SAN BRUNO, Calif., June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Twenty years ago this month, CBR (Cord Blood Registry) in partnership with the University of Arizona, processed the first cord blood stem cell sample in the world to be stored specifically for family use. Since 1992, the number of conditions treated with cord blood stem cells has greatly expanded, and so has CBR. Today, CBR is the largest family cord blood bank in the world with more than 425,000 samples in storage – a population the size of a major city like Miami. What distinguishes the "city of individuals" with newborn stem cells banked at CBR is the exclusive opportunity to participate in a growing number of ground-breaking clinical trials.
"As the leader and innovator in family banking, we believe every newborn deserves a healthy future and that we have a responsibility to lead the way," said Heather Brown, vice president of scientific & medical affairs at CBR. "Looking back, the creation of our bank allowed families for the first time to preserve a genetically-related source of newborn stem cells, ready and available if needed for a lifesaving transplant to regenerate a person's immune system after radiation or chemotherapy. As we look to the future, we are helping shape new areas of regenerative medicine. We are the only family bank actively pioneering clinical trials evaluating new therapeutic uses of cord blood stem cells for unexpected injuries and conditions with no current cure."
Expanding Areas of Clinical Research: Helping the Body Heal Injured Nerves Until very recently, the prevailing medical opinion in neurology has been that damage to the central nervous system caused by injuries like birth trauma, accidents or stroke is often permanent. Currently, intervention after injury focuses on stabilizing the patient to minimize damage. However, data from animal research in recent years has challenged this assumption, leading to cord blood stem cell clinical research to study whether these cells may stimulate neural cell and tissue repair to restore function and alleviate neurological impairments.
CBR is taking the lead in moving animal research rapidly into the clinic to investigate the ability for cord blood stem cells to trigger the body's own mechanisms to initiate nerve repair by establishing specific clinical trials at leading medical institutions across the country. By pairing researchers with children who have been diagnosed with chronic conditions like cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury or hearing loss-- and who also have access to their own cord blood stem cells -- CBR is helping physicians move beyond surgery and drugs to evaluate how newborn stem cells may help the body repair itself.
Celebrating a History of Firsts Throughout its history, CBR has taken many of the first steps to create and advance the notion of preserving and ensuring access to high quality newborn stem cells that are viable for use. Among the company's contributions to stem cell medicine and science, CBR was:
First to save cord blood for families' use
First family bank to use technology to improve cell recovery
First to store cord tissue for families in the United States
First and only newborn stem cell bank to have pioneered FDA-regulated clinical trials in regenerative medicine
"CBR continuously improves our systems and technology to maintain the highest published cell recovery rate in the industry of 99%, every single time. We treat every sample as if it belongs to our own child or grandchild," says Tom Moore, CEO and founder of CBR. "That care and precision is what we offer clinical researchers, who are partnering exclusively with CBR to evaluate the use of a child's own cord blood stem cells to help treat chronic diseases like cerebral palsy, hearing loss and traumatic brain injury."
About Cord Blood Registry CBR® (Cord Blood Registry®) is the world's largest and most experienced cord blood bank. The company has consistently led the industry in technical innovations and safeguards more than 425,000 cord blood collections for individuals and their families. CBR was the first family bank accredited by AABB and the company's quality standards have been recognized through ISO 9001:2008 certification—the global business standard for quality. CBR has also released more client cord blood units for specific therapeutic use than any other family cord blood bank. Our research and development efforts are focused on helping the world's leading clinical researchers advance regenerative medical therapies. For more information, visit www.cordblood.com.