CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank and The Winnie Palmer Hospital Partner To Create the Largest Cord Blood Collection Program in the Nation

Nov 13, 2006, 00:00 ET from CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank

    ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Orlando is now home to what will
 quickly become the largest umbilical cord blood collection program in the
 nation. A new partnership between CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank and The Winnie
 Palmer Hospital for Mothers and Babies will provide life-saving cord blood
 stem cells to people with blood diseases.
     CORD:USE President and CEO, Dr. Edward Guindi said, "The CORD:USE Cord
 Blood Bank Collection Program at Winnie Palmer Hospital will be the largest
 of its kind in the nation, and will help to increase the inventory of
 available cord blood units, particularly units from underrepresented
 minority groups, for all those in need of a potentially life saving stem
 cell transplant."
     The program will enhance Central Florida's rapidly growing reputation
 as a global center for new medical technologies and will be based at the
 third busiest birthing center in the country. "We are excited about being
 part of the CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank donation program and the opportunity
 to help save lives across the nation through the national registry," said
 Kathy Swanson, President, Winnie Palmer Hospital.
     Cord blood is the stem cell rich blood that remains in the umbilical
 cord and placenta following birth. Stem cells are collected from the
 umbilical cord blood that would otherwise be discarded, so there are no
 ethical or moral dilemmas involved.
     Florida U.S. Senator Mel Martinez states, "I supported the passage of
 The Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 at the end of last year
 which aims to increase the national inventory of available cord blood
 units, and I am glad to see steps taken like the beginning of this program
 by CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank and Winnie Palmer Hospital."
     Umbilical cord blood can save the lives of critically ill patients,
 treating over 65 different diseases including leukemia, lymphoma and sickle
 cell anemia. Umbilical cord blood stem cell transplants have already been
 performed in over 8,000 patients, saving thousands of patients who would
 have otherwise not had a chance of survival.
     Dr. Jeffrey Chell, the CEO of the National Marrow Donor Program,
 states, "The use of cord blood has increased dramatically in the past few
 years in absolute numbers and in the increased percentage of adults being
 helped with cord blood. Whereas, four years ago, only 1% of the transplants
 facilitated by the NMDP were cord blood, today more than 20% of the
 transplants are cord blood. In the next few years, I envision the
 percentage moving to 50%. Also, in the past month, 1/3 of the transplants
 using cord blood were for adult patients."
     About CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank
     The CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank, headquartered in Orlando, Florida was
 founded in June, 2004 to create a large, ethnically diverse, high quality
 inventory of available cord blood stem cell units for the many patients in
 need of a potentially life-saving transplant. The Company's operations
 consist of the collection, processing, storage and subsequent delivery of
 blood stem cells found in umbilical cord blood. CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank
 has entered into agreements with hospitals around the nation to provide
 mothers the option to donate their babies' cord blood to a bank which will
 make these cord blood units available to patients in need. CORD:USE
 recently joined the National Marrow Donor Program ("NMDP") Cord Blood Bank
 Network and now lists all of its units on the NMDP's Registry. For more
 information, please visit our website