Non-Profit Public Stem Cell Bank Opens in Chennai

Providing high quality stem cells for treatment, a Public Stem Cell Bank will be established in Chennai by the non-profit Jeevan Blood Bank company.

On Thursday, Dr. P. Srinivasan, Chairman, told reporters that about 40,000 units of stem cells collected from cord blood would be collected, processed and stored by the stem cell bank in five years. The project is set to go live before the end of March 2008.

Blood cancers, heart disease, autism, and more than 70 other medical conditions can be treated and potentially cured by stem cells. It is one of the best treatment options available today.

Srinivasan said the bank plans to collect cord blood from donors, harvest stem cells, test for transmissible infections, store and ultimately release the safe compatible units to any one who needs them across the world.

By December of 2008, completion if accreditation processes by international agencies is planned for the Jeevan Stem Cell Bank.

Private storage at the bank will be fee based. The funding would then be applied to the public side of the bank in order to pay for those services. 30 percent of the available storage has been reserved for private banking, while the other 70 percent is reserved for public storage.

So that matching units of cord blood can be identified by any hospitals across India as well as the world, the bank plans to publish the contents of a stem cell registry online in the next 12 weeks. When a suitable unit of stem cell was available, it would be transported frozen to the hospital where the patient was admitted for transplantation, he said.

By April 2009, the facility will be moved to a permanent 25,000 square feet location. In the meantime, it will operate on rental premises said Srinivasan.

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