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Stem-cell cryo-preservation: “More collaboration between public and private sectors”
SmartBank, the first Italian Bank to offer private storage of cord stem cells, in cooperation with UK storage facility, Biovault, between private and public sectors.
For stem cells storage, the collaboration between public and private banking is beneficial to both. The public service benefits from the efficiency of cord blood stem cell collection by private banks. According to Irene Martini, Scientific Director of SmartBank, this cooperation would promote positive scientific results and offer benefits to borh client and patients. “Our bank would like to create a constructive dialog with public institutions in order to promote more integration between the two sectors, public and private, in Italy.”
Abroad there are many examples. “Public Banks, with the largest registries in New York, London and Dusseldorf, work closely along with Private banks”. Dr. Martini, the only Italian member of the advisory Board of the Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, points out that many istitutions are already moving in this direction. The last example comes from Great Britain where Biovault, tissue Bank for over 10 years and the partner of SmartBank, focused on processing and storing stem cells from bone marrow, peripheral blood and umbilical cord, has been recently aquired by the University of Plymouth. The University intends to create a base expansion as an International tissue Bank.
“The aquisition of Biovault by the University of Plymouth underlines the trend logic and desiderable trend, in Anglo-Saxon countries, towards profitable cooperation between Public and Private Banks, Dr. Martini states.
Biovault is the only “mixed” bank in the UK, Private and Public. They work with the “UK South West Transplant Programme”- of the NHS -in collaboration with private companies and accademic and research partners, across Europe. They aim to promote technological innovation and research in efficient misuration of solid human tissues and small organs, as well as medical-surgical research, regenerative medicine, treatment of sport injuries and recostructive surgical procedures.
These are not the only examples of collaboration between Public and Private sectors. As Dr. Martini underlines: “Virgin Health Bank (VHB) is cooperating with Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CHU), in supplying detailed information to parents about the benefits and the potential of umbilical blood stem cell preservation and about the management of cord blood collection. But there is also the example of the agreement signed in California, between the public UC-Davis Institute and the private company Stem Cyte”.
“All these experiences confirm the international trend toward the collaboration between public and private banks” Dr. Martini states “in order to increase the number of cord blood samples for donation and cryo-preservation. We expect that this trend can occur even in Italy.”
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