October 21, 2015

When choosing a family cord banking service, it is important that your selection has a commitment to quality throughout every stage of the cord blood banking process. A quality family cord blood service offers excellent customer service and makes the collection process a breeze, but also pays careful attention to handling and processing of your child’s cells prior to long-term storage in a secure facility.

Here at CariCord, we adhere to strict quality standards for cord blood processing. After your doctor has completed your child’s cord blood collection at the birth of your child, the cells collected are shipped by a secure medical courier to our processing laboratory at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. Once received, your child’s cordblood cells are received, they will be processed according to high quality standards before being cryopreserved in a long-term storage facility.

The CariCord laboratory has been approved and is licensed by the FDA to manufacture cord blood as a pharmaceutical drug. This is one of only five such facilities in the world that is licensed by the FDA, so you know you are getting a high level of quality as you consult your parent’s guide to cord blood. All privately banked units of cord blood are processed in the same Class 10,000 clean room that our licensed public cord blood units are processed in, using the same equipment, procedures, and handling procedures. All of our lab technicians are highly trained and adhere to the strictest quality measures.

The FDA does not require private cord blood units to be licensed, because they are designated for autologous use (don’t worry, they may still be used for a close family member, provided they are a sufficient match). Therefore, it is an extra measure of quality for a private family cord banking service to process their cord blood units in an FDA-licensed laboratory. CariCord’s quality certainly speaks for itself in this manner.

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October 19, 2015

A recent study explored the best route for transplanting stem cells derived from cord tissue to protect against neonatal hyperoxic lung injury. To achieve this goal, researchers performed gene expression profiling to compare the effects of two forms of cord blood cell administration: intratracheal (IT) vs. intravenous (IV).

This study was performed in lab rats, but used human cells, which can be collected by family cord blood and tissue services. The end results showed that local IT transplantation was more effective than systemic IV administration in protecting against hyperoxic lung injury.

Perhaps you have been wondering, “Why save baby cord blood?” One of the reasons why we believe every family should do so is because of the wide range of diseases cord blood stem cells have been able to treat effectively. Family cord blood banking services report that it can currently be used to treat more than 80 diseases. That’s great news, and it’s even better to know that research is ongoing, meaning that more treatments and potential cures are continually being pursued. If there is a history of disease in your family, storing your child’s cells is a wise choice. Even if cord blood cannot treat that disease today, there is a possibility that it could in the future.

Not only are researchers looking for new diseases that can be treated using cord blood and tissue, they are also looking for new transplant methods, as described in one of the cases above. In time, this will make treatments using cells from family cord blood services even safer and more effective than they are now.

It should be noted that the stem cells used in this particular study were derived from umbilical cord tissue. Though it is not currently approved for treatments in humans at this time, researchers are performing studies like these to determine viable cord tissue benefits for the future.

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October 16, 2015

Congenital Hydrocephalus occurs when excess cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain at birth. The extra fluid can increase pressure in the brain of a baby, which can cause brain damage, as well as mental and physical problems. Although this condition is rare, the long-term effects can be devastating. Hydrocephalus can occur later on in life, but the term “congenital hydrocephalus” refers to hydrocephalus that is present at birth.

Effects of congenital hydrocephalus vary depending on a variety of factors, including the cause of the fluid build-up, how severe the condition becomes, and how the baby responds to treatment.

A recent study showed that repeated autologous family cord blood infusions are feasible in infants suffering from congenital hydrocephalus, carrying no acute safety concerns. The use of cord blood in treating this condition was first tested in animal models of brain hypoxia and stroke. Positive results led to clinical trials of brain injury in both adults and children. These trials showed that stem cells collected by family cord banking services are viable for use in treating infants suffering from congenital hydrocephalus.

The aforementioned study treated 76 patients with congenital hydrocephalus from October 2006 through August 2014. 143 autologous cord blood infusions were given to these patients, with most babies receiving multiple doses—two, three, or four. In all cases, there were no negative side effects from the infusions themselves. All of the babies experienced developmental delays, but this was expected by the researcher’s conduction the study.

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October 14, 2015

CariCord is the result of ClinImmune Labs and the University of Colorado joining forces to create a private family cord blood banking service. Unlike public cord blood banks, family cord blood banks allow those who use them to reserve their child’s cells for personal use in the future, whereas public banking functions much like a traditional blood bank.

ClinImmune Labs has been processing cord blood for more than 18 years as a public bank. Because cord blood banking is a relatively new industry, experience matters and is an important factor when choosing a family cord banking service.

Currently, CariCord is the only family cord blood banking service that processes the cells they collect in a laboratory that is licensed by the FDA to manufacture cord blood. This is also one of only five such laboratories in the world.

In addition to being highly experienced and credentialed in the family cord blood banking world, CariCord’s laboratory has released over 700 units for transplant as of Sep 2105. This is substantially more than competitors ViaCord and Cord Blood Registry, which have released 268 and 262 units, respectively. CariCord has more than both of these combined, showing another area where they lead the baby cord blood banking industry. These 700+ units have been released to more than 120 transplant centers worldwide. Cells stored in CariCord’s family bank have saved lives across the globe!

“We have been processing cord blood units under federal contract since 2006, we were among the first to elevate our cord blood banking practices to FDA BLA licensure. I’m pleased to announce we are the first to leverage our lab’s best practices to serve private consumers, while sustaining our efforts to build the National Cord Blood Inventory with life-saving transplant ready units. We believe our partnership in CariCord demonstrates a sustainable pathway that is responsive to current and future private and federal sector demands,” said Brain M. Freed, Ph.D., DABHI, Professor of Medicine and Immunology, Executive Director for ClinImmune Labs and CariCord’s Cord Blood Bank.

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