they receive a 10% discount – these vouchers are unlimited for you. If you are on the 0% payment plan, get £100 off your balance instead!
    • Are also a Human Tissue Bank – the other companies are blood banks only

    More affordable than other cord blood banks

    Our Family Plus 25 and 50 year packages are inclusive of annual storage. Other blood banks will charge you an annual storage fee, which can increase the amount you pay by £2,500 over 25 years or an incredible £5,000 over 50 years.

    Whilst many discount their initial package costs with an offer, the annual storage means you can sometimes be paying twice as much.

    Have a look at our price comparison page to see how our standard cord blood / cord blood and cord tissue packages compare to our competitors.

    Terms and Conditions

    Please note that this offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. If your due date is before 30th June and you give birth after this date, as long as you have already signed up for the service you’re still eligible for our 50% offer.

  4. Save up to £500 on our Family Plus packages

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    Protect your little one for less with our amazing April offer!

    Their cord blood can be used to treat over 80+ conditions and cord tissue is currently being used in clinical trials for conditions including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Autism and Cystic Fibrosis. It is hoped that in the future cord tissue will play an important part in a variety of medical and clinical procedures to regenerate damaged or diseased tissue.

    Save up to £300 off our Family Plus 25 Years package

    Use code APRIL300 when you check out.

    • Original cost – £1,950
    • Discounted cost – £1,650

    With our 0% payment plan over 24 months, this works out to £60.42 a month over 24 months.

    Save up to £500 off our Family Plus Annual package

    Use code APRIL500 when you check out.

    • Original cost – £2,650
    • Discounted cost – £2,150

    With our 0% payment plan over 24 months, this works out £97.92 a month for 24 months

    Save up to £500 off our Family Plus 50 Years package

    Use code APRIL500 when you check out.

    • Original cost – £4,050
    • Discount cost – £3,550

    With our 0% payment plan over 24 months, this works out to £147.92 a month for 24 months.

    Why choose Biovault Family?

    There are numerous reasons to choose us to bank your child’s cord blood and cord tissue. For now, here’s just a few. We:

    • Offer a fully inclusive package saving up to £5,000 compared to other blood banks with no additional charge if you store for 50 years
    • Store funds in a separate Escrow account. This gives you complete peace of mind in case anything happens.
    • Partner with the NHS, so we have higher accreditations than the other blood banks we release stem cells back into the NHS daily
    • Offer 1 year’s free StemCellCare insurance, which pays out a lump sum of £75,000 if you need to use your stem cells
    • Store in one location – Once your stem cells have been processed, they are in an extremely fragile state. Due to this we believe the risk of damage occurring during transit is higher than the risk of a catastrophic event occurring at our facility
    • Have a voucher referral scheme – hand out your vouchers to anyone who is pregnant, and they sign up to our services to receive a £100 love to shop voucher. They receive a 10% discount – these vouchers are unlimited for you. If you are on the 0% payment plan, get £100 off your payment!
    • Are also a Human Tissue Bank – the other companies are blood banks only

    More affordable than other cord blood banks

    Our Family Plus 25- and 50-year packages is inclusive of annual storage. Other blood banks will charge you an annual storage fee, which can increase the amount you pay by £2,500 over 25 years.

    Whilst many discount their initial package costs with an offer, the annual storage means you can sometimes be paying twice as much.

    Have a look at our price comparison page to see how our standard cord blood / cord blood and cord tissue packages compare to our competitors.

    T and Cs

    Please note that this offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

  5. Umbilical cord blood transplant cures a woman of HIV 

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    More than 40 years after the HIV virus was first encountered researchers are still fighting to develop ways to cure HIV, including a range of potential gene therapies. Now one New York woman has been cured of HIV, which remains one of humanity’s most ‘resilient’ viruses. 

    HIV AIDS arrived in the late ‘70s. By the early ‘80s, it was rife, and a brand new pandemic had arrived. In 2020 alone, about 690,000 people died of the virus. Now there’s ‘VB’, a new and more infectious variant of the HIV virus. Luckily it’s treatable.

    There are hints about a cancer drug that could one day work alongside an existing HIV medicine to kill the virus. That’s one for the future. But a few days ago we heard some truly wonderful news about a woman who has been cured of HIV thanks to an umbilical cord blood transplant. Here’s what you need to know. 

    2007’s landmark HIV cure

    In 2007, Timothy Ray Brown was the first person to be cured of HIV. His transplant, from a donor who was naturally resistant to HIV, worked. Since then it has only happened twice more, once for a man called Adam Castillejo, and once with the current female New York patient, we’re discussing. All three people had cancer, needing a stem cell transplant to survive, and curing HIV wasn’t the main aim of the treatment. 

    New York City’s HIV therapy triumph 

    The woman was given a transplant of umbilical cord blood. The other two people we mentioned who have been ‘cured’ of AIDS were given adult stem cells from bone marrow. Umbilical cord blood is much more widely available compared to the adult stem cells used for the first two cures. And it also doesn’t come with the need for a close match between the donor and the recipient, either.

    The woman stopped taking antiretroviral drugs in October 2020 after a transplant of stem cells containing a rare genetic mutation that blocks HIV invasion. Since then she hasn’t seen any detectable signs of HIV virus despite extensive testing. Now she’s being hailed as the third person in the world, and the first female, to be cured of the virus that has killed countless millions.

    It all began with leukaemia treatment 

    Experts say the transplant method is too risky for most HIV patients. This is the first time it has been used as a ‘functional cure’ for HIV. The woman, who was suffering from the blood cancer leukaemia, was given a stem cell transplant taken from a person who had a natural resistance to the virus that causes AIDS. Now she has been free of the AIDS virus for 14 months. 

    The transplanted cells had a genetic mutation that stops the HIV virus from infecting them. Scientists think the woman’s immune system has developed resistance to HIV. This is amazing news for us, adding another string to an already impressive bow of potential umbilical blood stem cell treatments for nasty illnesses.  It also brings hope to the millions of people – mostly in sub-Saharan Africa – who are living with the HIV virus. 

    What does the future hold for umbilical cord stem cells and a cure for HIV? 

    As Sharon Lewin, president of the International Aids Society, says, while this transplant method isn’t viable for most people living with HIV, it ‘confirms that a cure for HIV is possible and further strengthens using gene therapy as a viable strategy for an HIV cure.’ 

    While the study is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and a scientific consensus hasn’t yet been reached, it’s hopeful. And when you’re living with AIDS, hope means a lot. 

    Bank your baby’s umbilical cord blood

    You never know when your child may become sick. By taking a few minutes to bank your baby’s stem cells after birth, you could protect them for years to come. Talk to our team today – download our brochure to find out more or book your free consultation!

    Sources

    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.

  6. Plymouth-based Biovault Family supports free baby safety workshops for all

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    Plymouth-based Biovault Family has announced a new partnership with The Baby Academy to provide free baby safety workshops.

    The sessions are available on line via My Baby Academy and provide parents with practical advice on topics such as allergic reactions in babies, baby rashes, teething, baby ear infections, and administering medicine correctly to your baby.

    Biovault Family is the UK’s largest private human tissue bank which is licensed to handle all human tissue types including cord blood and tissue.

    Jo Kingston, head of sales at Biovault Family, said: “We are all so passionate about making baby safety accessible to all, and wanted to support a programme that gave provision for this in a fun way. The Baby Academy is run by a brilliant team of experts who share their knowledge on all sorts of topics around baby safety and we’re proud to be supporting this initiative. The workshops are completely free of charge to all parents across the UK.”

    Based in Plymouth’s International Medical and Technology Park beside its partners at Derriford Teaching Hospital, Biovault Family has led the way in human tissue processing and storage since 2004. It provides both tissue and cellular processing and storage to the NHS and to strategic private partners around the world.  

    It also has an umbilical cord blood and tissue banking service, a process in which cord blood — a rich source of stem cells — is taken from the umbilical cord of a new born baby after delivery and stored for future use, either for personal use, or by a close member of the family.

    Jo explained: “A baby’s umbilical cord is possibly the richest available source of stem cells they will ever have. With cord blood banking, you can collect these powerful cells from the umbilical cord and tissue and store them for use in stem cell therapies.

    “It’s believed that cord blood stem cells are one of the cornerstones of regenerative medicine and these stem cells are currently being used in thousands of clinical trials for many incurable diseases, such as cerebral palsy, autism and diabetes

    In the future, they could be used to repair your baby’s damaged tissue, regenerate old organs or even replace body parts.”

    My Baby Academy provides a number of courses led by a team of health professionals and delivered online in real-time on an interactive platform. You can book your free place. You can find out more about cord blood banking.

  7. What can cord blood be used for?

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    Imagine this. Your toddler has been diagnosed with leukaemia. They need a bone marrow transplant, but there isn’t a matching adult donor. They may die. Thankfully life-saving umbilical cord blood from stem cells, donated by an anonymous mum and her newborn baby, save your little one’s life. 

    It’s a true story. 

    If you’ve ever asked the question what is cord blood used for, should we keep cord blood, or who needs cord blood, this article reveals everything you need to know. As it turns out, stem cells are  extraordinary. They’re used in a wide variety of healthcare settings to heal people of every age and improve people’s quality of life, and one of the best sources of these powerful cells is the umbilical cord.  

    Is cord blood banking worth it?

    Should we keep cord blood? In our experience the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Cord blood banking is always worth it, an investment in the future health and wellbeing of your child, their siblings, yourself and your partner.  

    Cord blood is simply blood from your baby. It stays in the umbilical cord and placenta after you give birth, and it’s easy to collect, painless and harmless for you and your baby. Umbilical cord blood banks like ours store it, cryogenically frozen, until someone who’s a genetic match needs a transplant.

    Blood from umbilical cords contains ‘progenitor’ stem cells. They’re used for life-saving transplants in people with leukaemia, serious blood disorders and much more. Sadly, much of the time, umbilical cord blood is discarded at birth. But you can choose to collect and freeze yours for the future, and more of us are doing exactly that every year. 

    How is cord blood used for your baby?

    So what is cord blood used for? It’s used in many proven treatments and is also very useful in regenerative medicine. 

    Stem cells from cord blood can treat immune system disorders and genetic disorders, neurologic disorders, and some kinds of cancer, for example leukaemia and lymphoma. They’ve been used to treat various metabolic diseases and to treat sickle-cell anaemia. They’re helpful in treating diseases of the blood, heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Scientists suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg.  

    Basically, stem cells from the cord blood of a genetically matching donor ‘regenerate’ the blood and immune system. That’s why, for a host of disorders, these cells are a potential gold mine for treatment and cure. The fluid is easy to collect. It contains ten times more stem cells than bone marrow. And cord blood stem cells are famously free from infectious diseases, around 50% less likely to be rejected by the patient’s immune system than stem cells taken from adults. 

    How is cord blood used in transplant medicine?

    Cord blood contains ‘hematopoietic’ stem cells, immature cells with the ability to develop into every type of blood cell, including red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. These hematopoietic cells are the same kind used for bone marrow transplants and, so far, are thought to be able to treat more than 80 types of disease. 

    Who needs cord blood? All of us! 

    Who needs cord blood? We all do. Research into the benefits of cord blood banking is ongoing, and the results are exciting. There are high hopes around more ways to use these clever cells in future, including research into stem cell treatment for Alzheimer’s, heart failure, even serious spinal cord damage. Will you choose to have a cord blood collection after giving birth?  

    Speak to our team about banking your baby’s cord blood – download our brochure or call our sales team on 01752 753723.

    Disclaimer

    No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

    Sources 

    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.

  8. Plymouth-based Biovault Family appoints new marketing executive

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    Plymouth-based Biovault Family, the UK’s largest private human tissue bank which is licensed to handle all human tissue types including cord blood and tissue,  is delighted to announce the appointment of Hannah McGrath to the team as marketing executive.

    Biovault Family offers personalised cord blood and tissue processing and storage services to parents who wish to bank their babies’ umbilical cord blood because it is rich in stem cells. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to collect these precious cells which have the ability to change into many different cell types such as blood, bone, tissue and organ cells.

    Hannah, who joins Biovault Family with a background in marketing and management, will be responsible for developing and growing the brand. In particular she will oversee positioning the brand for its next stage of growth as it looks to expand nationally, and lead how the business grows.

    Before joining the business, Hannah had worked in various key positions. Notably, she was with Actuate Marketing for seven years where she gained extensive experience designing and implementing marketing strategies.

    “I’m so excited to be working with Biovault Family and putting plans in place to continue the growth of the business, helping ensure its incredible success story maintains momentum and driving the business forward.”

    Hannah McGrath

    Hannah has a keen interest in the countryside and is passionate about health, fitness, food and its provenance and the environment. She also has an overriding interest in science.

    Hannah said: “I think my background in marketing brings something very positive to the brand and I want to help make expectant parents aware of the amazing things cord blood can do to protect their little ones for years to come. Umbilical cord blood is an incredible thing, and to think that it can potentially protect against more than 80 diseases, including several blood cancers, is amazing. These stem cells can also potentially match and treat their siblings or parents if required.

    But so few people are made aware of this and often it is discarded at birth. If I can help drive awareness about umbilical cord blood that has to be a wonderful thing.”

    Based in Plymouth’s International Medical and Technology Park beside its partners at Derriford Teaching Hospital, Biovault has led the way in human tissue processing and storage since 2004. It provides provides both tissue and cellular processing and storage to the NHS and to strategic private partners around the world.  The tissue, primarily bone and tendons, is provided for the treatment of injuries in both NHS and private hospitals.  The cellular therapies, including blood and marrow products, are provided both to the NHS to treat blood cancers and privately stored for individual use in the future.

    The company’s CEO Kate Sneddon said: “We are delighted to welcome Hannah to our team. She has so much experience to bring to Biovault Family as we continue to expand across the UK.  The value of cord blood banking is well known in other parts of the world, but in the UK it is still relatively unknown. In her new role, Hannah will be very much driving awareness forward.”

    Find out more by visiting www.biovaultfamily.com.

  9. Why banking your baby’s precious cord blood matters

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    World Cord Blood Day was celebrated around the world on November 15, and every year, July is designated World Cord Blood month, but still very few people in the UK know about umbilical cord blood banking

    Kate Sneddon, CEO of Plymouth-based Biovault Family, the only private laboratory in the UK that works for the NHS to process and store cord blood and tissue explains what it is and why.

    Very few people know that when parents give birth, they have the option to collect the cord blood left in the placenta, and the new born baby’s cord.  These tissues are rich in potentially life saving stem cells which have the ability to treat over 80 conditions,  and have the advantage over other sources of cells that they have not been damaged by the environment or ageing process, and do not require to be so closely matched to the patient.  

    We are also very excited about this service being expanded to treat autoimmune conditions, the most notable being multiple sclerosis (MS).

    At birth parents have the option to discard these tissues and cells as medical waste, donate to a public bank or privately bank for their families use should they become ill in later life.

    Since our creation in 2002, Plymouth-based Biovault has been at the forefront of the rapidly developing field of human cell and tissue processing and cryogenic storage.  Demand for services has grown, both here in the UK and Internationally, as doctors and scientists find more innovative and life-changing applications for human cells and tissue.  

    Biovault is the South-West Peninsula Transplantation Service’s tissue establishment, and we work in partnership with local NHS hospitals as they perform stem cell transplants for patients.

    Biovault provides the processing facilities and stores the patients’ or matched donors stem cells at cryogenic temperatures, -196°C, until they are ready to receive the cells. 

    Whilst many patients treated by the transplantation service wouldn’t have had the chance to store their stem cells at birth a relatively new area of medicine is developing using stem cells from the umbilical cord.  An increasing number of families are choosing to bank for their own use, known as private banking and Biovault Family offers this service in the UK.  

    Despite being available for nearly 20 years in the UK, the number of parents choosing this option is relatively low when compared to other countries across the world. This is primarily down to awareness, simply parents do not know they have the option as it is not routinely discussed during pregnancy.  This coupled with the fact that donation to public banks is through a limited number of hospitals only, means these precious cells often end up in the incinerator.  

    There has also been considerable challenge with collection of the cord.  The Royal College of Midwives does not currently support private banking unless there is a medically indicated reason (although they are reviewing their position).  As a result, hospitals and midwifery teams have not put in place the systems and resources to facilitate the collection, resulting in the use of external personnel to attend the birth to make the collection. The recent move to delayed cord clamping as standard within the NHS can mean medical professionals and parents think collection of the cord and blood is not possible, and again it is dismissed without proper consideration.  

    However, we see that making the decision to store our children’s umbilical stem cells is an act of bravery.  It means admitting the possibility of someone we love becoming seriously ill and deciding to take control of fear by putting in place this incredible biological protection.  

    At Biovault we are not content with simply offering the existing service, we understand that parents rightly want to give their child the best start in life by delaying cord clamping, but realise they also want to protect them for the future.  Because of this we embarked upon a research programme, in partnership with University College London to look at how we can “replicate” stem cells using cords donated specifically for research. With the hope of providing a process to expand their number using pioneering technology.  This may allow not only the child to have protection, but other members of the family too.  

    The field of stem cells, cellular therapies and regenerative medicine has developed rapidly over the last 30 years, but we are now on the cusp of new possibilities for the use of these precious cells.  There are 80 standard approved therapies using cord blood stem cells including Leukaemia, Lymphoma, Anaemias (including Fanconi Anaemia, Sickle cell disease and Beta Thalassaemia), inherited disorders of the immune system, inherited metabolic disorders and solid tumours such as Neuroblastoma and Retinoblastoma.  Clinical trials are ongoing looking at the use of the cells for Neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke and Parkinson’s disease, Autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease and Multiple sclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes and many more.

    Working in the medical field requires that we work to the highest quality standards.  However, we go above and beyond the mandatory UK Human Tissue Authority (HTA) licence and have sought out two of the most exacting international accreditation: Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy Joint Accreditation Committee for ISCT and EBMT (FACT-JACIE) and the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB).  

    We are truly proud to hold these accreditations which ensure we maintain our unique place as the leading private cell and tissue banking facility in the UK, and Biovault is the only private entity to have gained the FACT-JACIE accreditation. 

    In addition to quality we are very proud of our ethics, as scientists and parents we care for every person and every cell in our care and put the wellbeing of people before profit.  

    Interested? Download our brochure today – it’s got all you need to know about cord blood banking.

    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.