To provide Filipinos the benefits of cord-blood banking, Cordlife recently opened the first cord-blood-processing and cryopreservation facility in Metro Manila.
Cord blood is obtained from the umbilical cord after it has been detached from the newborn. It is a source of stem cells that can be used to treat various diseases, including some cancer forms and blood-related disorders. Lymphoma and leukemia, the top two childhood cancers, can be treated with cord-blood stem cells. Ongoing research is also looking into use of cord-blood stem cells to treat cerebral palsy and type-1 diabetes.
“There is a clear, unmet medical need for an internationally accredited and responsible private cord-blood bank in most modern economies given the high prevalence of cancers and blood-related disorders,” said Steven Fang, Cordlife chief executive, at the opening of the local facility.
“We believe that with sufficient clinical evidence of successful therapies, more medical options may be available to families who have stored their children’s cord blood,” said Fang. “Filipino parents no longer have to risk sending their baby’s cord blood abroad for long-term storage. Cordlife offers the child and the family a gift of a lifetime.”
Established in May 2001, Cordlife is the first private cord-blood bank in Singapore. The company collects, processes, and stores cord-blood stem cells that may later be used as potential source for life-saving treatments for the patient and their family.
Cordlife Philippines adheres to the American Association of Blood Banks standards, with clean rooms, ultra-high security measures, power backup, and proper waste-management procedures.
Before cord blood is stored, it passes through three steps—preprocessing, processing, and cryopreservation. The preprocessing/preparation laboratory features an area for packing of collection kits, preparation of cord blood, and storage of maternal blood samples before these are sent out for testing.
The processing laboratory is equipped with two biohazard safety cabinets that allow a maximum of 36 cord-blood units to be processed in a day. These biohazard cabinets remove 99.99 percent of airborne particles, protecting the user and cord-blood units from contamination and preventing the spread of airborne bacteria and viruses. The processed cord-blood samples are then frozen and stored in the cryopreservation laboratory.
Cordlife Medical Philippines Inc. has a storage capacity of 20,000 cord-blood units. The facility is located at Unit 101, Building H, UP-AyalaLand Technohub, Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. Marijoe Yu