Stem cells from cord blood can now be used across many conditions: Mayur Abhaya, MD & CEO, LifeCell Internat.. –

Shahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld, spoke to Mayur Abhaya, MD & CEO, LifeCell International, to know more about the latest advancements in Stem cell industry and how it has recovered from the Covid challenges. Impact and challenges of Covid-19 on the Stem cell industry ? One of the biggest issues faced by the stem cell industry during the pandemic was the transport of the cells after collection at birth. It needs to reach the lab within 72 hours and in the case of bone marrow stem cell from donation all the way until it reaches the patient that also has to be completed within 72 hours. The bone marrow cells cannot be handed over in courier. It has to be manually hand carried and that created a huge logistics hurdle were transplants significantly reduced in numbers because of the availability of donors and the transport issues around it.

What are the current global trends in the Stem Cell Industry at large? The recent clinical progress that has been made in the medical space of stem cell transplantation is that now cord blood is considered as a better source than bone marrow cells. This was found in a research study based in US, published in 2020. They have also shown that stem cells from the cord blood can now be used across many conditions with the same treatment protocol. Besides that, the preparation of the patient is different in different conditions but now they have simplified that and reduced the risk of death to a very, very low number. So the cord blood is preferred, as the outcomes are improving.

Another major milestone during this pandemic that we were able to help was to support a transplant were a child having Aplastic Anaemia needed not one but two cord blood units for the transplant and within the family they couldnt find a match. Luckily because of the LifeCell network and the inventory size of 50,000 units we were able to meet the requirements of the transplant and happy to share the outcome was very successful. So LifeCell ensures that we have appropriate training for its paramedical staff and they are also provided with the appropriate personal protective gears. There are restrictions on the entry of the team inside during the collection we work with the medical staff in the collection rooms, in the operation theatres to ensure a smooth and a well organised collection and even at the lab we have protocols that ensures hygiene and safety within the team and, the operating rooms we have for processing are also well managed.

Your future plans to ensure the smooth collection of Cord Blood? To ensure business continuity we have our teams located very close to our lab itself, you know, so about 100+ member team are placed within a Kilometer of the operating facility. We have adequate stocks, lots of the testing and the processing, consumables that we use are imported. We, at least, maintain 3 month inventory. We also have onsite power back up systems which include a month of diesel supply, month of liquid nitrogen supply and the teams also have a plan that we have a back site also with arrangements done. If for any reason we have cut off of the Chennai centre we have arrangements with an alternate lab to ensure the continuity of the operations

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Stem cells from cord blood can now be used across many conditions: Mayur Abhaya, MD & CEO, LifeCell Internat.. -

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