[New York, NY February 2019 –] Americord Registry announced today that it will begin offering five-compartment freezing bags for all new customers storing cord blood, as well as the highest quality guarantee in the industry. While industry-standard freezing bags typically contain two compartments, one holding eighty percent of the cord blood and a second holding twenty percent, Americord’s new freezing bags contain five compartments with twenty percent of the cord blood in each compartment.
“We’re seeing the science advance in the expansion of stem cells in cord blood, so that while historically there may have been skepticism about dividing doses of collected cord blood because all of it would be needed for treatment, that may not be the case in the near future,” said Martin Smithmyer, CEO of Americord.
There are technologies in advanced stages of development which stimulate the stem cells in cord blood to divide and multiply by factors of ten or more, meaning cord blood could soon be a multiple-dose resource.
“We want our customers to be able to take advantage of this as soon as these technologies are FDA-approved, allowing doctors to use it in the most flexible means possible. Together with Cord Blood 2.0™, the Americord process which yields significantly higher cord blood collection volume than the industry average, the potential for cord blood to be used in multiple doses is becoming a reality,” Smithmyer continued.
Americord Registry is driving internal innovation in the field with its own research as well. “We want to provide the next generation of technology that will move the banking and use of cord blood and perinatal tissues forward,” said Dr. Andrew L’Huillier, Director of Product Development. “We have recently filed multiple provisional patents based on our initial research in areas including improved tissue transport medias, new cord blood collection technologies, and ways to reduce the risk of graft vs host disease for unrelated donor transplants.”
Americord further announced that it will begin offering a $110,000 quality guarantee, the highest in the industry. The guarantee promises parents $110,000 if the cord blood they have stored with Americord is used in a transplant and fails to engraft. “With the confidence of the technologies and processes we are providing to families who want to store stem cells from their newborn, as well as the breakthroughs we hope to bring to market in the coming years, we are excited to offer the highest quality guarantee in the industry,” said Smithmyer.
About Americord Registry
Americord® is a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placental tissue banking. As a private bank, Americord® collects, processes, and stores stem cells for future medical or therapeutic use by the family who saves them. Americord Registry was founded and is located in New York, NY.
Americord Announces the Launch of New Website
NEW YORK, NY (December 21, 2018): Americord Registry, LLC, a leading cord blood, cord tissue, and placental tissue bank, announced today the launch of its new website. The layout and functionality have been optimized for an improved user-experience that better serves Americord’s customers and individuals seeking more education about stem cell banking services.
As an enterprise entering its second decade of business and built upon industry-leading customer service, Americord felt it was important to reconsider how its website facilitates stem cell banking education and communication with its industry experts, while also keeping its clients and visitors informed of major advances in the industry and the wider field of regenerative medicine.
“We are thrilled to launch the new americordblood.com to our customers, partners, and visitors who have expressed an interest in learning more about our exciting processes and the industry at large to help them make a more informed decision about this important investment,” said Jonathan Nissan, Director of Marketing.
The result of these efforts is a greatly-improved website designed to help new customers learn about cord blood and stem cell banking and Americord’s status as an industry innovator, and Americord’s existing clientele to stay up-to-date on the research underway around the world that is constantly making their investment more valuable. For those prepared to invest in the service, a new-and-improved e-commerce platform was built that enables streamlined checkout and a real-time display of all payment options and different product configurations.
“Americord has been around for ten years now, but the field of stem cell medicine is still relatively young. We’re continuing to see major breakthroughs and adaptive applications of stem cells. The new americordblood.com is a way for us to reach more people with this message and to continuously engage with our growing family of clients regarding the incredible investment they made,” said Americord Founder and CEO, Martin Smithmyer.
He continued, “At the end of the day, we might help educate someone that still chooses another cord blood bank, but that’s alright. We genuinely believe in the promising future of regenerative medicine and understand that improved awareness is a major part of our promise to help people live longer, healthier lives.”
About Americord Registry, LLC.
Americord® is a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placental tissue banking. As a private bank, Americord® collects, processes, and stores stem cells for future medical or therapeutic use by the family who saves them.
Americord To Help Gulf Coast Recovery Efforts After Tropical Storm Harvey
NEW YORK, NY (August 30, 2017): Americord, the fastest growing cord blood bank in the country, and a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placental tissue banking, has committed to helping the thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by Tropical Storm Harvey.
As part of our commitment to families and community, Americord will donate $50 to the American Red Cross for every client who banks umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, or placental tissue with us throughout the month of September.
“Our hearts go out to the families who are struggling with the devastating storm and its aftermath.” commented Erin Willigan, Vice President of Marketing for Americord. “We wanted to take immediate steps to support the rescue and recovery efforts that are so desperately needed, making this donation on behalf our clients and employees.”
About Americord Registry (“Americord”)
Americord Registry is a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue and placenta tissue banking. Americord collects, processes, and stores newborn stem cells from umbilical cord blood for future medical or therapeutic use, including the treatment of more than 80 blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia and leukemia. Founded in 2008, Americord is registered with the FDA and operates in all 50 states. The company’s laboratory is CLIA Certified, accredited by the AABB and complies with all federal and state guidelines and applicable licenses. Americord is headquartered in New York, NY. For more information, visit www.americordblood.com.
Press contact: Alysha Bullock | [email protected]
Americord Offers New Option for Banking Placental Tissue
NEW YORK, NY (Sept 5, 2017): Americord, the fastest growing cord blood bank in the country, and a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placental tissue banking, has expanded customer options to now offer placental tissue banking as a stand-alone service.
As one of the only companies to offer placental tissue banking, Americord believes in the importance of offering new mothers an opportunity to preserve their stem cells for potential future use. We are therefore launching placental tissue banking as a stand-alone service, without the need to bank umbilical cord blood.
“While many families have embraced Americord’s cord blood and tissue bundles, some have expressed interest in storing only placental tissue,” commented Erin Willigan, Vice-President of Marketing at Americord. “We wanted to respond to their desire to select individual services that best fit their budget and future plans.”
Placental tissue contains mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that are a genetic match to the mother. These stem cells are multipotent, meaning that they can differentiate into many different types of cells, including organ and muscle tissue, skin, bone, cartilage, and fat cells. The placenta uses these stem cells to grow and function during pregnancy. After baby is delivered, stem cells from the placenta can be collected and stored for potential future use.
Due to their ability to multiply and become many different types of tissue, MSCs hold great promise for regenerative treatments. Over 50 clinical trials are currently researching therapeutic uses for MSCs, including treatments for Type 1 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and spinal cord injuries.
About Americord Registry LLC (“Americord”)
Americord Registry LLC is a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue and placenta tissue banking. Americord collects, processes, and stores newborn stem cells from umbilical cord blood for future medical or therapeutic use, including the treatment of more than 80 blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia and leukemia. Founded in 2008, Americord is registered with the FDA and operates in all 50 states. The company’s laboratory is CLIA Certified, accredited by the AABB and complies with all federal and state guidelines and applicable licenses. Americord is headquartered in New York, NY. For more information, visit www.americordblood.com.
Press contact: Alysha Bullock | [email protected]
Americord Launches Cord Blood Banking Pricing Calculator
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Americord, the fastest growing cord blood bank in the country, and a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking, announces the launch of its Cord Blood Banking Pricing Calculator.
This innovative tool is designed to help expectant parents compare cord blood banking costs. Developed from the published price lists of the top 12 US cord blood banks, the Pricing Calculator creates custom cord blood pricing comparisons tailored to each family’s banking plans.
The Pricing Calculator offers unprecedented industry insight, with an unbiased comparison of the total cost of cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking, including hidden fees and non-refundable costs. The comparison also highlights other important considerations, such as stem cells yields, FDA certifications, and quality guarantees.
“This is another industry first, reflecting Americord’s culture of innovation and superior customer service,” commented Erin Willigan, Director of Marketing for Americord. “We recognized the confusion expectant parents face when deciding among cord blood banks and wanted to help. This easy and comprehensive pricing tool greatly simplifies the process.”
The Cord Blood Banking Pricing Calculator is available on the company’s website and is updated regularly using published industry price lists and customer feedback.
Americord Expands Manhattan Office
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Americord, the fastest growing cord blood bank in the country, and a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking, is expanding its New York offices.
With the company’s focus on innovation fueling continued growth in the cord blood banking space, Americord has outgrown its former headquarters. To keep pace with its commitment to quality, technology, and customer service, the company is strategically recruiting additional cord blood specialists, client service representatives, and medical researchers.
”As we transition to a larger organization, our commitment to customers, employees, and values remain at the core of everything we do,” says Martin Smithmyer, CEO. “As we scale the team, all are looking forward to delivering on our promise of excellence in cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking.”
Americord’s new headquarters are located in the Financial District at 139 Fulton Street, Suite 707, New York, NY 10038.
Americord Donates To Stem Cell Research
NEW YORK, NY: Americord, the fastest growing cord blood bank in the country, and a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking, is expanding its National Cord Blood Awareness Month campaign.
As part of #bankonbaby, the company will donate $100 towards stem research for every newborn’s umbilical cord tissue or mother’s placenta tissue banked in the month of July.
“This donation is an investment in a healthier tomorrow for all generations to come.” commented Alysha Bullock, Marketing Coordinator for Americord. “It reflects our commitment to stem cell science and our dedication to building awareness.”
To learn more about how to participate in the #bankonbaby campaign, visit www.americordblood.com.
Americord Hosts National Cord Blood Awareness Month “Twitter Shower”
NEW YORK, NY : Americord, the fastest growing cord blood bank in the country, and a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking, is hosting a “Twitter Shower” to raise awareness about cord blood banking as part of National Cord Blood Awareness month.
The “Twitter Shower” is part of Americord’s #bankonbaby campaign to educate the public about the potentially life saving benefits of stem cells. The shower will quiz participants on four cord blood related questions from the Americord blog. Participation will count towards the chance to win a $500 Amazon gift card.
“We are excited to share this valuable information in a fun, engaging way and are hoping to spark a larger conversation,” says Alysha Bullock, Marketing Coordinator for Americord. “We thank our Cord Blood Ambassadors for their involvement and encourage others to join us in helping change the future of medicine.”
Everyone is invited to join the “Twitter Shower” on Tuesday, July 19th from 8 to 9 pm (EST). Join the conversation on Twitter @americord. Learn more about #bankonbaby at www.americordblood.com/bankonbaby.
Americord Recruits Cord Blood Ambassadors to #BankOnBaby
Americord, the fastest growing cord blood bank in the country, and a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking, is kicking off a social media campaign for National Cord Blood Awareness Month.
Running throughout the month of July, the campaign’s goal is to spark a conversation about the potentially lifesaving benefits of banking newborn umbilical cord blood and tissue. The company will share important information about stem cells, birth planning, and cord blood banking on its blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages. With over 80 different diseases currently being treated with cord blood stem cells and 354 clinical trials in process for treatments of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, the need for cord blood awareness and action is rapidly growing.
Americord is recruiting Cord Blood Ambassadors to spread the word using the hashtag #BankOnBaby. “Anyone can be a cord blood ambassador,” says Marketing Coordinator Alysha Bullock. “The campaign invites people to take the first step by sharing posts from Americord’s social pages.” Ambassadors will earn points for each time they share a post across the various social media channels, and the individual earning the most points will win a $500 Amazon gift card. For more information on how to become a cord blood ambassador,click here.
Americord Announces Increasing Stem Cell Yields, Including Record Collection
NEW YORK, NY (For Immediate Release): Americord, the fastest growing cord
blood bank in the country and a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking, announced today that it has reached several milestones, including record cord blood collection volumes and record yields of total nucleated cell (TNC) counts.
Using Cord Blood 2.0TM, the company recorded its highest cord blood collection volume since launching the proprietary process in October 2014. This breakthrough in cord blood banking ensures that the maximum number of stem cells are preserved for storage and available for the families who need them.
Cord Blood 2.0 collected a record volume of 183 ml, more than triple the industry average cord blood collection volume of 60 ml. While average yields can treat patients weighing up to 65 lbs., Cord Blood 2.0 collections extend treatment to adults weighing up to 165 lbs.
In addition to collection volume, TNC counts are also an important measure of application potential for stored cells. The company recently achieved a record TNC yield of 2 billion, considerably surpassing the industry benchmark of 470 million.
“At Americord, our mission is to improve lives by bringing innovative technologies to cord blood and tissue banking.” commented Martin Smithmyer, Americord Founder and CEO, “While cord blood collection volumes vary, our standard collection using Cord Blood 2.0 often yields up to twice the industry average.”
With over 354 clinical trials currently exploring the potential uses for stem cell therapy, Americord is committed to providing more treatment options to a greater number of patients with advancements in new collection and processing methods like Cord Blood 2.0.
Americord Brings Cord Blood Collection Kits Anytime, Anywhere
NEW YORK, NY, May 19, 2016: Americord, the fastest growing cord blood bank in the country and a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking, announced today that they’ve launched a new service to help clients with early and unexpected deliveries.
Aptly named Americord Rush, the company strategically stores their 3-in-1 Collection Kits near hospitals for same-day delivery. Mothers in labor around the country can now receive their kits within a matter of hours. While these kits are typically shipped weeks before the mother’s due date, a more urgent delivery method is sometimes needed.
“As our customer base continues to grow, so does the number of unexpected deliveries,” says Americord CIO Christina Roccos. “We were faced with an interesting dilemma – how do we address this distinct client need while continuing to scale our business? Americord Rush was the perfect solution.”
Americord Rush is the company’s latest innovation in cord blood and tissue banking. Along with Cord Blood 2.0, which collects up to twice the number of stem cells, the Americord Rush program ensures that every client has the opportunity to invest in their family’s future.
The Americord Rush program is currently operating in all 50 states and Puerto Rico and has successfully rushed over a hundred kits to families across the country.
Americord Registry Partners with Ovuline’s Pregnancy App
NEW YORK, May 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Americord Registry announced today that it has partnered with Ovuline’s pregnancy app, Ovia, to provide expecting parents with the information they need on cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking.
“We’re thrilled to work alongside Ovuline,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “They share our firm belief in starting a conversation with expecting parents and giving them important, engaging, and personalized information to guide them through their pregnancy.”
Ovia’s Pregnancy App features unique feedback to each user based on her engagement and daily reporting. The result is a highly personalized app experience that provides expecting parents with answers to their individual pregnancy needs.
“Americord and Ovia are ideal partners,” Smithmyer said. “Cord blood banking is a big decision and Americord believes in educating parents on their options throughout their pregnancy so that they can make the right choice for their family. Ovia helps to bring the most crucial information to expecting mothers and fathers when they need it.”
Americord is committed to furthering stem cell banking technologies and educating parents on the future possibilities for stem cell treatments and therapies. As the only cord blood bank to offer Cord Blood 2.0, Americord allows parents to collect up to twice as many stem cells as the industry standard. The number of stem cells collected is crucial because traditional cord blood banking often collects only enough stem cells to treat a child under 65 pounds. With more stem cells, it becomes possible to treat an adolescent and even an adult.
“We are very proud to partner with Americord, a true pioneer that, like Ovuline, values the health of mothers and their babies as a top priority,” said Paris Wallace, co-founder and CEO of Ovuline. “Our mobile apps empower women to make informed choices based on their personalized experiences and by working with Americord, we’re able to educate our users on the importance of cord blood banking.”
About Americord Registry
Americord Registry is a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue and placenta tissue banking. Americord collects, processes, and stores newborn stem cells from umbilical cord blood for future medical or therapeutic use, including the treatment of more than 80 blood diseases such as sickle cell anemia and leukemia. Founded in 2008, Americord is registered with the FDA and operates in all 50 states. The company’s laboratory is CLIA Certified, accredited by the AABB and complies with all federal and state guidelines and applicable licenses. Americord is headquartered in New York, NY. You may visit Americord Registry’s website atwww.americordblood.com for more information.
Ovuline uses big data and mobile apps to help women conceive faster and have healthier pregnancies. Ovuline’s mobile apps Ovia Fertility and Ovia Pregnancy are the leading women’s health apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play, having helped over 2 million women track their cycles and start healthy families. Developed by Harvard scientists and the nation’s leading fertility and pregnancy experts, Ovia uses data science and expert analysis to give women personalized feedback on their unique cycles and pregnancies.
Americord Cord Blood Banking Announces Strong Quarterly Growth
NEW YORK, July 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Americord Registry, a private cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking company, announced today that it has seen continued strong quarterly growth through the second quarter of 2015.
“We saw a spike in quarterly growth at the beginning of 2015,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to carry that through to the second quarter and we have promising projections for continued growth and increased revenue throughout the remainder of 2015.”
At the close of the first quarter of this year, Americord reported 50 percent quarterly growth and has continued that trend with 30 percent quarterly growth at the close of the second quarter.
“We are building on several years of strong growth,” said Smithmyer. “We’ve demonstrated 1,200 percent growth in the last three years and we are still continuing that trend.” Americord has secured a spot on this year’s Inc. 5000 due to considerable growth in past years. “Our continued success indicates that we are still gathering market share in this competitive industry and our placement on the Inc. 5000 reinforces our trajectory.”
Cord Blood Bank Revolutionizes Process of Online Cord Blood Banking
Americord Registry, a private cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking company, announced today the launch of their new, innovative cord blood banking e-commerce website. This new website makes the expecting parent’s cord blood banking purchase easier than ever with an interactive shopping cart and checkout process.
“Most cord blood banking websites make this service difficult to purchase online. We want to stay in touch with modern, tech-savvy parents-to-be in order to make this process both as simple and comprehensive as possible” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “Today, almost anything can be purchased online and cord blood banking should be no exception.”
Americord’s new website features informative, concise, and straightforward information to educate expecting parents on cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking. Additionally, an interactive shopping cart experience makes it possible to add and subtract stem cell banking options while browsing through the website. For the first time, parents can sign up for cord blood banking the same way they would subscribe to any other service for their new addition to the family.
“We hope that this launch will provide expecting parents with the option to make cord blood banking an easy, stress-free, no-nonsense purchase of their pregnancy,” said Smithmyer. “Cord blood banking is a big decision, and Americord is doing everything we can to create a transparent and accessible as possible.”
Americord Registry Announces Ranking on 2015 Inc. 500
NEW YORK, Sept. 2, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Americord Registry, a private cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking company, announced today that is has earned the position of 286 on the 2015 Inc. 500.
To qualify for the top 500 companies, honorees had to have grown at least tenfold over the past three years. Americord submitted growth that measured 1,616% since 2011 and has continued this trend with 50% quarterly growth during the first quarter of 2015 and 30% during the second quarter.
“We’re thrilled with the announcement of our position on the Inc. 500,” said CEO of Americord, Martin Smithmyer. “We’ve demonstrated tremendous growth in the cord blood banking industry in the past few years as more parents search for easier, more affordable, and higher quality cord blood banking.”
Americord Registry provides private cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking services to expecting parents and recently launched an innovative website that makes the process of online shopping even easier. “We want to do away with the complications of cord blood banking,” said Smithmyer. “Expecting parents today can and often do buy everything they need for their baby online within minutes and cord blood banking shouldn’t be any different. We plan to keep innovating to meet the demands of expecting mothers and fathers and we’re honored that our efforts have placed us on the Inc. 500.”
Americord Registry Partners with Smart Cells International for Cord Blood Awareness Month
In Honor of Cord Blood Awareness Month, Americord and Smart Cells International Are Spreading Word About Cord Blood Banking Worldwide
New York – June 26, 2015 – Today, Americord Registry announced a new partnership with Smart Cells International, the first cord blood company in the United Kingdom, as part of its initiatives during Cord Blood Awareness Month (July) to educate parents around the globe on the benefits of cord blood banking.Conducting their respective operations in different regions of the world, Americord and Smart Cells represent two pillars of a global industry that is growing each year. “We are excited about our partnership with Smart Cells International” said Martin Smithmyer, CEO of Americord. “Our aligned mission to provide parents with both the information they need and the highest quality stem cell banking service means that we can further a culture of transparent, trustworthy cord blood banking for all families.”Smart Cells International occupies a significant portion of the global distribution of cord blood banking equipment and storage, including Asia and the Middle East. Invested in the development of new technologies and innovation, Smart Cells believes in the potential of stem cell storage for all families and incorporates the latest scientific breaches in their products and prioritizes customer service and affordability above all.“We have released more samples for transplants in the last 2 years than we did in the first ten signifying something very important; that stem cell technology is one of the most exciting areas of science in our time,” said Smart Cells International CEO Shamshad Ahmed. “This evolving area of medical science is making big steps in a positive direction. Smart Cells are delighted to join hands with Americord and provide customers with this invaluable opportunity to raise awareness and choose simple health protection for families all over the world.”
Similarly, Americord® is a leader in the advancement of stem cell banking in the United States and is the only cord blood bank collecting stem cells from cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue. And with Cord Blood 2.0™, Americord’s® stem cell collections are double the collection size of other banks, which makes it possible to treat an adult.
Cord Blood Awareness Month serves to educate expecting parents on the advantages of cord blood and tissue banking. Throughout July, Americord and Smart Cells will reach out to expecting parents around the world to raise awareness and educate them on the benefits of cord blood banking. “Smart Cells is an ideal organization to work with, as we share a common goal,” said Smithmyer. “We want to provide the highest quality stem cell banking with personalized customer service and make that accessible to all families.”
About Smart Cells International
Smart Cells International is the UK’s first private cord blood and tissue stem cell storage bank, founded in 2001. We are the first private company in the UK to have released stored units of stem cells to clients who have needed them in transplants. These stem cells have been sent to transplant centres all over the world to treat children with conditions such as thalassemia, cerebral palsy and acute myeloid leukaemia amongst other indications. Smart Cells have released 3 stem cell units for transplant already this year. With years of experience and great working relationships with both NHS and private hospitals we are looking to further develop this service within NHS trusts nationally. We are licensed and regulated by the by the HTA and have a strong management team from the healthcare sector committed to ensuring consent, safety and quality assurance .
Americord Secures “A+” Rating from Better Business Bureau
New York – April 30, 2015 – Americord Registry, a private cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue banking company, announced today that it has secured an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau.“We work hard to ensure the best possible customer service,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “Addressing our clients’ concerns promptly and effectively is what makes Americord stand out from other cord blood banks.”The Better Business Bureau determined that Americord Registry met its accreditation standards, which included “a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints,” according to the Better Business Bureau website.
Factors that contributed to Americord’s increased rating included the length of the company’s operations, the low number of complaints filed with BBB, and Americord’s response to and resolution of customers’ complaints.
“Parents want to know that they are choosing a credible company when banking cord blood,” Smithmyer said. “Americord is committed to helping our customers with this big decision every step of the way.”
Americord Improves Cord Blood Collection – Journal of the American Society of Hematology
New York – March 28, 2014 – “Blood”, a weekly medical journal published by the American Society of Hematology, has published an abstract on current research related to cord blood stem cell collection that was written by Americord’s Executive Medical Director, Dr. Robert A. Dracker. Dr. Dracker’s research, which is currently under way, is exploring a specific technology that could enable doctors to collect a dramatically larger volume of stem cells from cord blood available immediately after a baby is born. This technology is being pursued as a part of the development of Americord’s proprietary CordAdvantage product.
CordAdvantage will harvest stem cells from cord blood from the placenta as well as the umbilical cord. Studies have demonstrated that placenta cord blood contains significantly more stem cells than umbilical cord blood alone does, which makes it a valuable source of stem cells. Having more stem cells available in the event they are needed for medical treatment is directly correlated to an increase in patients’ survival rate.
“Blood” is the most cited peer-reviewed publication in the field of hematology and The American Society of Hematology is the world’s largest professional society focused on the causes and treatments of blood disorders.
Dr. Dracker, a pediatrician, hematologist/oncologist, transfusion medicine specialist, and experienced blood and stem cell banking leader, is responsible for Americord’s laboratory, collection and transport protocols and procedures, licensing and accreditation, establishing quality controls and advising the company with respect to scientific and medical matters. Prior to joining Americord in 2010, he was Executive Medical Director for ViaCord (now ViaCell) and Medical Director of Biocyte, the first cord blood company. He was also part of the Working Group on Cord Blood Stem Cell Guidelines for New York State and was an architect of the New York State cord blood banking licensing requirements, which are considered to be the gold standard of cord blood banking accreditations.
Cord Blood Bank Shows Surge in Quarterly Growth Ahead of Inc. 5000 Announcement
New York – March 26, 2015 – Americord Registry, a private cord blood banking company, announced today that it has seen a sharp spike in quarterly growth during the first months of 2015, showing a strong start for the year after recently applying for the Inc. 5000.“This growth reinforces our position as one of the fastest growing cord blood banks in the industry,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “We applied for the Inc. 5000 due to our considerable growth in past years, and we are looking to maintain this trajectory into the future.”
Americord is predicting a 50 percent quarterly growth at the close of March, setting the stage for increased revenue this year and into the next. The Inc. 5000 contains the 5,000 fastest growing private companies in America, and securing a spot can be difficult. In 2013, companies that made the Inc. 5000 had to demonstrate a 942 percent growth rate over a three-year period.
“We’ve worked hard to qualify for the Inc. 5000 this year,” said Smithmyer. “And we’re proud to say that we’re building on that growth for the coming year.”
Cord Blood Registry Withdraws Opposition to Americord’s Trademark
New York – March 14, 2014 – Americord announced today that it has successfully resolved a trademark case brought by rival cord blood bank Cord Blood Registry (or CBR Systems Inc). In the case, which was brought before the Trademark Trial And Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office last year, CBR opposed Americord Registry’s use of the trademark CordAdvantage.
“We are pleased that CBR has withdrawn its opposition to Americord’s use of the trademark CordAdvantage,” said Martin Smithmyer, President and CEO of Americord. “We felt confident from the beginning that we had the right to use the CordAdvantage trademark, however, the process of defending a trademark can be a challenge, and we are glad to have it resolved.”
CordAdvantage refers to a specific product that Americord is developing under the direction of the company’s Executive Medical Director Dr. Robert Dracker. Currently in the late stages of development, CordAdvantage will utilize a proprietary process to maximize the volume of stem cells that can be harvested from cord blood found in the placenta immediately following the birth of a baby.
Americord filed the CordAdvantage trademark nearly two years ago. It has been an integral part of Americord’s brand identity since the company’s inception.
Americord Funds Clinical Trial using Donor Stem Cells
Americord Funds Clinical Trial Examining the Use of Donor Stem Cells in Patients with Previously Treated Cancers
Funds Will Support Research into Treating Patients Who Have Received Chemotherapy For Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma, or Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
New York – December 16, 2014 – Americord Registry announced today that it has provided funding to the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota. Funding will support research into the possible use of donor stem cells in patients with previously treated lymphoma, myeloma, or chronic lymphocytic leukemia. All three are cancers of the blood or bone marrow.Researchers are interested in using donor stem cells to further treat patients who have previously received chemotherapy. The use of chemotherapy, such as cyclophosphamide and busulfan, helps stop the growth of cancer cells. In addition, chemo stops the patient’s immune system from rejecting the donor’s stem cells. The donated stem cells from bone marrow or umbilical cord blood may be able to replace the patient’s immune cells and help destroy any remaining cancer cells.Americord’s donation of funds is part of the company’s Corporate Giving Program, which was established to support research focused on the therapeutic uses of stem cells from umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue.“Americord is committed to supporting the advancement of stem cell treatments and technologies,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “We are excited about the research being done at the Masonic Cancer Center and the potential it has for future treatment options.”The study at the Masonic Cancer Center began in February 2008 and is anticipated to be complete by January 2015. It is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov in accordance with best practices and requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.For more information about the clinical trial, visit:https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT00612716
Americord Funds Trial: Hematological Malignancies
Americord Funds Clinical Trial Investigating Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation in Patients with Hematological Malignancies
Funds Will Support Research Into Safety and Efficacy of Genetically Unmatched Cord Blood Stem Cell Transplantations Using a Myeloablative Preparative Regimen.
New York – December 1, 2014 – Americord announced today that it has provided funding to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, a research and treatment facility for catastrophic diseases in children, primarily pediatric cancers. A myeloablative preparative regimen, a process of preparing the bodies cells for a transplant, is being researched in the hopes that it will increase the chances that an unrelated stem cell transplant will be accepted by the patient’s body.Americord’s donation of funds is part of the company’s Corporate Giving Program, which was established to support research focused on the therapeutic uses of stem cells from umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue.“Americord is committed to supporting the advancement of stem cell technologies that can help treat a range diseases and conditions,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “We are excited about St. Jude’s clinical trial and hopeful that it will lead to advances in the treatment of hematological malignancies.”
St. Jude’s study began in March 2011 and is anticipated to be complete by June 2020. It is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov in accordance with best practices and requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
For more information about the clinical trial: http://1.usa.gov/1tRKpE
Americord Sponsors Big City Moms’ 11/2013 Biggest Baby Shower Ever
Offers Free Cord Blood Banking Raffle To Attendees in New York City
New York – November 11, 2013 – Americord is a sponsor at this year’s Big City Moms’ Biggest Baby Shower Ever, which will be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on Wednesday November 13th. This is Americord’s fifth appearance at the event and once again the company will raffle off free cord blood banking to one lucky family.
Big City Moms’ Biggest Baby Shower Ever provides an engaging forum in which leading childbirth industry companies showcase their offerings to an audience primarily made up of new and expectant parents. In addition to learning about the companies’ offerings, attendees are able to take advantage of discounts, raffles, and giveaways of the most desired services and products.
“Big City Moms’ Biggest Baby Shower Ever is a fun and truly valuable event,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “It gives us an opportunity to speak directly with parents-to-be, to talk about what we offer, and also to get a deeper understanding of how we can continue to offer the best service and value in the cord blood banking industry.” Unlike other leading cord blood banking companies, Americord’s marketing strategy relies predominantly on word-of-mouth referrals and direct interaction with parents-to-be. Largely as a result of its low-cost marketing approach, Americord is able to offer cord blood banking at approximately 50% lower cost than its competitors.
Big City Moms created the Biggest Baby Shower Ever event to give new and expectant parents an opportunity to interact personally with leading childbirth industry companies. This opportunity is very important to Americord since it has taken a strong stance against compensating doctors for referrals, and therefore is rarely featured in doctors’ offices nationwide. The information Americord provides to parents at the conference includes a side-by-side comparison of Americord and its competitors as well as a detailed list of Americord’s services. Americord has found that many expectant parents are surprised to learn that there is an equally high-quality but significantly more affordable alternative to the larger umbilical cord blood banks like CBR (Cord Blood Registry) and ViaCord.
Americord Funds Trial: Beta Thalassemia Major
Americord Funds Clinical Trial Investigating Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation in Patients with Beta Thalassemia Major
Americord Funds Clinical Trial Investigating Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation in Patients with Beta Thalassemia Major
New York – November 6, 2014 – Americord Registry announced today that it has provided funding to Nanfang Hospital of Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Funding will support research into the safety and efficacy of umbilical cord stem cell transplantations to treat Beta Thalassemia Major. Specifically, in this trial umbilical cord blood is used to reduce the occurrence of Graft-Versus-Host Disease in patients receiving haploidentical HSCT transplants to treat Beta Thalassemia Major.
Beta Thalassemia Major is a genetic blood disorder that involves the decreased production of normal adult hemoglobin. The condition results in a severe anemia that begins a few months after birth.
Americord’s donation of funds is part of the company’s corporate giving program, which was established to support research focused on the therapeutic uses of stem cells from umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue.
“Americord is committed to supporting the advancement of stem cell technologies,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “Our support of Dr. Chunfu Li’s trial at Nanfang Hospital is a manifestation of that desire.”
The study at Nanfang Hospital began in April 2014 and is anticipated to be complete by June 2015. It is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov in accordance with best practices and requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
For more information about the clinical trial: http://1.usa.gov/1wv862c
Americord Launches Revolutionary Cord Blood 2.0™
Americord Launches Revolutionary Stem Cell Collection Process
Cord Blood 2.0™ Preserve Up to Twice as Many Stem Cells in Cord BloodNew York – October 22, 2014 – Americord Registry announced today the launch of Cord Blood 2.0™, its innovative cord blood banking system that can collect and preserve up to twice as many stem cells as traditional cord blood collections.
“Traditional cord blood banking is outdated,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “Cord Blood 2.0™ for cord blood banking is truly revolutionary and enables parents to store enough stem cells to expand potential treatment options for their children.”
The volume of stem cells preserved in traditional cord blood collection is only sufficient to treat patients up to 65 pounds. This is a “major limitation to the use of cord blood transplants in adults,” according to the New England Journal of Medicine. The increased volume of preserved stem cells with Cord Blood 2.0™ enables larger patients to be treated while offering an expanded range of treatment options for smaller patients.
“I am proud to be at the forefront of cord blood banking technology,” said Dr. Robert Dracker, the Executive Medical Director at Americord. “Cord Blood 2.0™ expands the treatment options and provides an immense measure of safety and security to expectant parents.”
Cord Blood 2.0™ has a two-step process that begins with the use of Americord’s innovative Gravity Stand™. The device uses the force of gravity to collect a significantly larger volume of cord blood from the umbilical cord and placenta. The harvested blood then undergoes a unique process at the Americord lab that extracts up to twice as many stem cells as currently available methods
“As a father, I am especially hopeful that there will be advances in stem-cell therapies that will help even more children in the future,” said Mr. Smithmyer. “Americord is not content with the status quo and will continue leading innovations in the cord blood banking industry so we can continue to help parents and their children.”
Americord Backs Another Cord Blood Clinical Trial
Research explores the benefits of using autologous cord blood stem cells for children with Cerebral Palsy
New York – September 18, 2014 – Americord announced today that it has provided funding to support a clinical trial investigating the efficacy of autologous umbilical cord blood for the treatment of pediatric patients with cerebral palsy.
This trial is being conducted under the direction of an internationally renowned expert in umbilical cord blood transplantation. The purpose is to determine whether infusions of a child’s own cord blood can lessen the symptoms of cerebral palsy. The goal of the trial explores the potential of discovering how cord blood could be used for other purposes, including reducing inflammation in the brain and producing new hormones to repair damaged brain cells.
“This research for children with cerebral palsy is truly exciting,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “We will be following this trial with great interest and we are thrilled to provide funding to help support it.” Americord’s funding has been made through its corporate giving program, which was established to support research focused on the therapeutic uses of stem cells from umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue.
Americord Supports Delayed Cord Clamping
Cord Blood Bank Endorses Recommendation by American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for Delayed Cord Clamping and Cord Blood Banking
New York – June 15, 2014 – Americord Registry announced today that it endorses the practice of delayed cord clampingfollowing the recommendations by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG).The ACOG recommends that parents who choose to delay cord clamping do so for at least 90 seconds and no more than three minutes following birth. This time frame helps to ensure that the child receives the benefits of the cord blood while still saving enough stem cells for a cord blood collection. When the cord blood collection is begun no later than three minutes, the chances of a viable collection size are high.“With new research into delayed cord clamping and its many benefits, more parents are considering this practice,” says Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “We want parents to know that delayed cord clamping and cord blood banking are both possible, following the recommendations by the ACOG.”Current industry benchmarks for cord blood collections are a minimum of 100 million cells. Given the amount of blood likely to flow out of the placenta at the time of birth, there is typically plenty to be stored for later use. Americord is also the only cord blood bank to offer Cord Blood 2.0™, which allows parents to collect up to twice as many stem cells as the industry standard. Now that it is possible to collect twice as many stem cells, parents can do a cord blood collection after delayed cord clamping that results in a viable collection size and volume while still providing their child with the health benefits of delayed cord clamping.
Americord Joins Governor Cuomo’s Start-Up NY Initiative
Americord’s Significant Investment in Brooklyn Will Create New Jobs in New York
NEW YORK, June 11, 2014 — Americord announced today that it will expand its presence in New York as a result of START-UP NY, an initiative that creates tax-free areas across New York State. Under the program, Americord will invest more than $402,000 toward a new research and development laboratory and spur the creation of new jobs.
“We are thrilled to be among the first companies to take part in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s START-UP NY program,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn is a leader in the biotech industry, so this is an exceptional opportunity for us to develop innovative stem cell preservation technologies at the lowest possible cost while maintaining the highest standards.” In addition to research and development, Americord also plans to locate certain operational activities at SUNY Downstate Brooklyn.
Americord’s track record of more than 2,200% growth since 2011 indicates that it is the fastest growing cord blood bank in the United States.
Comparison of 3 Key Cord Blood Banking Benchmarks
Americord Yields 60% More CD34+ Stem Cells, 54% More Cord Blood, and 34% Higher TNC Than Competitors
New York – May 27, 2014 – Americord announced today that its average cord blood stem cell collection statistics beat the cord blood banking industry medians by significant margins across three critical measures. An in-depth analysis of collection samples through March 31, 2014 revealed that Americord collects 60% more CD34+ stem cells, 54% higher volume, and 34% higher total nucleated cells (TNCs) than are typically collected by other private cord blood banks, as reported in a studypublished in Transfusion, the AABB’s scholarly, peer-reviewed, monthly journal.1“From cutting-edge technology to industry-best processing standards,Americord employs every available tool to collect and preserve the largest volume of viable stem cells for our clients,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “The results of this analysis prove that our efforts are delivering quantifiable value for parents and creating much greater opportunities for successful stem cell therapy should it be needed in the future.”
One of the current limitations of cord blood therapy is that the volume of stem cells in a typical cord blood collection is insufficient to effectively treat an adult patient (or anyone over approximately 65 pounds on average). To address this issue, Americord has invested significant resources in the development of technologies and procedures that will increase the volume of stem cells that can be collected when a baby is born. Steps Americord takes to optimize the volume of viable stem cells that can be collected from umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue include the use of the FDA approved Pall collection bag, an expedited medical courier service, and processing in a CLIA Certified, AABB accredited laboratory that follows all of the best practices for processing and storing umbilical cord blood.
1 Sun, JJ et al., Transfusion Sept. 2010; 50(9):1980-1987
Cord Blood Banking Technology Breakthrough
Americord Funds Clinical Trial Investigating Stem Cell Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease
Funds Will Support Research Into Safety and Efficacy of NEUROSTEM-AD®
New York – May 2, 2014 – Americord announced today that it has provided funding to MEDIPOST, a leading stem cell biotechnology company, to support their clinical trial investigating the use of NEUROSTEM-AD® in the treatment of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. NEUROSTEM-AD® is a treatment agent for Alzheimer’s Disease that uses human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells.
This is the first donation that Americord has made under its recently launched corporate giving program, which was established to support research focused on the therapeutic uses of stem cells from umbilical cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue.
“At Americord, we are committed to assisting the world’s leading scientists as they pursue cutting edge stem cell-based therapies for diseases and conditions that have long-proved to be difficult or impossible to treat,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “We are thrilled to make a donation to MEDIPOST to support their research into the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease with a stem cell-based therapy.”
MEDIPOST’s study began in February 2014 and is anticipated to be complete by December 2015. It is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov in accordance with best practices and requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Americord Client Featured in Front Page Wall Street Journal Article on Cord Blood Banking
Americord CEO Interviewed For Article Exploring Good And Bad Practices In The Industry
New York – April 25, 2014 – Americord Registry client Whitney Ferrarese was featured in a extensive front page Wall Street Journal article published last week about her family’s positive experience with cord blood banking. Ms. Ferrarese and her husband chose Americord to store their first baby’s cord blood after a long online search, and they plan to store their second baby’s cord blood with Americord as well.While the Ferrareses have had an excellent experience with Americord, the article uncovered a number of deceptive practices and poor quality services among other cord blood banks. For the article, the Wall Street Journal conducted an analysis of government inspections and lawsuits in the U.S. and found a variety of problems, including dirty storage conditions, leaky blood samples and firms going out of business.
According to the article, some of the lower quality banks have made major errors in the processing and storage of cord blood that led to complications for their clients down the road. For example, one company failed to properly label a cord blood unit for transplant that ultimately led to the family not being able to use their cord blood despite having paid for the service.
“While leading companies in the industry, including Americord, maintain the highest quality standards for cord blood banking, certain competitors have failed to uphold the same rigorous attention to quality,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer, who was also interviewed for the article. “It is irresponsible and inexcusable to live up to anything less than the highest standards when people’s health is at stake.” Americord recently published its Cord Blood Banking Bill of Rights, which details the need for cord blood banks to maintain and be transparent about very specific quality standards that exist to protect clients from potential issues that could arise from cord blood being stored improperly.
Americord is registered with the FDA and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. The company’s laboratory is CLIA Certified; and complies with all federal, state, and AABB guidelines and applicable licenses. Americord’s Medical Director Dr. Robert A. Dracker, who is a pediatrician, hematologist/oncologist, transfusion medicine specialist, and experienced blood and stem cell banking leader, is responsible for all of Americord’s laboratory, collection and transport protocols and procedures, licensing and accreditation, establishing quality controls and advising the company with respect to scientific and medical matters. Americord’s commitment to quality is backed by the highest guarantee in the industry at $90,000.
Americord Launches Corporate Giving Program
Funds Will Support The Advancement Of Cutting Edge Stem Cell Research Worldwide
New York – April 7, 2014 – Americord announced today the launch of its corporate giving program, which will support research focused on the therapeutic uses of stem cells from umbilical cord blood, cord tissue and placenta tissue. In addition to ongoing and future clinical trials focused on a broad array of diseases, conditions, and injuries, Americord’s corporate giving program may also fund research related to stem cell technologies with broad applications in the field.
“Americord is committed to supporting doctors and scientists worldwide who are at the cutting edge of research into even more and better stem cell-based medical therapies than already exist today,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “Stem cells are opening up a new frontier in the treatment and cure of the most complex diseases, conditions, and injuries, and we want to do our part to help the men and women who are leading the charge into the future of healthcare.”
Americord decided to launch its corporate giving program to further its commitment to being a leader in the cord blood banking industry. It is one of just a handful of cord blood banks that have an established program to support stem cell research. Americord has already invested significant resources in the development of CordAdvantage, a proprietary product due to be released later this year that will harvest stem cells from cord blood from the placenta as well as the umbilical cord.
Cord Blood Venture
Crain’s HealthPlus eNewsletter
Americord Registry is offering expectant parents a deal as part of a plan that the Manhattan company believes will boost business as well as contribute to research. If parents sign up to have their newborn’s umbilical cord blood-banked, Americord will pick up the cost of processing in the event the baby suffers a neurological birth injury and the parents later enroll the child in a clinical trial that could help with the injury. The cord blood-banking process costs about $2,000. There currently are at least two ongoing research projects in which investigators hope to use stem cells from such banked blood to repurpose them as brain cells to help repair the damage, said Martin Smithmyer, Americord’s president. “If there were such a traumatic event [during birth], they could also bank the blood immediately,” he said, “but the presumption is that most people would arrange to have it banked ahead of time.” Mr. Smithmyer said the research has touched him personally because a close relative died of ALS, another disease that stem cell researchers are targeting in their quests for cures.
Dramatic Rise in Autologous Therapy Spurs Interest in Private Blood Banking
By Dr. Robert Dracker, Executive Medical Director, Americord Registry
(HealthNewsDigest.com) – The National Marrow Donor Program projects that 10,000 cord blood stem cell transplants will be performed annually by 2015, up from 2,000 in 2006. Stem cells are being used in life-saving therapies, such as leukemia, lymphoma and other blood disorders. The number of diseases that can be treated by stem cells continues to grow as researchers discover new treatments, many of which are in clinical trials or considered experimental. As the list of diseases grows, more parents are electing to store the cord blood of their newborns in anticipation that their child, the child’s siblings or other relatives may one day benefit from it.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) endorses cord blood banking, but they currently encourage public over private storage because of a belief that a child will probably not benefit from their own cord blood. But recent medical activities are successfully challenging this presumptive theory. There has been a dramatic increase in the use of cord blood for autologous therapy.
Significant Trend in Autologous Therapy
At the 2010 annual meeting of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT,) Drs. Francis Verter and J.J. Nietfeld compared the rates at which cord blood is being used for the child who banked it (‘autologous’ therapy,) against cord blood given from a donor to a matching patient (‘allogeneic’ therapy). They found that there were more than 200 cases of autologous therapy by the end of 2009, 70% of which occurred in the last two years of that period. This is a significant increase when you consider that, as recently as 2008, a number of medical professional societies had been insisting that the odds of a child using cord blood stored in a family bank were “negligible.”
This rapid rise in autologous therapy can be partially attributed to an increase in the number of patients with some form of brain injury – the most common being Cerebral Palsy (CP) and Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). According to Nietfeld, the statistics show that the cumulative probability of a child receiving an allogeneic stem cell transplant by age 10 is low, only 1 in 5000. Autologous therapy treatments are actually more likely. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) discovered that CP is found in 1 in 300 U.S. children from the ages of 5-10. If cord blood therapy proves effective for only 12% of patients with CP, the number of children receiving autologous cord blood therapy for CP alone would be double the total number of allogeneic transplants for all pediatric cancers and blood disorders.
Given these numbers and the conclusion Drs. Verter and Nietfeld have made about autologous therapy eventually surpassing allogeneic therapy, it’s only a matter of time before the AAP considers a revised policy statement endorsing private cord blood banking for autologous cord blood stem cell therapies.
Private Cord Blood Banking Makes Sense
The benefits of private banking of cord blood and newborn stem cells for future medical treatments are impressive. Private banking provides a better chance of patient matching, with a 100% match for the “banked” child and a 25-50% probability of a match with the patient’s siblings, depending upon disease and acceptable match criteria determined by a doctor. In addition, there is a lower chance of graft-versus-host disease — a potentially life-threatening condition.
But there is a larger issue that is not being properly addressed by the cord blood banking industry. Traditional cord blood banking – both public and private – does not provide a sufficient quantity of cord blood stem cells. In general, traditional cord blood banking yields stem cell volume sufficient only for a patient weighing up to 65 lbs. Traditional umbilical cord blood yields on average approximately 890 million nucleated cells. A typical cancer patient receiving a cord blood transplant requires approximately 30 million nucleated cells per 2.2 lbs. of body weight. This means for a typical cord blood collection, that the maximum weight of the patient cannot exceed 65 lbs., according to CDC.
Cord Blood Harvesting Technologies
New techniques for cord blood harvesting have emerged, designed to provide more treatment options to a greater variety of patients. In June, Johns Hopkins graduate students announced the invention of a system that significantly boosts the number of stem cells collected from a newborn’s umbilical cord and placenta, which could allow more patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood disorders to be treated with these cells. Without adequate collection methods, 90% of these cells are discarded.
A private firm has developed a proprietary technology that collects stem cells from the placenta and umbilical cord blood, preserving more stem cells than traditional cord blood collection methods. It has the additional advantages of a) using an FDA-approved drug to mobilize stem cells from the placenta tissue, and b) relying on devices designed to enhance the collection process.
As the rapid rise of autologous therapy continues, especially for CP and acute traumatic brain injury, the necessity for private banking will increase. The medical science and technology have kept pace with this trend and will continue to do so. Physicians remain enthusiastic about the potential use of placenta stem cells in the emerging fields of gene therapy and cellular repair.
Dr. Robert Dracker, Executive Medical Director, Americord Registry, is a leading hematologist, transfusion medicine specialist and recognized leader in cord blood and stem cell banking. Dr. Dracker was recently named as a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Pediatric Advisory Committee.
Americord Registry Announces Appointment of New Cord Blood Banking Medical Director
Former ViaCord and Biocyte Executive Joins Americord Registry
Americord Registry, a leader in the advancement of cord blood and placenta stem cell preservation, is proud to announce the appointment of a new Executive Medical Director, Dr. Robert Dracker. A leading hematologist, pediatric oncologist, and experienced blood and stem cell banking expert, Dr. Dracker will be responsible for all laboratory, collection and transport protocols and procedures, as well as licensing and accreditation. He will also be responsible for establishing quality controls and advising Americord on all scientific and medical matters.
Dr. Dracker was also recently named as a consultant to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Pediatric Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs regarding research priorities, among other responsibilities.
“Dr. Dracker is a recognized leader in cord blood banking and we are thrilled to have him join Americord,” said Americord Registry President and CEO Martin Smithmyer. “Our mission is to advance the preservation of newborn stem cells for future medical treatment and we are confident that with the backing of outstanding medical professionals such as Dr. Dracker, Americord will continue to be successful in this undertaking.”
Previously, Dr. Dracker served as Executive Medical Director for ViaCord and Medical Director of Biocyte Corporation, the precursor to PharmaStem, whose cord blood collection and processing procedures are still used throughout the industry today. He was also part of the Working Group on Cord Blood Stem Cell Guidelines for New York State and an architect of the New York cord blood banking licensing requirements, considered to be the gold standard of cord blood banking accreditations.
“Americord Registry is at the forefront of implementing a new and exciting technique that will provide more treatment options to a greater variety of patients than ever before,” Dr. Dracker said. “This new technique will address the most significant limitation of traditional cord blood banking: the fact that it only preserves enough stem cells to treat patients who weigh up to 65 pounds on average.” Studies demonstrate that Americord’s innovative methods for collecting and storing stem cells may preserve up to 10 times more stem cells than traditional cord blood collection methods.
Dr. Dracker has submitted an abstract to present his research findings in regards to Americord’s innovative stem cell collection method at the CoStem Conference, the International Congress on Controversies in Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies, being held Sept. 8-11 in Berlin, and the AABB Conference, being held Oct. 22-25 in San Francisco, which focuses on the latest in blood banking, transfusion medicine and cellular and related biological therapies.
Dr. Dracker is a graduate of New York University, where he earned his B.A. in Biology, and SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse, where he earned his Doctorate of Medicine. He received his M.S. in Health Services Management from New School for Social Research and his M.B.A. from Columbia College.
Americord Registry Sponsors Big City Moms’ Biggest Baby Shower Ever
Company Offers Chance To Win A Free iPhone 5 And Free Cord Blood Banking
Americord Registry is pleased to announce that it is a sponsor of Big City Moms’ prestigious Biggest Baby Shower Ever event, which will take place on Monday, November 19th at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. This educational and entertaining event will give expectant mothers in New York access to information about the latest products and services offered by 100 of the best companies in the baby care industry. At the event, Americord will offer a raffle forfree cord blood banking with 20 years of storage as well as a brand new iPhone 5.“We are thrilled to partner with such an outstanding organization as Big City Moms, and we appreciate this unique opportunity to get to know more moms-to-be right here in our hometown of New York City,” said Martin Smithmyer, President and CEO of Americord Registry. “New Yorkers will be hearing from us a lot more in coming days and months as we do our best to address the needs of parents-to-be in our community.” While the raffle for cord blood banking and an iPhone 5 makes things fun, Americord has a very serious purpose in attending as well. The devastating hurricane that brought economic hardship to much of the northeast at the beginning of November was a reminder that people from all walks of life in all parts of the country can find themselves facing events that impact their budget. Americord is committed to making the highest quality cord blood banking as affordable as possible so that more families can benefit from it.
By keeping its sales and marketing budget low, Americord is able to provide cord blood banking for approximately half the price of its competitors while still meeting or exceeding the highest quality standards in the industry. Leading cord blood banks typically spend upwards of 50% of their revenue on marketing efforts, whereas Americord spends closer to 5% – and those savings are passed directly through to customers. A leader in the industry, Americord is one of only two companies that enables parents-to-be to preserve stem cells from three sources available when a baby is born: umbilical cord blood, umbilical cord tissue, and placenta tissue.
Grants Supports Clinical Trials for Using Stem Cells From Cord and Placenta Tissue
Americord Registry Offers Exclusive Service Preserving Stem Cells From Cord Tissue and Placenta Tissue
New York – This month, The Ontario Genomics Institute, a private not-for-profit life sciences company made an investment in Toronto-based Tissue Regenerative Therapeutics (TRT), a company that aims to use umbilical mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat a variety of serious medical conditions. This investment will be used by TRT to take the next steps toward initiating human clinical trials. This comes just months after California’s UC Davis Health System received $53 million in grants to conduct research studies designed to lead to U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of human clinical trials using MSCs.MSCs, which can easily be harvested from umbilical cord tissue and placenta tissue when a baby is born, are in fact currently the subject of over 200 clinical trials. While MSCs are not yet being used for medical therapies, research has indicated that they hold the promise of being able to someday treat debilitating conditions such as heart disease, type 1 diabetes, lung cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and injuries to bones and cartilage.
Americord Registry offers the ability to preserve MSCs. “We are committed to helping parents-to-be expand their baby’s options for future medical treatment,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “Offering the option to preserve MSCs from umbilical cord tissue and placenta tissue is just one of the ways that we are pioneering best-in-class services in the cord blood industry. We are also working closely with scientists to develop a proprietary product that will significant increase the volume of stem cells that can be preserved when a baby is born.”
Americord Registry also offers the ability to preserve stem cells from umbilical cord blood. Parents-to-be can preserve stem cells from just umbilical cord blood, from cord blood and cord tissue, or from cord blood, cord tissue and placenta tissue. For a comparison of Americord’s prices and services with other leading cord blood companies, visit Americord’s website.
Americord Increases its Quality Guarantee to $90,000
Americord’s Guarantee Remains The Highest In The Industry
New York – March 21, 2014 – Today, less than two years after Americord implemented the highest ever quality guarantee in the cord blood banking industry at $80,000, the company has announced that it is increasing its guarantee to $90,000.Like other leading cord blood banks, Americord offers a quality guarantee to provide financial assistance to clients in the event that the stem cells they have banked are needed, but, upon medical use, fail to “engraft”. The guarantee can be used to defray the cost of the procurement of an alternative source of stem cells if medically indicated.
Commenting on Americord’s increased quality guarantee, which remains the highest in the industry, Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer said, “We are dedicated to delivering the highest quality stem cell collection and storage services at the lowest cost, and Americord’s $90,000 guarantee is an important part of the value we offer clients.”
Two of the highest profile cord blood banks, ViaCord and CBR, offer significantly lower quality guarantees ($25,000 and $50,000 respectively), even though the fees they charge for banking cord blood stem cells are significantly higher than what Americord charges.
Americord offers cord blood banking for approximately 50% less than its competitors, and Americord’s price includes the cost of a medical courier as well as 20 years of storage in their state-of-the-art CLIA Certified, AABB compliant laboratory. The company adheres to the most rigorous professional standards in the collection and storage of stem cells.
Cord Tissue Banking Vs Cord Blood Banking
Is Cord Tissue Banking Worth It?
New Cord Tissue Research, Aggressive Product Development and Lower Prices Make Cord Tissue Banking More Appealing
New York – February 3, 2014 – When Americord validated its proprietary method for harvesting and preserving mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from placenta tissue late last year, it joined leaders in the global scientific community who are increasingly investing significant resources in what many researchers believe represents the future of stem cell-based medical therapies. Found in vast quantities in both cord and placenta tissue, MSCs have unique properties that scientists believe may make them invaluable in the treatment of numerous diseases and regenerative therapies.
Management believes Americord is the first cord blood banking company to harvest and store MSCs from both cord tissue and placenta tissue in the United States, and is the first to bring to market a way to collect and store MSCs from placenta tissue. MSCs are widely considered to be at the forefront of the cord blood banking industry.
According to BioInformant Worldwide, an organization that assembles data on the industry, “Trend analysis of grant activity, scientific publication rates, and patent applications trends reveal that global research activity involving mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) increased 112 percent from 2009 to 2010, and 116 percent from 2010 to 2011. Of most interest is that this rate of growth accelerated throughout 2012, making mesenchymal stem cells the fastest growing area of stem cell research.”
MSCs are currently the subject of almost 50 clinical trials, including those investigating MSCs use in treatment of:
- Graft-versus-Host Disease
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Critical Limb Ischemia
- Hereditary Ataxia
- Liver regeneration
- Burn treatment
A complete list of these clinical trials can be found here or here. It has also been proposed that cord tissue could one day be used to treat heart disease, lung cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and injuries to bones and cartilage.
According to Transparency Market Research, a research organization based in Albany, New York, the global industry for cord blood banking services is expected to grow from USD 12.40 billion in 2012 to USD 15.23 billion in 2019. This growth is fueled by the expansion of affordable cord blood banking services, growing bodies of research, more stem cell transplants, and a wider range of stem cell products available.
Widely recognized as a high-quality affordable option for cord blood banking, Americord announced in early 2014 that as a result of its pricing and additional product offerings it was once again believed to be the fastest growing cord blood bank in the United States. Since 2011 the company has achieved revenue growth of more than 2200 percent.
“We are committed to being at the forefront of the cord blood banking industry with innovative products, services, and pricing,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “Our investment in our proprietary method of collecting mesenchymal stem cells from placenta tissue is an example of how we offer expectant parents a level of quality and value that they won’t find with any other cord blood banking company.”
With Record Cord Blood Collections, Americord Aims for Inc. 500
Americord announces over 2200% revenue growth outpacing rival cord blood banks CBR and ViaCord
New York – January 14, 2014 – Americord announced today its continued growth, supporting management’s belief that it remains the fastest growing cord blood bank in the United States. 2013 proved to be another record year for Americord and the company is now moving more quickly than ever towards its goal of being the leading provider of cord blood and cord tissue banking services in the country.
Americord’s exceptional growth rate indicates that it may soon be included in Inc. 500’s prestigious list of the fastest growing companies in the country. Inc. 500 evaluates three years of growth over a benchmark fourth year. Americord’s growth of over 2,200% since 2011 would place it squarely in the top 200 fastest growing companies in the country.
Americord’s extraordinary level of growth has been achieved by maintaining affordable prices, providing high quality services, and aggressively developing new innovative technologies related to cord blood banking. Additionally, Americord has made a name for itself as the only cord blood bank to openly refuse to compensate doctors for patient referrals, a practice that is illegal in the pharmaceutical industry, but thrives in the cord blood banking industry through a loophole in the law. In contrast to its competitors including CBR and ViaCord, Americord relies primarily on referrals from existing clients and grassroots marketing efforts to find new clients.
In addition, Americord’s executives have consciously kept marketing costs at a minimum in order to provide the lowest cost option for cord blood banking on the market. While many of Americord’s competitors spend nearly 50% of revenues on marketing, Americord spends a fraction of that amount, closer to 10%. This dramatic differential enables Americord to pass savings on to clients while still maintaining the company’s best-in-class quality and customer service standards. Demonstrating its commitment to quality, Americord offers the highest Quality Guarantee of any cord blood bank at $90,000.
Committed to being a leader in the science behind stem cell therapy, Americord has also been very busy developing new stem cell products for expectant parents. At the end of 2013 Americord announced that it had validated a new process for collecting mesenchymal stem cells from placenta tissue, making it the first company to successfully isolate these particularly valuable stem cells within placenta tissue while also simplifying the collection process for delivery room medical personnel. In addition, the company’s Executive Medical Director, Dr. Robert Dracker is moving forward in the final critical steps toward developing CordAdvantage, which utilizes a proprietary process to maximize the volume of hematopoietic stem cells that can be harvested from cord blood found in the placenta immediately following the birth of a baby, perhaps even enough to treat a full grown adult.
“2013 was another fantastic year for our company,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “We are pleased that so many new parents have found us as an affordable option for storing their baby’s stem cells. In 2014 we will continue to be dedicated to delivering the highest quality stem cell collection and storage services at the lowest cost, while we pursue unique and innovative ways to improve the therapeutic utility of stem cells.”
Cord Blood Stem Cells Successfully Expanded in Phase 1 of Harvard Study
Americord applauds advancement of new stem cell expansion technology
New York – November 5, 2013 – A few weeks ago, the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) announced promising results in a new approach to improving the success of cord blood stem cell transplants. In HCSI’s human clinical trial, scientists provided stem cell transplants to 12 patients using cord blood stem cells that had been treated with a molecule known as 16-dimethyl prostaglandin E2 (dmPGE2). The molecule was able to expand the stem cells by about 300-400% and scientists saw evidence that it improved the ability of stem cells to successfully engraft. The study will now enter phase 2, in which the number of patients on whom scientists test the new method will increase to 60. Additional results from the study should be available within 24 months.
The potential use of dmPGE2 as a stem cell expanding agent was discovered by Leonard Zon, a professor of stem cell and regenerative biology at Harvard and the chair of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. In 2007, while studying blood formation in zebrafish, 5,000 drugs were used on zebrafish embryos to analyze their effect. Through this study, Zon found that dmPGE2 was able amplify stem cell populations.Expanding the number, and engraftment potential, of stem cells from cord blood is an area of great interest to doctors and scientists. According to the Parents Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, usually, in order to provide optimal stem cell therapy, about 1 milliliter of cord blood is needed for every 1.3 pounds of patient weight. The amount of cord blood that can be collected from a newborn is typically only sufficient to treat a patient between 65 and 80 pounds. For all practical purposes, this limits optimal treatment to children.Americord uses one of the highest benchmarks of any private cord blood banking companies of at least 100 million total nucleated cells as a requirement for storage. Americord is also actively pursuing new, patented methodologies to dramatically increase the total amount of stem cells that can be collected from newborn cord blood.
Americord Advances Method of Obtaining Mesenchymal Stem Cells From the Placenta
The placenta: an alternative source for mesenchymal stem cells
NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2013 – Private umbilical cord blood and tissue banking leader, Americord, announced today that it has validated a revised process for the preservation of mesenchymal stem cells (“MSCs”) from placenta tissue. The new method greatly improves the success rate for preserving viable MSCs from Placenta Tissue, a service first developed in 2012.
MSCs are particularly valuable because of their ability to differentiate into a broad range of other cells found in the human body. Unlike the stem cells found in umbilical cord blood, MSCs are not presently used in medical therapies. Research has indicated that MSCs hold the promise of being able to someday treat debilitating conditions such as heart disease, type 1 diabetes, lung cancer and Parkinson’s disease. There are currently over 40 clinical trials investigating the use of MSCs in medicine.Developed in cooperation with Americord’s Executive Medical Director, Dr. Robert Dracker, the new process has been shown to result in more effective harvesting of mesenchymal stem cells from placenta tissue. It greatly simplifies the collection process for delivery room medical personnel. Testing showed that 99% of the mesenchymal stem cells collected using Americord’s new process were viable.“We believe this is the first time that anyone has successfully validated a commercially viable method of collecting, isolating and preserving mesenchymal stem cells from placenta tissue,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “This exciting development directly supports our mission to provide the highest quality services at the lowest possible cost, while we pursue unique and innovative ways to improve the therapeutic utility of stem cells.”
Americord Denounces Use of Kickbacks in Cord Blood Banking Industry
Company Uncovers Reports Of Unethical Marketing Practices Similar To Those Now Classified As Illegal In The Pharmaceutical Industry
New York – October 7, 2013 – When the U.S. Department of Justice announced in April that it was filing a civil false claims lawsuit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. for alleged kickbacks paid by the company to health care providers; Americord’s management exchanged knowing looks with one another. They are all too familiar with the practice of inappropriate compensation influencing doctors within their own industry. Over the past few years, as Americord’s staff has reached out to doctors and hospital staff from New York to California to provide information about the company’s cord blood banking products and services, they have been told time and again, in one way or another, that Americord doesn’t quite offer what othercord blood banks offer.
For Americord’s staff and management, this pushback raised suspicions. Americord not only delivers the same or better quality of services and products by objective industry standards, Americord does it at substantially lower cost to clients. What Americord discovered through interviews with obstetricians and former sales representatives from the other leading cord blood banks is allegedly a well-organized and highly unethical program of paying doctors for cord blood banking referrals to their clients.Payments such as these in the cord blood banking industry appear to mimic the widespread, and illegal, use of kickbacks in the pharmaceutical industry. In the past year alone, the pharmaceutical industry has paid dearly for the practice. In July of 2012, GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to a variety of criminal charges, including bribing doctors, under the U.S. government’s False Claims Act, and agreed to a record-breaking $3 billion settlement while Pfizer and Eli Lilly & Co. each paid tens of millions of dollars to the United States to settle allegations of illegal behavior in multiple countries around the world, including bribing regulators and medical personnel to approve and prescribe their drugs.Due to a loophole in the law, however, cord blood banks are not subject to the same federal bans, including the recently enacted Sunshine Act, on providing kickbacks to doctors.Beyond the ethical issues that these payments present in the cord blood banking industry, they may also be driving costs higher. If kickbacks are part of a company’s sales and marketing efforts, the cost is likely passed through to clients. Americord estimates that many of its competitors spend approximately 50% of their revenue on marketing and sales expenses. In contrast, Americord spends closer to 5% of its revenue on sales and marketing, which is a significant factor in the company’s ability to offer cord blood banking at about half the cost of its competitors. According to Dr. Robert Dracker, Americord’s Medical Director, “It is Americord’s mission to provide the highest quality services, at the lowest possible cost, while supporting unique and innovative ways to improve the therapeutic utility of cord blood stem cells to improve patients’ lives.”Martin Smithmyer, CEO of Americord stated, “We promote transparency and ethical behavior in all dealings with our clients as well as doctors. We do not, and never will, pay kickbacks.” Between 2011 and 2012, Americord’s client base grew by over 1200% almost entirely from word-of-mouth referrals and direct marketing to consumers at trade shows and online, making the company the fastest growing company in the industry.
Cord Blood Registry Files Opposition to Americord’s CordAdvantage Mark
Discovery to Begin in Trademark Opposition Case Brought by Cord Blood Registry Against Americord
New York – September 23, 2013 – Discovery is set to begin on September 25th in a trademark opposition case brought by Cord Blood Registry against rival private cord blood bank Americord Registry. Americord has enjoyed a considerable jump in cord blood sales and market share during 2012, boasting year-over-year revenue growth of over 1,200%. In the case, which was brought before the Trademark Trial And Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Cord Blood Registry filed a claim opposing Americord Registry’s use of the trademark application for CordAdvantage, alleging that it infringes upon Cord Blood Registry’s trademark CellAdvantage. Americord is disputing the trademark opposition.
Americord’s CordAdvantage product is currently in the late stages of development under the direction of the company’s Executive Medical Director Dr. Robert Dracker. CordAdvantage will utilize a proprietary process to maximize the volume of stem cells that can be harvested from cord blood found in the placenta immediately following the birth of a baby. Cord blood stem cells, which are currently being used to treat more than 80 diseases and conditions, can only be collected and preserved immediately following the birth of a baby. Increasing the volume of stem cells that can be collected has been the focus of significant efforts in the scientific community.Cord Blood Registry’s CellAdvantage system refers to a variety of processes, protocols, and equipment the company uses to optimize the amount and quality of stem cells harvested from cord blood.Since its founding in 2008, Americord Registry has been committed to bringing cutting-edge scientific advances and the highest quality cord blood banking services to expecting parents at dramatically lower cost than other leading cord blood banks. “We expect CordAdvantage to be a game-changer in the industry because of the value it will offer to parents seeking to give their children access to the most advanced medical treatments today and in the future,” said Martin Smithmyer, President and CEO of Americord Registry. “We will not let the case brought by Cord Blood Registry get in the way of bringing CordAdvantage to market where it can help expecting parents and their children.”Americord is the fastest growing cord blood bank in the United States with year-over-year growth of over 1,200% in its most recent fiscal year. The company attributes its exceptional growth to its ability to offer equal or better quality of products and services at approximately 50% lower cost than other leading cord blood banks. Americord has achieved this cost differential in large part through minimizing its marketing expenses and passing the savings through to customers.
More Than a Year Later, Americord Maintains Highest Quality Guarantee
UPDATE: Americord now offers a $90,000 Cord Blood Quality Guarantee!
New York – August 20, 2013 – Today, more than one year after Americord Registry announced the launch of its $80,000 quality guarantee, the company remains the only one in the cord blood banking industry to offer parents this level of financial protection. Its closest competitors, all of which charge parents-to-be significantly higher fees for cord blood banking, offer parents-to-be significantly lower quality guarantees – generally between $25,000 and $50,000.“Expertise, service, and value are the three pillars that Americord is built upon,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “We adhere to the highest scientific standards in the industry, we offer the most comprehensive service, and we give parents-to-be the greatest value in the cord blood industry.” Americord offers cord blood banking for approximately 50% less than its competitors, and Americord’s price includes the cost of a medical courier as well as 20 years of storage in their state-of-the-art CLIA Certified, AABB compliant laboratory.
Leading cord blood banks offer quality guarantees to provide financial protection to parents in the unlikely event that the stem cells they have banked are needed, but, upon medical use, fail to “engraft”. “Engrafting” is key to a successful stem cell transplant. Stem cell transplants are a medical therapy that can be used to treat a variety of diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma, and certain genetic diseases such as sickle cell anemia.Under Americord’s quality guarantee, in the event that a client’s stem cells fail to engraft, Americord will pay up to $80,000 to defray the cost of the procurement of an alternative source of stem cells or to seek alternative treatment, if medically indicated.In a blog post this week, Smithmyer said, “Americord’s industry-leading $80,000 quality guarantee is one of many steps we take to offer parents-to-be greater peace of mind and lower financial stress as they prepare for the birth of their child.”
New Research Uses Ethical Stem Cells to Create Liver Buds and Artificial Bones
Scientists Use Stem Cells Found In Umbilical Cord Blood And Cord Tissue
New York, July 31, 2013 – This month, scientific journals have reported on two more studies that highlight how stem cells found in babies’ umbilical cord blood and cord tissue represent the future of medical treatments for serious diseases and injuries. Nature, The International Weekly Journal of Science, reported that Japanese scientists have successfully engineered rudimentary human livers, or “liver buds”, using three types of stem cells. And, ScienceDaily reported that Spanish scientists have patented a biomaterial that helps create artificial bones using umbilical cord blood stem cells. These developments are among many in an industry that is pioneering stem cell-based therapies for many life threatening and debilitating diseases and injuries, including some that children may be more susceptible to as a result of family medical history.
In Japan, the researchers used human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), endothelial cells, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to create liver buds. When they implanted the liver buds in mice, the liver buds performed some functions of a liver, including protein production and drug metabolism. iPSCs are a type of pluripotent stem cell artificially derived from a non-pluripotent cell. MSCs can be found in babies’ umbilical cord tissue and placenta tissue and can be collected and preserved immediately after a baby is born.In Spain, the researchers used umbilical cord blood stem cells to create a biomaterial that helped develop bone tissue. The next step in their research will be to implant the bone tissue in laboratory animals and determine whether it can successfully regenerate bones. If successful, this kind of medical therapy would be helpful for people who have suffered bone trauma due to disease or accidents. Umbilical cord blood stem cells are found in the umbilical cord and placenta immediately after a baby is born.Research into uses of stem cells from cord blood is growing at a rapid pace. Earlier this year, BioInformant Worldwide, a research company focused on the stem cell industry, reported that there were 78 ongoing clinical trials in 2008 compared to 191 in 2012; this represents a 144% increase in clinical trials for cord blood research in just 5 years. Currently, over 80 diseases have been treated with umbilical cord blood stem cells.“We believe that preserving a baby’s stem cells creates a unique the opportunity for that child to have access not only to today’s cutting-edge medical therapies, but also to medical therapies that will be developed in the future,” said Martin Smithmyer, CEO of Americord Registry. “These newest reports of advances in stem cell research give us even greater reason to be extremely optimistic about the future of stem cell therapies.”
Americord Celebrates Cord Blood Awareness Month
Responsibly Informing Parents-to-Be Is A Core Company Mission
New York – July 19, 2013 – Americord Registry has made a name for itself as a company that offers the highest quality cord blood banking services at the lowest cost in the industry. The company has also dedicated itself to responsibly raising awareness about the potential benefits of cord blood banking. In fact, Americord approaches every month as though it were National Cord Blood Awareness Month. Their marketing tag line “Cord Blood. Simplified.”, truly captures their mission, which is to make the complex medical aspects of cord blood banking easy to understand and make cord blood banking as simple and affordable as possible.National Cord Blood Awareness Month is a federally promoted program that aims to increase public recognition of the successes of cord blood banking. Cord blood, which is found in the umbilical cord and in the placenta, is an easily accessible source of stem cells that is available only when a baby is born. Stem cells from cord blood have been used in medical therapies for more than 80 diseases and conditions, including leukemia, lymphoma, and certain genetic diseases such as sickle cell anemia.
Americord’s website has been written and organized to provide comprehensive information that is easily understood by people who do not have a medical background. Americord also reaches out directly to parents-to-be by attending leading baby industry conferences, including those hosted by “Big City Moms” in New York and Los Angeles.Americord offers cord blood banking for approximately 50% less than leading cord blood banks, and this price includes the cost of a medical courier as well as 20 years of storage in their state-of-the-art CLIA Certified, AABB compliant laboratory. To help even more parents be able to afford cord blood banking, Americord offers 12-month payment plans. The company also does not charge a cancellation fee, even if the cancellation is at the last minute. Americord offers cord tissue banking and placenta tissue banking in addition to cord blood banking.
Americord Announces Sibling Cord Blood Reimbursement Policy
Americord Will Reimburse the Cost of Cord Blood Banking for Parents who use their Cord Blood Stem Cells Banked with Americord for a Sibling
New York – July 10, 2013 – Americord today announced a new policy to reimburse parents who have banked stem cells from their baby’s cord blood with Americord and use the stem cells for a sibling. The reimbursement will be given to parents when their baby’s cord blood stem cells are used for a sibling in a medical therapy or when the cord blood stem cells are used in a clinical trial as long as a medical professional specifies the use of the cord blood stem cells as medically necessary. Americord created this new policy to make it easier for parents to make the decision to use their baby’s stem cells for a sibling in need. Americord is one of only a few major cord blood banks to offer this kind of policy. Umbilical cord blood, which contains stem cells, can only be collected immediately following the birth of a child. It is a precious source of hematopoietic stem cells. These cells can currently be used in the treatment of over 80 diseases and are being researched for many more uses.
When cord blood stem cells are requested for use, HLA typing is done to determine whether or not the recipient will be a match for the cord blood transplant. A successful transplant requires an identical donor match. The odds of a match between siblings is 50%. Americord follows the best practices in cord blood banking and provides clients with a storage method that keeps two integral segments of cord blood as well as a small separate compartment so that it can be HLA typed without disturbing the entire collection. Parents who store their baby’s cord blood stem cells with Americord increase the chances that they would be able to find a match for other family members, including siblings, should stem cells be needed for a cord blood stem cell transplant.One of the benefits of using cord blood stem cells is that recipients are less likely to contract graft-versus-host disease. A study from the Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine reported on the successful transplant of cord blood for a sickle cell anemia patient from a sibling who is HLA-identical. They concluded that there is great potential of harvesting cord blood from full siblings of patients with sickle cell disease as full donor engraftment was achieved without graft-versus-host disease.
Americord Applauds Study on Stem Cell Therapy for Congenital Heart Defect
A Newborn’s Own Cord Blood Stem Cells Could Strengthen Heart Muscle
New York – June 24, 2013 – Americord today applauded a new study being conducted by Mayo Clinic to determine whether children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) can be successfully treated with stem cells from their own umbilical cord blood. HLHS is a congenital heart defect where infants are born with a severely underdeveloped left ventricle – essentially half a heart. Mayo Clinic is a non-profit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education that spends over $500 million a year on research and employs nearly 3,800 physicians and scientists.
In the United States, about 1,000 babies are born each year with HLHS. Babies with HLHS have heart valves that are either too small to allow sufficient blood flow, or valves that are closed altogether. In the study being done by Mayo Clinic, umbilical cord blood stem cells will be collected from infants born with HLHS, and they will be preserved. Approximately four to six months later, the stem cells will be injected directly into the infant’s heart muscle. Since stem cells are able to develop into many different kinds of cell types found in the human body, researchers are hopeful that this treatment will increase the strength and volume of the infant’s heart muscle and improve its ability to pump blood.This study is intended to prove the safety and feasibility of injecting cord blood stem cells directly into the heart of newborns. If successful, it will accomplish two things; first, it will provide the groundwork for a treatment option that could extend the lives of thousands of babies born with HLHS each year, and second, it will open the door into research of dozens of different therapies for the numerous other heart defects that affect newborns. If cord blood stem cells could be used as a viable treatment method for heart defects, or at the very least could prolong the time until a more permanent treatment could be implemented, thousands of lives would be saved.Americord is committed to supporting research into new medical therapies that use stem cells from cord blood and assisting parents whose children need their stem cells to participate in a clinical trial. The company reimburses the full cost of cord blood banking to any of its clients who enroll their babies in clinical trials that require the use of their stem cells. “By donating the cost of cord blood at such a critical moment, we hope to ease the burden that parents face and contribute to the efforts of the stem cell research community,” said Martin Smithmyer, the CEO of Americord.
Federal and State Governments Lend Support to Cord Blood Banking
As Medical Successes Rise, Laws Increase Funding And Promote Public Awareness
New York – June 10, 2013 – As researchers continue to discover groundbreaking medical therapies using stem cells from umbilical cord blood, Federal and State governments in the United States are ramping up their efforts to support the cord blood industry and educate parents-to-be about banking their babies’ stem cells. The most recent development happened on May 16th when the New York State Senate introduced a bill to create a public umbilical cord blood banking program within the New York State Department of Health to promote public awareness of the potential benefits of public cord blood banking.
Over the past 25 years, the use of stem cells in medical therapies has transformed from a largely experimental approach, only used as a last effort, into a standard treatment for dozens of diseases and conditions. Currently, cord blood stem cells have been successfully used in the treatment of over 80 rare blood diseases and as a substitute for bone marrow transplants. Recently, umbilical cord blood has edged ahead of bone marrow as a source of hematopoietic stem cell transplants worldwide. According to Bioinformant Worldwide, the global leader in tracking stem cell industry data, as of 2012, More than 26% of the estimated 68,400 hematopoietic stem cell transplants worldwide in 2012 were performed using stem cells from cord blood while 25% were performed with stem cells from bone marrow.The progress in the number of diseases treated using cord blood stem cells is the result of a massive global research effort by leading scientists who are pursuing cutting-edge stem cell therapies with financial support from not only the cord blood banking industry, but also various governments and medical institutions. BioInformant Worldwide stated that grants in the United States for cord blood research have increased from 122 in 2008 to 167 in 2012, a near 40% increase in just five years. This trend appears to be one that will continue. In 2010, the United States Congress reauthorized theStem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005, increasing the funding available for cord blood stem cell research and authorizing an additional five years of support for cord blood stem cell research and public cord blood banking.Financial support for research is only part of the nationwide effort to bring the potential benefits of cord blood banking to more families. If the new bill becomes law, New York will be joining a growing list of states that are taking unprecedented steps to educate parents-to-be about banking stem cells from their babies’ cord blood. Today, according to the Parents Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, 23 states have legislation in place that requires or encourages physicians to discuss the benefits of both private and public cord blood banking with parents-to-be as a part of the preparation for childbirth.Many of the states with such legislation have public cord blood banking programs whereby parents can donate their babies’ stem cells to a public cord blood bank. Stem cells that are donated to a public cord blood bank are then available to people who need transplants and meet the medical requirements to receive them. More importantly, many of these states have programs set up to support both public and private cord blood banking efforts. In California, for example, birth certificate copies now cost an additional $2 each, with the proceeds directly benefitting a cord blood banking program at The University of California at Davis.
Americord Sponsors Big City Moms’ Biggest Baby Shower Ever in NYC
Attendees Have the Opportunity to Win Free Cord Blood Banking
New York – May 28, 2013 – Americord is pleased to announce that it is a sponsor of Big City Moms’ Biggest Baby Shower Ever event, which will take place on May 30th at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. This is Americord’s fourth time participating in the Biggest Baby Shower Ever. The company has previously attended events in Los Angeles, New York and Florida. The Biggest Baby Shower Ever events are a great place for parents-to-be to interact with leading brands in the baby care industry. Americord will be talking to parents-to-be about the benefits of cord blood banking and the company will once again be raffling off free cord blood banking.
“We expect this Biggest Baby Shower Ever event to be as enjoyable as the other three we have attended,” said Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer. “We look forward to attending because Big City Moms gives us the opportunity to meet face-to-face with parents-to-be in a social environment and answer their questions about cord blood banking.” Martin will be more than just a sponsor at the event. He and his wife, Christina, who are expecting twins in the fall, will be attending the conference with eyes open for products and services for their family as well.Americord has used these events among others to become what it believes is the fastest growing cord blood bank in the industry.
Americord Introduces New Logo and Tagline
Branding Supports Company’s Commitment To Making Cord Blood Banking More Transparent And Easy To Understand
New York – May 21, 2013 – Americord Registry announced today the launch of its new logo and tagline. Both were designed to better convey the company’s commitment to making cord blood banking easy to understand and even easier to do.The logomark design is a circle with six color bars, each of which has a white dot in it. It was inspired by a diagram of a cell and a display of a genetic map. The new tagline, “Cord Blood. Simplified.”, supports Americord’s effort to make the cord blood banking industry transparent for parents-to-be. The company focuses on providing the simplest explanations of how cord blood banking works and how it might benefit families.
Along with the new logo and tag line, Americord released an engaging video that describes the benefits of cord blood banking and Americord’s commitment to making cord blood banking simple. Cord blood banks have traditionally taken a more aggressive approach to selling cord blood banking services with expensive marketing campaigns. Many cord blood banks also pay doctors to represent their products, which drives up the cost of cord blood banking. By keeping marketing expenses down, Americord is able to provide the highest quality cord blood banking and customer service at dramatically lower cost than other leading cord blood banks.Americord also makes cord blood banking simple with its all-inclusive price of $2,999, which includes registration, Americord’s state-of-the art cord blood collection kit, a medical courier and 20 years of storage. There are no hidden fees or extra costs. Plus, Americord offers a no-risk return policy. If parents decide not to bank their baby’s cord blood, they can return their collection kit at no cost to them.
Americord Registry Featured at New York Baby Show May 18-19th
Company Offers Chance to Win Free Cord Blood Banking
New York – May 13, 2013 Americord Registry is pleased to announce that it is attending the New York Baby Show at Pier 92 in New York City May 18th and 19th. The event will feature leading companies in the baby industry that will be showcasing the newest and most exciting products for expecting mothers and newborn babies. The event is an opportunity to engage representatives from companies to get the most accurate and up to date information on new products. It is also an opportunity to hear directly from other parents about products and services that they have experience with. At the event, not only will Americord be raffling off free cord blood banking, but company executives including CEO Martin Smithmyer will be available for a meet and greet with new and expecting parents for the duration to the event.
A component of Americord’s attempt to simplify cord blood banking is to dedicate a majority of its marketing resources to events like the New York Baby Show, where they are able to speak directly with parents. The company has also recently attended conferences in Florida and California and is looking for opportunities to expand its client outreach.With nearly 5000 attendees and over 100 exhibitors already registered the New York Baby Show promises to be an important event for expecting parents. Some highlights of the event will be a Rosie Pope Pop-Up Shop, Nursery Giveaway, Free Stroller Cleanings, and a Stroller Test Track. Radio Disney and drugstore.com will both be featured and as always there will be lounges specifically for mothers and fathers to relax and meet fellow new and expecting parents.Americord hopes to increase awareness of cord blood banking and help parents understand that cord blood banking can be affordable. By keeping sales and marketing costs down, Americord is able to provide cord blood banking for about half the price of its competitors while still exceeding the highest quality standards in the industry. As one of the fastest growing cord blood banks Americord is excited to use the event as a platform to promote its “Cord blood. Simplified.” campaign.
Delayed Clamping and Cord Blood Banking: A Parent’s Guide
How you can delay umbilical cord clamping and bank your baby’s cord blood
New York – April 16, 2013 – Americord Registry, a leader in the advancement of umbilical cord blood, cord tissue and placenta tissue banking, today announced continued support for parents that elect to delay cord clamping and bank cord blood. According to Americord there is little impact on the ability to collect cord blood when parents choose to delay the clamping of the umbilical cord. While a growing number of expecting parents have been learning more about the option to delay clamping of their baby’s umbilical cord, many have also been misinformed that they must choose between delayed clamping and cord blood banking. Both actions provide important value to parents and baby and are not incompatible with one another.
The placenta and umbilical cord can contain up to 200 ml of blood, which contains hematopoietic stem cells as well as important reserves of iron for the infant. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly 20-40 ml of blood can ‘pulse’ from the placenta to the newborn during birth, carrying iron along with it, which is important for the baby because it helps to prevent anemia during infancy. According to a study conducted by UC Davis at a large obstetrics hospital in New Mexico, a two minute delay in umbilical cord clamping increases a child’s iron reserves by 27-47mg of iron, which is equivalent to roughly two months of infant iron requirements. This could help to prevent iron deficiency in newborns until about 6 months of age.Current industry benchmarks for cord blood collections are a minimum of 100 million cells. Given the amount of blood likely to flow out of the placenta at the time of birth, there is typically plenty to be stored for later use. Delayed clamping can provide important value to the baby immediately, and stem cells from cord blood can provide long-term protection. To date, more than 80 diseases have been treated using cord blood stem cells, and they have also be used in transplant medicine in lieu of a bone marrow transplant for leukemia. Growing evidence supports the fact that parents can both delay clamping and store stem cells from cord blood, without choosing one over the other.In a statement on Friday, Americord CEO Martin Smithmyer said, “It is exciting to see the growing evidence that expecting parents can both delay clamping and bank their baby’s cord blood. We are happy to say that, with Americord, we have seen little negative impact on cord blood banking from delayed cord clamping.” Americord’s collection policy further supports parents interested in delayed clamping. With Americord, if a collection falls below the industry benchmark, parents are given the option to store their cord blood, and are not charged if they decide not to store. Americord supports those parents who elect to delay the clamping of their baby’s umbilical cord.
Americord Sponsors Big City Moms’ Biggest Baby Shower Ever in Los Angeles
Attendees Have The Opportunity To Win Free Cord Blood Banking
New York – March, 2013 – Americord Registry is pleased to announce that it is a sponsor of Big City Moms’ Biggest Baby Shower Ever event taking place on March 14th at The Taglyan Cultural Complex in Hollywood, California. The event is an opportunity for expectant mothers to see, try and learn about products from dozens of premier companies in the baby care industry. Americord Registry will be there to provide information about the benefits of cord blood banking and will hold a raffle for free cord blood banking.“We are always excited to participate in Big City Moms’ events,” said Randi Goldsmith, Americord Registry’s Vice President of Marketing. “The events are fun and educational, and we enjoy talking directly to moms and dads-to-be about all of the amazing benefits of cord blood banking.”
Americord Registry strives to keep its sales and marketing budget low with referral marketing. As a result, the company is able to provide cord blood banking for approximately half the price of its competitors while still meeting or exceeding the highest quality standards in the industry. Americord’s prices for banking stem cellsfrom cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta tissue include the cost of the medical courier as well as 20 years of storage in a state-of-the-art CLIA Certified, AABB compliant laboratory. The prices also include Americord’s 3-in-1 collection kit that contains all of the equipment the mother’s medical practitioner will need to collect the baby’s stem cells as soon as she gives birth. Finally, with Americord’s price guarantee, if a client finds a lower price offered by another cord blood bank, Americord will match the price.People who would like to register for the Big City Moms’ Biggest Baby Shower Ever event in Los Angeles and have a chance to win free cord blood banking from Americord Registry can visit http://babyshowerla.bigcitymoms.com.
Parents Recommend Americord over CBR & Viacord
Company Announces Over 1,200% Revenue Growth
New York – February 25, 2013 – Americord Registry, provider of cord blood and cord tissue banking, is proud to claim the title of fastest growing cord blood bank in the United States. The company’s fiscal year 2012 data shows year-over-year revenue growth of over 1,200 percent. Americord executives attribute the exceptionally high growth rate to its best–in-class quality standards and the success of its robust word-of-mouth marketing strategy.Americord is consistently regarded as the highest quality provider of cord blood banking in the United States. The company offers its clients the industry’s largest guarantee: $90,000. It also has convened one of the most prestigious advisory boards in the industry starting with Americord’s Executive Medical Director, Dr. Robert Dracker. Dr. Dracker helped author the guidelines for NYSDOH policy on cord blood stem cells, is an FDA Pediatrics Advisory Committee member, and is one of the founders of cord blood banking (he conducted the first cord blood transplant in the United States). At the start of 2013, Americord was accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and received the organization’s top rating of ‘A’. Americord also offers some unique benefits to its clients; there is no cancellation fee with Americord, the cost of a medical courier is included, and clients are not billed until their cord blood collection meets strict industry benchmarks for cell count, volume, and condition, and has been stored safely at the company laboratory.
Americord relies almost entirely on word-of-mouth marketing. While other cord blood banks spend up to 50% of revenues on marketing efforts, Americord works hard to keep marketing costs low. As a result, the company is able to pass these savings on to clients, offering a more affordable cost for this important service. Americord’s clients frequently recommend the company to friends and family, and all parties benefit. In fact, clients’ willingness to share information about the company with friends and family has driven the majority of the company’s growth. While other companies continue to engage in a costly cycle of paying off doctors in return for promoting their services and paying for expensive marketing campaigns, Americord has adopted a strategy that is less controversial, less expensive, and remarkably effective. As a result, the company is being propelled to the forefront of the cord blood banking industry.Martin Smithmyer, the CEO of Americord, thanked families that have banked their babies’ cord blood with Americord in a statement on Friday, “Our extraordinary growth rate in 2012 truly validates the efforts we have made to provide the highest quality cord blood banking services at the most affordable cost. Families interested in banking cord blood are choosing Americord more than ever before and we are happy to deliver the highest quality customer service to our clients.”
Is Cord Blood Banking Worth the Cost?
Leading provider of cord blood banking challenges CBR and ViaCord on price
New York – February 8, 2013 – Americord Registry announced that it would match any competitor’s prices for cord blood banking and cord tissue banking. The guarantee is part of numerous efforts the company has underway to simplify cord blood banking for parents interested in keeping their child’s most easily accessible stem cells after birth. The company is committed to providing the highest quality cord blood banking at the most affordable price and wants to make it easier for parents-to-be to make the decision to bank stem cells from their baby’s cord blood.Americord is widely known to offer cord blood banking for approximately 50% less than its competitors, but company executives are aware that the way competitors advertise pricing is confusing and can be misleading. With Americord’s promise to meet any competitor’s price, potential clients can show any competitor’s pricing for cord blood banking and Americord will match it. More than just a guarantee, the price match policy is an example of how Americord looks to provide customer service that simplifies cord blood banking and truly addresses the needs and concerns of parents-to-be who may be overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of information about cord blood banking.Americord’s commitment to simplifying cord blood banking underlies many of their policies. The company’s prices for banking stem cells from cord blood and cord tissue include the cost of the medical courier as well as 20 years of storage in their state-of-the-art CLIA Certified, AABB compliant laboratory, as well as an $90,000 product quality guarantee. Americord’s prices also include a collection kit that contains all of the equipment the mother’s medical practitioner will need to collect the baby’s stem cells as soon as she gives birth. In addition, although clients provide their credit card information to Americord upon enrollment, they are not charged until their baby is born, the cord blood has been collected, and the laboratory has verified that the collection exceeds strict industry benchmarks for cell count, volume, and condition. Finally, Americord does not charge a cancellation fee, even if the cancellation is at the last minute.
Americord Registry Accredited by the Better Business Bureau
Receives Top ‘A’ Rating
February 1, 2013 – Americord Registry, the fastest growing cord blood bank in the United States, announced today that it has been accredited by the internationally respected Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an ‘A’ rating.
The BBB is a nonprofit organization that acts as a resource for consumers who are seeking objective, unbiased information on businesses.
In order to be accredited by the BBB, a company must demonstrate that they adhere to eight principles related to creating and maintaining trust in business. The BBB assigns ratings to companies that have met their standards of accreditation. To assign a rating, the BBB rigorously tests the company’s customer service, its compliance with the law, and its honesty in advertising, among a number of things.
“We are very proud that the Better Business Bureau has accredited Americord an ‘A’ rating,” said Americord Registry CEO Martin Smithmyer. “Storing cord blood has the capability to save lives and we focus relentlessly on providing the highest quality, most reliable service to our customers. This accreditation is a validation of our efforts. We are committed to providing the highest quality cord blood banking services at a reasonable price so that all parents have the option of storing their baby’s cord blood.
Americord Applauds Recent Advance in Improving the Success of Cord Blood Transplant Therapy
New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Paper on Study Done at MD Anderson Cancer Center
New York – January 2013 – The New England Journal of Medicine published a paper last month about a study on a new approach to improving the success of cord blood stem cell transplants. The study was led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the senior author of the paper is Elizabeth Shpall, M.D., a professor in their Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. In the study, stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood were placed in an environment mimicking a patient’s bone marrow to improve the development of the cells prior to implantation. Using mesenchymal precursor cells in the laboratory to further develop the hematopoietic stem cells from cord blood prior to transplant into high-risk patients showed improved transplant results. In a press release, the MD Anderson Cancer Center reported that as a result of their approach, “researchers greatly increased the number of cells transplanted, reduced recovery time and increased the proportion of patients whose new blood became established.”
Americord Registry, an industry-leading cord blood bank, views this study as yet another significant advance in the field of stem cell research. An important limitation in the usefulness of stem cells is the fact that on average, the volume of stem cells that can be collected from umbilical cord is only sufficient to treat a patient up to approximately 65 pounds. Finding ways to expand the volume and effectiveness of cord blood stem cells, as the team at the MD Anderson Cancer Center did, will increase the usefulness of stem cells for a greater number of patients seeking medical treatment.
Cord blood, which is found in the umbilical cord and in the placenta, is an easily accessible source of stem cells that are available when a baby is born. Stem cells found in placental and umbilical cord blood are genetically unique to the baby and family, and can be used to treat various medical problems for the child, his or her siblings, and other family members in the future. Currently, more than 80 diseases are treatable using cord blood stem cells.
Advances in stem cell therapies, such as the one at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, are helping parents-to-be decide that preserving their baby’s stem cells is one way to offer their baby and family options for future medical treatment, should it ever be needed.
Americord Registry, Backs Up Its Product Offering with the First Ever $80,000 Cord Blood Quality Product Guarantee
UPDATE: Americord now offers a $90,000 Cord Blood Quality Product Guarantee!
Management Predicts that Cord Blood Industry Stalwarts ViaCord and CBR (aka “Cord Blood Registry“) Will Soon Follow SuitNew York, NY (PRWEB) July 16, 2012
After KKR invested $65 million in China Cord Blood in April, investors again began to take notice of this small but rapidly growing industry. One cord blood banking upstart, Americord Registry, meanwhile quietly continues to gain traction and take market share from the leading cord blood companies.
While many cord blood companies suffered during the recession, in part due to recession induced declines in birth rates (see recent NY Times article), Americord quickly gained traction. Management believes that since the beginning of 2011, the company has been growing faster than all of the other companies in the cord blood space, growing at an annual growth rate of over 100%. Its strategy? Spend less on marketing and invest meaningfully in research and development.
According to CEO Martin Smithmyer, “Our competitors, we estimate, have spent approximately 50% of their incoming revenue on sales and marketing expenditures. This is a disservice to their clients, especially during a recession, since it costs pregnant mothers and expecting fathers twice as much, and doesn’t add any value to what the clients are purchasing.” More importantly, however, is Americord’s commitment to quality. “We stand behind our words and back them up with our cord blood quality service guarantee, which we believe to be the best in the industry.”
Americord is continuing to up the ante with the recent launch of its cord tissue banking and with today’s Quality Guarantee announcement. This $80,000 cord blood Quality Guarantee, management believes, is the largest cord blood guarantee ever. If a cord blood client’s stored cord blood is used in a stem cell transplant and fails to engraft, Americord will pay up to $80,000 to defray the cost of the procurement of an alternate stem cell source if medically indicated. Specific conditions may be found on the company’s website.
For more information about Americord Registry, or to speak with Mr. Smithmyer, please email p(at)cordadvantage(dot)com.
Americord Registry to Donate Cord Blood Processing and Storage Costs for Children with Cerebral Palsy
NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Americord Registry, a leader in the advancement of cord blood and placenta stem cell preservation, has launched a reimbursement program for parents of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy and other acquired neurological conditions, such as perinatal asphyxia or brain damage, caused by oxygen deprivation during birth.
Americord will reimburse the full cost of cord blood processing and storage should it be required by participants in clinical trials such as the trials lead by Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg’s group at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Kurtzberg, who originally co-authored the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement against private cord blood banking, is now an active advocate of private cord blood banking and is conducting the largest trials using (autologous) cord blood within the same child. The cost of those trials, along with the cost collecting and storing stem cells is often not fully covered by insurance or other third parties.“There have been incredible breakthroughs in the use of stem cells to treat a variety of illnesses, and we believe preliminary research into the use of stem cells to treat cerebral palsy and other acquired neurological disorders represents a new application that could greatly improve the quality of life for those who have these diseases,” said Martin Smithmyer, President and CEO of Americord. “Our mission at Americord is to not only advance the science of collecting and preserving stem cells but to help families access new and emerging stem cell treatments.”
Cerebral palsy describes a group of disorders that are caused by damage to a child’s brain during the early stages of fetal development or during the birth process. While there is no cure for cerebral palsy, doctors at Duke University have been able to help patients with this condition by re-infusing their own cord blood if it was stored at birth, presumably helping to repair brain tissue previously damaged by a lack of oxygen.
“While it is well known that premature babies have a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy, at present there is no national program to encourage expectant mothers in high risk pregnancies to consider banking cord blood,” said Dr. Frances Verter, Founder and Executive Director of the Parents’ Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides free educational materials about cord blood stem cells and cord blood banks to expecting parents.
In addition to the cost of collecting and storing stem cells, there are many expenses associated with participating in experimental medical treatments, such as the clinical trials at Duke, or receiving treatment for cerebral palsy and other brain-related injuries. Families are often responsible for travel, lodging, and medical costs not covered by insurance, which can exceed $10,000 for the three days of treatment.
“Americord was founded in part to reduce the limitations that are inherent to the cord blood banking industry, and cost is a factor for many families,” said Dr. Robert Dracker, Medical Director for Americord. “The reimbursement program gives us an opportunity to help families who most need this assistance while actively participating in the advancement of stem cell research.”
Stem cells have proven effective in treating more than 75 illnesses, including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia, with more uses being developed at a rapid pace.
“As more stem cell therapies become available, cord blood banking will become increasingly important,” Dr. Dracker added. “Americord is leading the advancement of new collection methods that may preserve up to 10 times more stem cells than traditional methods, providing more treatment options to a greater number of patients than was previously possible.”
Americord Registry Presents Abstract on Stem Cell Collection Method
NEW YORK– September 8, 2011 – Americord Registry, a leader in the advancement of cord blood and placenta stem cell preservation, announced today that Dr. Robert Dracker, Americord’s Executive Medical Director, will present an abstract on a revolutionary cord blood collection method at the COSTEM Congress September 8-11, at Andel’s Hotel in Berlin, Germany and at the AABB Annual Meeting, October 22-25, at the San Diego Convention Center.
Dr. Dracker is a leading hematologist, transfusion medicine specialist and experienced blood and stem cell banking expert. His poster, “A Novel Method for the Collection and Processing of Hematopoietic Stem Cells from Human Umbilical Cord Blood and Stabilized Placental,” will be made available at the poster session.
“This unique cord blood collection method makes it possible to preserve stem cells from a newborn’s umbilical cord blood and the placenta, preserving more stem cells than traditional cord blood collection alone,” Dr. Dracker said. “This development addresses the most significant limitation of traditional cord blood banking: the fact that it only preserves enough stem cells to treat patients who weigh up to 65 pounds on average.”
This procedure, which will be employed by Americord for its cord blood and placenta banking services, is an advancement of an existing commercial technique that will make it possible to bank more stem cells than traditional cord blood collection alone. This advancement supports Americord’s mission to reduce the limitations that are inherent to the cord blood banking industry.
“We are pleased to be able to present our findings at the COSTEM and AABB conferences and advance our efforts to preserve newborn stem cells for future medical treatment. This breakthrough method will provide more treatment options to a greater variety of patients than ever before at a time when new uses for cord blood are advancing at a rapid pace,” said Americord President and CEO Martin Smithmyer.
COSTEM is an exclusive forum for international experts to share and compare experiences in order to outline the right treatment for patients. Topics include relapse prevention and treatment, donor selection and cell and gene therapy. The Congress is unique in its explicit focus on resolving controversies in the best clinical care of patients.
The AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks) is an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the field of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies, offering standards, accreditation and educational programs for patients and donors, and provides the most prestigious accreditation for U.S. cord blood banks. Its membership consists of approximately 2,000 institutions and 8,000 individuals, including physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers.
For more information about Americord Registry, or to speak with Mr. Smithmyer or Dr. Dracker, please contact Dana Taormina at 973-850-7305 or [email protected].
Americord Registry Appoints Nationally Recognized Scientist to its Medical Advisory Board
Appointment Reflects Americord’s Ongoing Advancement of Research in the Preservation of Cord Blood and Placenta Stem Cells.
NEW YORK– September 6, 2011 – Americord Registry, a leader in the advancement of cord blood and placenta stem cell preservation, has announced the expansion of its Medical Advisory Board with the appointment of Dr. Eric Adler, who previously served as Interim Medical Director for the company. Dr. Adler will assist with operations related to induced pluripotent stem cell (or iPS stem cells) preservation, which have the benefits of embryonic stem cells but are derived from a variety of tissue types and do not require the destruction of embryos.
“Dr. Adler’s research is at the cutting edge of the stem cell field and we are thrilled that he has joined Americord to help us advance the means by which stem cells can be preserved for future medical treatment,” said Americord Registry President and CEO Martin Smithmyer. “His work opens up new avenues for us to explore and enables us to stay abreast of the most current research, which is consistently and increasingly finding new therapeutic uses for stem cells.”
Dr. Adler’s research is funded by the National Institute of Health and the American College of Cardiology and has focused on the use of pluripotent stem cells for the study and treatment of cardiovascular disease. His research has been featured in publications in the world’s top scientific journals, including the June 2010 cover of Nature. He is currently Medical Director of Cardiac Transplantation and Associate Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Diego. Previously, Dr. Adler was a cardiologist and stem cell researcher at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Dr. Adler is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he received his B.A. in English, and Boston University, where he received his Doctorate of Medicine.
“Researchers are getting closer every day to developing groundbreaking treatments using pluripotent stem cells. Preserving stem cells that are genetically closely matched to the patient will become critically important to address the real challenge of transplant rejection,” Dr. Adler said. “Americord intends to be at the forefront of the collection and preservation of stem cells that can substantially minimize transplant rejection and improve survival rates and we are one of the few cord blood banks dedicating resources towards this research.”
Americord Registry Announces “Bank One, Give One” Cord Blood Program
Americord to Donate Cord Blood Stem Cell Collection and Storage to a Family in Need for Every New Client Registered During April and May
NEW YORK – April 14, 2011 – Americord Registry, a pioneer in umbilical cord blood and placenta stem cell preservation, today announced a new program to assist families in need. Through the “Bank One, Give One” program, Americord will donate cord blood stem cell collection and storage services to select underprivileged families in the New York area for every new client who enrolls in Americord’s cord blood banking program during April and May 2011.
“Stem cells found in the placenta and umbilical cord blood can be used to treat more than 75 blood-related diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell anemia,” said Martin Smithmyer, President and CEO of Americord. “Furthermore, cord blood stem cells are a perfect genetic match for the baby, have a 50% chance of being a match for a sibling and may also be a match for a parent. However, collecting and storing cord blood can be a significant investment for some expectant parents, and public banks aren’t always the best option for underprivileged families with high risk pregnancies. We started Bank One, Give One to benefit families in need and to provide them with greater access to life-saving treatments by eliminating the costs associated with cord blood banking and those associate with finding a matching transplant.”
This program is significant since the only alternative for many families is to donate their cord blood to a public bank such as the New York Blood Center. Families might not easily be able to access these donations, however. According to Transfusion, the AABB’s scholarly, peer-reviewed journal, as many as 71% of donations may be rejected by public banks based on family medical history, maternal medical history, collection volume, and examination of the maternal blood sample. Even if the cord blood is available, a public bank typically charges a fee, estimated at $25,000 to $35,000, when releasing cord blood to the patient in need, which may not be covered by health insurance, if the family even has insurance.
Americord has reached out to and partnered with major obstetrics groups and hospitals in the New York City area asking them to refer families in need to this program. Hospitals are encouraged to refer expectant parents who demonstrate economic hardship and who have a close relative with a disease that can be treated with a cord blood stem cell transplant. Americord will waive the one-time cord blood collection and processing fee and provide free storage for 10 years for each in-need family for every new client who enrolls in Americord’s cord blood banking program.
“Americord was founded in part to reduce the limitations that are inherent to the cord blood banking industry, and cost is a barrier for many families,” Mr. Smithmyer said. “We are honored to offer this program and hope that our new clients will join us in making these potentially life-saving treatments available for those who need them the most.”
Americord is the Only Family Cord Blood Bank Headquartered in NYC to Hold State Cord Blood License
License Paves the Way for Americord to Offer Cord Blood Banking Across the Country
NEW YORK, Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Americord Registry, a pioneer in cord blood and placenta stem cell preservation, is proud to announce that it has obtained a provisional human tissue cord blood banking license from the New York State Department of Health, becoming the first private umbilical cord blood bank headquartered in New York City with the authority to collect umbilical cord blood in the state of New York.“The New York State licensing requirements are very rigorous and the license is one of the most difficult accreditations to earn. Only the highest quality cord blood banks, such as The New York Blood Center, which operates the oldest and largest public cord blood bank, are able to meet these very strict requirements,” said Martin Smithmyer, President and CEO of Americord.Most states only require that cord blood banking organizations register their in-state laboratories. New York, on the other hand, licenses the organizations themselves, and requires them to follow meticulous protocols before their labs can collect cord blood. With this license, Americord is currently is able to accept cord blood from nearly all 50 states, as well as many international locations.