CHENNAI: In an attempt to help patients who are in need of lifesaving stem cell transplant, LifeCell on Sunday launched umbilical cord public stem cell bank.
The launch was part of the stem cell bank’s successful preservation of one lakh umbilical cord stem cell in its facility in the city. Elaborating on the bank’s new initiative, Mayur Abhaya, MD and CEO, LifeCell said the bank would rely on voluntary donation from people and the stem cell would be made available for patients after a search and match from the inventory for treatments.
“In US, over 70 per cent of the local populace are able to find matching stem cell units for treatments. In India, however, 80 per cent of the people are unable to find a match,” the CEO said.
In case of the public stem cell bank, 10,000 units will be in the total inventory to be created at a cost of `3 crore. “We already got commitments for nearly 60 percent of it and will reach our goal within the next three to five years,” Abhaya said. He said the Tamil Nadu government was the first in the country to grant `9 crore to store 3,000 cord blood donations. Launching the initiative, actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, LifeCell’s brand ambassador, recalled how she decided to preserve the stem cells during the birth of her child. “We did extensive study, spoke to friends and doctors. LifeCell got in touch with us. We spoke to parents who had already preserved stem cell at the bank. This is a precious gift parents can give to their children for life,” she said.
Earlier, V Ravi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, LifeCell said stem cell could be used to treat over 80 medical conditions of the blood and immune system.