Friday, April 19, 2013

Asia’s largest private cord blood bank opens in Singapore

Asia’s largest private cord blood storage facility was opened Thursday in Singapore by Cordlife, which aims to encourage parents to preserve samples of their children’s stem cells.

According to Mr Jeremy Yee, executive director and Chief Executive Officer of Cordlife, only around 25 per cent of children born in Singapore have their cord blood stem cells put into storage by their parents.

Umbilical cord blood at birth is rich in stem cells that can be stored and later used for treatment if the child contracts diseases like leukemia, cerebral palsy, and other blood and immunodeficiency disorders.

The Yishun facility, Cordlife’s third in Singapore, boasts a storage capacity of 650,000 units and state-of-the-art technology, the company said.

Mr Ted Tan, deputy chief executive of SPRING Singapore, who attended the opening ceremony, paid tribute to Cordlife, saying the company’s success is “an excellent showcase of Singapore’s high standing in the healthcare services arena, especially in the Asian region.”

“To continue to stay ahead of competition, apart from sustaining our clinical expertise, our healthcare companies must continue to build strong business capabilities, pursue innovation and invest in their people to provide quality care and ensure business growth,” he added.

Cordlife currently has collaborations with local private hospitals and clinics like Thomson Medical and Raffles Hospital to increase public awareness of cord blood banking services in Singapore. 

At Cordlife, it costs just shy of S$7,000 to have your baby's cord blood stored for 21 years. 

Stem Cord, the only other private cord bank in Singapore, charges an enrolment fee of S$1,580 and S$275 a year.-Channel News Asia (April 19, 2013)

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