Delhi, Jan 2011; Cryoviva, a leader in umbilical cord blood stem cell banking, helped save the life of six year old girl Harshita, who got a new lease of life following a successful stem cell transplant in Delhi and would never require any blood transfusion in her life.
Thallasaemia major is a genetic blood disorder, where the child has defective red blood cells and has to take repeated blood transfusions every
3 weeks to survive and maintain hemoglobin levels. There is no cure except matching blood stem cell transplant. These children’s survival is jeopardized by complications of organ damage and severe anemia. They have to take strong medication for preventing accumulation of iron in the body, and these medicines are expensive with side effects. Traditionally matching bone marrow stem cells were used for transplants. Recently cord blood transplants have been used as an alternative source of stem cells with success. Indians carry Thallasaemia gene in 3% of the population and 70,000 children are suffering from Thallasaemia major.
The umbilical cord blood is a rich source of stem cells and the bank will facilitate to store them from any willing family for a certain fee, adding that the cells will be vital in saving life of a person suffering from leukemia, Thallasaemia, blood cancer and bone marrow transplant. “Expectant parents can save the cord blood of their baby for a period of 21 years and it is a one-time investment by a family for a secure future. The bank keeps the stem cells in hi-tech nitrogen vapour tanks at -196 degrees Celsius. Although once considered medical waste, he added that it is rich in stem cells.
Harshita was a child suffering from a genetic disease Thalassemia Major. The grandparents of the patient Harshita approached Cryoviva from Patna. Harshita’s mother was expecting her newborn and the family approached Cryoviva for cord blood banking of the sibling. The prenatal tests had shown that the expected baby was free from Thallasaemia genetic defect. Cryoviva enrolled the mother and the cord blood was collected. The quality of the product was very good. The transplant was done by Dr. Dharma Chaudhary.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Ravi Jaipuria, Chairman, RJ Corp said, “The people of India have shown very keen interest in the concept of umbilical cord blood banking and hence we have seen such fast growth. As young parents, it is of key importance to be educated on such matters, in order to take right decisions for their child. I have seen this positive attitude in people of small cities too in India and Thailand. We look forward to developing more awareness on this subject in other parts of India and in international markets like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Gulf and African continent and look forward to adding more banks in these areas in coming year. India has the potential to become the hub of stem cell research and therapies. A lot can be achieved by collaboration between Private and Government through PPP model to take the stem cell industry forward.
Mrs Dhara Jaipuria, Chairperson Cryoviva said “the idea that stem cell works is now no longer a surprise, but to make this revolution touch every human life is at the core of Cryoviva philosophy” she emphasized the plans Cryoviva has drawn to support patients in need of Stem cell therapy through the “ Transplant Support Programme and Thallasaemia Care Programme.
According to Dr. C V Nerikar, CEO, Cryoviva, The idea of banking stem cells has come a long way. Today Cryoviva has established a network of offices across Indian geography offering the services of stem cell banking at affordable prices to desirous families. We have been able to ship samples across the length and breadth of India due to our state of Art logistic and supply chain management system. We have always worked towards a high end quality process for cord blood banking from the point of client’s first interaction to the point wherein we support the client for a transplant. This has led to many successes like global accreditation like AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) & BIZZ award.
According to Dr. M.Chaurvedi Medical Director said that India with its ethnic diversity is poised to take a major leap in the stem cell therapy arena. Global quality standards and continuing quest for top end technologies make Cryoviva a bench mark in Stem cell industry in India.
Dharma Chaudhary, Transplant Physician, said “There is a better success rate in the case of Thallasaemia transplants if the quality of cord blood stem cells are good” I am happy to say that Cryoviva measures to global standards in this regard. I look forward to in near future to helping more patients using cord blood stem cells.
Harshita’s grandmother said “I am very happy that Harshita is completely cured and would never need a blood transfusion. She has become a “bubbly and healthy girl”. I am thankful to the Dr Dharma Chaudhary and Cryoviva who saved my child”. I would take this opportunity to pass this message to all expectant parents to save the cord blood stem cells of their new born child – after all this is the most valuable gift one can give to one’s child.
The umbilical cord and placenta were being discarded till now as bio-medical waste but having recognized them as a rich source of stem cells, these were being harvested and being used to treat life-threatening diseases like leukemia and Thallasaemia and heart attack.