The cost of cord blood banking is extremely affordable due to heated competition. Families now have more options to choose from than ever before.
Cord blood banking is becoming an increasingly common practice. More and more, new parents are becoming aware of the benefits of storing their newborn’s umbilical cord blood – a rich source of stem cells that can be used for life-saving medical treatment in the future. However, the biggest barrier for many families, has been the price.
Cord blood banks have been in a stem cell banking price war, and fortunately, it has made storage more affordable.
Why is Cord Blood Banking Necessary
Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord connected to the placenta after a child is born. Immediately after birth, this blood is rich in stem cells, which are similar to the stem cells found in an adult’s bone marrow. Cord blood is also rich with red and white blood cells, platelets, and plasma.
The nutrients found in cord blood can be used to treat devastating diseases that can develop later in life, including cancers, metabolic disorders, immune diseases, and blood diseases. Storing your newborn’s cord blood could mean saving their life later down the road.
Cord Blood Banking Offers Benefits to Consumers
In the past, cord blood was primarily used in transplants to treat rare diseases. Now, with a rise in clinical trials and technological advancements, stem cells from cord blood and mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from cord tissues are being tested with much broader clinical applications, including the use of T-cells and natural killer (NK) cells for immunotherapies.
This means that the cells found in cord blood and cord tissue can be potentially used in a wider range of treatments, saving even more lives.
While cord blood banking has become more popular, it’s always been thought to be very expensive, and therefore a luxury that many families could not sustain. Historically, it would cost up to $2,000 just for the setup and processing fees. It’s important to note that there are two costs to consider with cord blood banking – the initial processing fee, which is paid at the time cord blood is collected, and the storage fee, which is paid annually or prepaid with one-time payment.
As stem cell banking has gained popularity, cord blood banks around the country have begun to compete to get families to store their newborn’s blood at their facilities.
This has led to a significant decrease in the pricing, and more affordable options for families that want them.
Price War Benefits Consumers
Cord blood banks are currently in a price war, attempting to get their prices as low as possible to make their services more affordable to the families who need them. Banks such as CBR and Viacord regularly run discount campaigns to attract new clients. These two banks have dropped their price significantly, often running promotions that reduce the cost of cord blood processing from $2000 to around $575.
The latest pricing is from a premier cell bank leader, HealthBanks, which is now offering cord blood banking for only $19.99 per month.
Mergers and Acquisitions on the Horizon
The price war between cord blood banks has another added benefit in the form of mergers and acquisitions. Recently, Cord Blood Registry (CBR) acquired Cell Care, an Australian cell bank, which will help CBR further expand its research into regenerative medicine, while also providing more families access to reproductive and genetic services. CBR’s parent company also control other cord blood banking assets within Canada, the USA, and Australia.
Inevitably, more mergers and acquisitions will take place moving forward because as prices are driven down, smaller cell banks will have a hard time competing and staying afloat.
Will the Cost of Cord Blood Banking Continue to Decline?
As cell and gene-based therapy becomes positioned as the next pillar of medicine, more and more consumers will become interested in preserving their stem cells for future use. While the price of cord blood banking is an important factor for attracting new customers, many cord blood banks simply cannot afford to go to a lower price point due to their internal cost structures.
Hence, newborn stem cell banks with automated technology to scale and do processing cost effectively will potentially have a better chance to survive this heated competition and gain market share.