20 Years of Excellence in Stem Cells Cryopreservation and Research
Steadfastly going strong for 20 years in a highly scientific and niche industry, CryoCord Malaysia, the multi-award winning premier and leading stem cell bank in Malaysia, is only destined for bigger and better heights.
From its humble beginnings in 2002, CryoCord Malaysia has grown into one of Southeast Asia’s leading stem cell banks, renowned for the highest quality standards in the cryopreservation of cord blood and human stem cells.
CryoCord was built upon the talents, skills, experience, and vision of a dedicated group of medical and investment professionals. The company’s founders, Dr. Then Kong Yong, CryoCord’s Chief Technical Officer, and Academician Emeritus Professor Dr. S. K. Cheong, CryoCord Group’s Medical Director, share a vision of establishing a stem cell cryopreservation bank in Malaysia to improve the health and well-being of Malaysian families.
The CryoCord medical panel is headed by Academician Emeritus Prof. Dr. S. K. Cheong, who has more than two decades of experience in stem cell research. As a stem cell researcher, he was intrigued by the enormous potential that stem cells have to revolutionise healthcare. Together with fellow stem cell researcher Dr. Then, they decided to avail this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for parents to store their baby’s cord blood and Mesenchymal stem cells (CordMSCs), which have the ability to treat blood cancers and repair damaged organs in the future, if they should require it.
Growing from Strength to Strength
Since its inception, CryoCord Malaysia has experienced tremendous growth, increasing its staff from 12 to over 200 employees and serving over 60,000 families across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
Starting with just one class 100 cleanroom to process and store cord blood stem cells, CryoCord has since expanded to culturing various cells, including Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs), in 10 cleanrooms. Their current facility, which is housed in the stunning and purpose-built building Bio-X Centre in Cyberjaya, now offers a full range processing and storage services of MSCs derived from the umbilical cord, bone marrow, dental pulp and adipose tissue. CryoCord has also expanded their services to Indonesia with a fully operational laboratory.
Benefits of Stem Cell Banking
Stem cells are considered nothing short of amazing in the world of medicine. Unlike other cells in the human body that have a finite life span and the ability to divide, stem cells can theoretically divide infinitely to replenish other cell types as long as the individual is alive. Baby stem cells are undifferentiated “master” cells that differentiate into different cell types to form the brain, nerves, muscles, and other body parts. This means that infant stem cells could potentially be used to treat a host of age-related conditions and diseases. As such, stem cell banking could literally save the life of your child or family member if they get sick.
Cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord into a sterile, specially designed collection bag through a wide-bore needle. The blood flows into the bag via gravity until it stops, signifying the completion of the collection process. The blood collection bag is then clamped, sealed and labelled. The procedure usually takes 3 to 5 minutes. Two tubes of maternal blood are also drawn for serology testing.
CryoCord provides two types of infant stem cell banking services: cord blood and CordMSCs.
- Cord blood: Following birth, cord blood remains in the veins of a newborn’s umbilical cord and contains valuable stem cells, primarily Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs), which can generate blood cells and immune system cells.
- CordMSCs: CordMSCs, which are found in great numbers in the umbilical cord, are among the most primitive and least likely to be damaged by pollution or ageing. These are vital new cells that can be transformed into any other type of cell that a patient requires.
It is recommended to store both types because HSCs from cord blood can only differentiate into blood cells like red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and so on, whereas MSCs from Wharton’s Jelly can differentiate into bone, heart, cartilage, and so on.
According to CryoCord, more than 80 types of diseases can be treated using cord blood, such as leukaemia and thalassaemia. It is a perfect match for the baby and is highly compatible with the baby’s immediate family. There is no expiry date on cord blood stem cells as they can be stored indefinitely in liquid nitrogen.
As for CordMSCs, they can potentially be used to treat diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, autoimmune diseases and more. A successful organ transplant typically requires a close match between a donor’s and patient’s human leukocyte antigen (HLA) markers. The advantage of CordMSCs is that they do not need HLA matching in the case of organ transplants.
The Undisputable Choice for Infant Stem Cell Banking
When choosing a stem cell banking facility, it is important to select a reputable and certified company. CryoCord is a highly recommended option because of its strategic approach and programmes.
It’s not just enough to collect and store stem cells. A good stem cell bank, such as CryoCord, will also offer tissue dissociation and cellular expansion services before they’re stored, so that they will be “treatment-ready” when needed. Only by dissociating the tissue can the properties, viability, and cell count of MSCs be identified. Typically, treatments require higher cell numbers than those isolated from the original cord tissue. Therefore, it’s important to expand cells before storing them to ensure there are enough cells available when needed, especially in an emergency.
CryoCord provides several value-added programmes to ensure that stem cells are stored safely at their facilities. Among the programmes are:
- CryoCare Enhanced: Covers the cost of obtaining a matched stem cell sample for the baby or their siblings, as well as the cost of transplantation.
- CryoSure: Provides a money-back guarantee if your child’s stem cells are not viable when used for treatment.
- CryoFree: Guarantees that annual storage fees will be waived for the remaining 21 years in the event of either parent’s death.
- CryoMove: Protects stem cells from loss or non-viability during transportation to and from the storage facility.
Certified by the Ministry of Health, CryoCord is also the esteemed winner for the 11th time in a row for the BabyTalk Readers’ Choice Awards 2022 of two categories: Best Stem Cell Bank and Best Cord Blood Storage.
All these go to show that far from being at an experimental or starting stage endeavour, CryoCord has earned its reputation as being the expert in the industry, with more than tens of thousands of samples stored for two decades and this number is growing. It is no wonder that CryoCord’s incomparable expertise, professionalism, integrity, and top-notch facilities make it the trusted choice of parents to store their precious baby’s stem cells.
A Commitment to Quality & Excellence
As a testament to its commitment to quality and excellence of service, CryoCord’s state-of-the-art laboratory is one of the first in Malaysia to be certified to cGMP (PIC/S) requisites by NPRA (BPFK), a division of the Malaysian Ministry of Health in 2013. It is also the only stem cell bank in Malaysia that achieved accreditation from AABB (Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies).
Its laboratory was also awarded ISO 15189 by the Laboratory Accreditation Scheme of Malaysia (SAMM). This certifies the laboratory for medical testing and ISO 14644 Class 5 (Class 100) Cleanroom with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, certified by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and US Federal Standard 209E.
Moving forward, CryoCord aspires to be anchored as a global leader in stem cell cryopreservation, research, and development. They have also recently ventured into cord blood derived induced pluripotent stem cells (CordPSCs-i) banking. iPSCs are cells derived from skin or blood that have been reprogrammed back to an embryonic-like pluripotent state. This makes it possible to develop an unlimited source of any type of human cell needed for therapeutic purposes.
An Important Decision for Expectant Couples
Stem cell banking is an important decision to make for the future of your baby, and it’s something that every expectant couple should consider. And there is no better stem cell bank to consider than CryoCord.
“At CryoCord, we believe that the future of regenerative medicine lies in stem cell research and treatment. As such, we are dedicated to collecting and storing valuable stem cells from your child’s umbilical cord that can one day save his or her life, or the life of another family member,” Professor Dr. Cheong concludes.
For more information, visit their website or call their 24-hour hotline at 1800 88 3300.