Did you know that more than 70% of the global cord blood market is controlled by the world’s 15 largest cord blood banking operators? It’s an incredible figure, but true.
The reason for this is that massive cord blood industry consolidation has happened in recent years, particularly within the U.S, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, with:
- Generate Life Sciences aggregating reproductive, new born stem cell and genetic services within the U.S.
- Cryoholdco aggregating stem cell banking assets across Latin America
- Sanpower Group dominating the Asian market
- Two leading cord blood brands (PBKM FamiCord and Vita34) consolidating the majority of the European market through aggressive M&A activity (and Cryo-Save AG going bankrupt)
Another key market that cord blood banking investors and operators must diligently track is India, because it has surged to an astounding population of 1.4 billion. Recent population growth has placed it head-to-head with China as the world’s most populous country. China also has a domestic population of 1.4 billion.
This means that an incredible one-third (2.8 billion / 36%) of the world’s 7.8 billion people now live within two countries, India and China.
Within India, LifeCell International is the market leader, with approximately 320,000 stem cell units in storage. Within China, Global Cord Blood Corporation (GCBC) controls the market share and is the only operator with multiple provincial licenses.
An Expansion of Cord Blood Services
Recently, a surging number of cord blood banks have been venturing into new types of stem cell storage, associated reproductive services, and related cell therapy applications.
Specifically, cord blood, cord tissue, placental tissue and dental pulp have demonstrated intriguing therapeutic promise, causing storage services for these four biomaterials to proliferate.
Finally, investor appetite for cord blood banks has never been stronger, because cord blood banks produce compelling, stable subscription revenue from long-term storage contracts.
At their core, these cord blood banks are both a real estate play (cryogenic storage facilities) and a regenerative medicine (RM) play.
Within the United States, GI Partners (who holds Generate Life Sciences as a portfolio company) controls Cord Blood Registry and its associated 900,000+ cord blood and tissue units in storage.
Within Asia, Sanpower Group is the dominant investment force. Headquartered in Nanjing, it is one of the largest private conglomerates in China, with investments across healthcare, retail and financial services.
Within Latin America, ACON Investments is the major regional investor. It owns Cryoholdco as a portfolio company, which controls at least 9 cord blood and dental pulp assets across the region and their associated 275,000 stem cell units in storage. Headquartered in Washington, DC, ACON Investments is a U.S. based investment fund that manages over $5.3 billion in assets.
Within Europe, PBKM FamiCord is controlled by Enterprise Investors.
Within Australia, the largest cord blood bank, Cell Care, has CPE Capital (CPEC) as its the majority investor. Previously named CHAMP Private Equity, CPEC has invested $3.8 billion in funds across 75 platform investments.
The list goes on and on, with cord blood banks attracting global investment attention.
Within the research realm, cord blood products (fresh and cryopreserved) are being offered by a diverse range of major market leaders, including Lonza, STEMCELL Technologies, AllCells, and dozens of others. Within the therapeutic realm, clinical trials involving perinatal products are ascending to new highs. Within the cell processing realm, companies are increasingly attempting to peel market share away from the competition.
Whether you’re a cord blood banking operator, investor, consolidator, research supply company, cell therapeutics company, or cell processing specialist, you need to be paying attention to this rapidly evolving segment of the regenerative medicine (RM) industry.