The cord blood banking industry has grown increasingly complex over the past few years. While rates of growth within the industry were robust during the early 2000’s, it is no longer the rapid growth market that it used to be. There is now increased market competition, tighter regulatory standards, more substantial government oversight, and increased public scrutiny given toward cord blood industry practices.
Investors Impacting the Cord Blood Banking Industry
Regardless, the industry still generates substantial interest from venture capital funds, investment banks, and even individual investors, as of 2015. One of the most noteworthy investors is Richard Branson—the billionaire business magnate and investor who now owns the Virgin Health Bank as one of his portfolio companies. His Virgin Health Bank has branches in both the United Kingdom and Qatar.
Furthermore, several major publicly owned companies have chosen to invest in the industry. Cord Blood America Inc. (CBAI) now wholly owns CorCell Companies (“CorCell”). ViaCord is owned by U.S. healthcare giant Perkin Elmer, a company which produces more than $2.2 billion in revenue annually. LifeBank USA is owned by the global biopharmaceutical company Celgene, a company which produces more than $6.5 billion in annual revenue and has a market capitalization that has reached $67 billion.
The key metrics, among others, that industry investors must know in order to profit from the cord blood banking sector are current and historical market penetration rates. As the global leader in cord blood industry data, BioInformant was recently asked by the Wall Street Journal to provide data on market penetration rates for U.S. private cord blood banking sector.
Because this is an insightful question and the answer reveals critical market data, we are sharing our answer below.
Market Penetration Rates for U.S. Cord Blood Banks
During full-year 2013, there were approximately 102,000 cord blood and tissue units stored privately in the United States, the majority of which were stored at Cord Blood Registry, Viacord, and Cryocell, respectively.
To date, the Cord Blood Registry has stored more than 500,000 cord blood and cord tissue samples, while Viacord has stored 350,000 samples and Cryo-Cell has stored 240,000 samples. While these storage counts may include some units banked by international divisions of these companies, it is extremely clear that these three industry players are the market leaders within the U.S. private cord blood banking industry.
Interestingly, Americord is another key competitor to watch as it has posted revenue growth of 2,200% for the past three years (2011-2013), but its current market share is substantially less than these three industry behemoths. To date, Americord has stored approximately 35,000 cord blood and tissue units, which represents only 7% as many units as the U.S. market leader, Cord Blood Registry.
Now that collection rates are clear, the key question is what percent of birth rates do these numbers represent? According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), there were 3,952,841 births reported in the U.S. in 2012 , the most recent full-year data published at the time of this article.
Based on preliminary reports from the CDC for 2013, last year represented the fifth consecutive year in which the total number of U.S. births would decline . As such, BioInformant estimates that 2013 birth rates in the U.S. will be reported at approximately 3,945,000 when full-year data is released.
Statistically, this means that U.S. parents now privately store cord blood for approximately 2.6% of births (102,000 / 3,945,000 births = 2.6%).
If publicly donated cord blood is included too, then approximately 3% of U.S. parents now store cord blood at birth, because there are about 5 cord blood units privately stored for every cord blood unit that is publicly donated.
BioInformant is the first and only market research firm to specialize in the stem cell industry. BioInformant has been featured on news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Nature Biotechnology, CBS News, Medical Ethics, and the Center for BioNetworking. Serving Fortune 500 leaders that include GE Healthcare, Pfizer, Goldman Sachs, Beckton Dickinson, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, BioInformant is your global leader in cord blood industry data.
To learn more about the cord blood banking industry, view the “Complete 2017-18 Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Report” now.
 Transplantation, W. (2013). 1 Millionth Blood Stem Cell Transplant Marks Major Medical Milestone. [online] GlobeNewswire News Room. Available at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2013/01/30/519544/10019770/en/1-Millionth-Blood-Stem-Cell-Transplant-Marks-Major-Medical-Milestone.html [Accessed 6 Nov. 2014].