Company plans for the future of stem cell use

by Samantha Schmieder

Staff Writer

Next Healthcare Inc. of Germantown recently launched a partnership with Arizona Cardinals wide reciever Larry Fitzgerald to promote its newest venture, CelBank Pro to other professional athletes.

Next Healthcares CelBank is the collection of cell samples and storage of their blood, skin or stem cells to be used in the future. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that are able to renew themselves through cell division and can be scientifically manipulated to become another type of cell with a more specialized function. They offer hope to provide new ways to fight disease or injuries, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Essentially we are in the business of banking cells for people, Vin Singh, the founder and CEO of Next Healthcare, said.

While CelBank is geared toward anyone interested in using their own cells later in their life, CelBank Pro is geared toward sports players who are very likely to get injured or just worn down during their career.

Skin cells and stem cells are stored at a healthy time at someones life for later use in regenerative medicine, Singh said.

In 2006 and 2007, Singh, who lives in Boyds, heard about a method in Japan that was able to turn adult skin cells into stem cells. Singh decided to build Next Healthcare around these induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells.

For me that was the real spark. I heard about that and thought, Wow, this is an amazing, revolutionary breakthrough, Singh said. Thats where the idea came from, what can we do with that technology. There has to be something that I can do for consumers to give them an advantage.

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