The CryoSave European flagship company was established in 2000 and operates laboratories in Switzerland, Dubai, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, South Africa, and Portugal.
As of 2016, they have processed more than 300,000 cord blood samples, the largest number in Europe.
CryoSave Arabia, part of the global CryoSave network, is the region’s first private cord blood stem cell bank. It was officially launched in 2006, by the UAE Minister of Health and operates the region’s largest private laboratory and cryogenic preservation facility. This laboratory stores umbilical cord blood stem cells and is situated in Dubai Healthcare City. It is accredited by the AABB, the US FDA, and UAE Ministry of Health.
In a world first, CryoSave Arabia announced that it has supplied the first privately stored stem cell sample released from the UAE to the United States.
To learn more, read the full press release from CryoSave, printed below with permission from Kelly Daniell, Public Relations and Communications Director for CryoSave.
Transplant marks the first release of a privately stored stem cell sample from the UAE to US
3-year old Emirati boy saves older brother’s life with cord blood stem cells from CryoSave Arabia
December 9, 2015, Dubai, UAE – Seven-year old Zayed lived with the condition Beta Thalassemia Major, the most severe form of the life-threatening blood disease. The condition was deteriorating fast and the family were given their last chance of hope thanks to the umbilical cord blood storage of Zayed’s three-year old brother Mohammed, as the only known cure for Beta Thalassemia Major is a stem cell transplant.
Beta Thalassemia Major is an inherited blood disorder that occurs when the genes governing the production of haemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells that binds to oxygen and carries it throughout the body) are flawed. The most common treatment is to receive regular blood transfusions to keep the body stocked with healthy red blood cells but they can also cause unhealthy accumulations of iron, which can damage the heart and other organs.
Zayed and Mohammed’s parents had taken the decision to store their younger son’s cord blood with CryoSave Arabia in Dubai Healthcare City and thankfully, detailed HLA typing (to match a potential donor and patient) showed the siblings were compatible to a high enough level for a transplant to take place at the end of last year. The transplant was carried out in the United States at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, in conjunction with CryoSave Arabia, where the sample was stored and shipped after in-depth testing in compliance with strict AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) and FDA criteria. CryoSave Arabia is the only AABB accredited facility in the UAE and this marks the first release of a privately stored stem cell from the UAE to the US.
Zayed underwent a combined transplant using a combination of cord blood and bone marrow to optimise the chances of success. CryoSave Arabia’s Lab Director and Head of Quality Mai Ibrahim also travelled to the US to support the family and ensure the procedure went well.
Since the transplant, the family is back home in Abu Dhabi where Zayed has made a full recovery and no longer suffers signs of the disease, nor has he required the regular monthly blood transfusions.
‘’Our son is in much better condition after the transplant, it has been remarkable. Stem cell storage is so valuable even though it is something that you hope you will never need, like insurance. In our case we did need it and we are incredibly glad we made the decision to store the cord blood in the first place otherwise our family’s future would be very different’’ said Zayed’s father Nouh Alhammadi.
‘’CryoSave provided an excellent service and collected the cord blood immediately after delivery. They processed the sample here in the UAE and provided us with an update when the sample was stored, including how viable the blood was. They did testing on the sample before the release prior to the transplant and when it was time for the transplant, they took it very seriously and worked closely with the transplant doctor to ensure a positive outcome’’ he added.
Kenneth R. Cooke, MD Director, Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said: ‘’Stem cell storage really can change lives and to see such a positive outcome with Zayed’s case shows just what is possible. I would always recommend families to store their child’s cord blood whether they know of any possible health issues or not, as it can be used in the future for theirs and possibly other family members’ benefit. As Mohammed’s stem cells were stored outside of the US, in the UAE, it was imperative to ensure all the necessary criteria were met in terms of accreditation and compliance, as well as the safe and timely transportation of the sample. Our interactions with CryoSave Arabia were excellent and I have no doubt that the infusion stem cells from this related HLA-identical, cord blood unit contributed significantly to the successful outcome Zayed has experienced so far. I look forward to working with CryoSave Arabia again in the future to help more families in these situations.”
Mai Ibrahim, Lab Director &Head of Quality Department, CryoSave Arabia: “I feel privileged and blessed that I was able to visit the family and be part of transplant procedure. It is such a great honour to be working in a field that saves lives and the Dubai facility reflects our desire to be the best. We are trusted with families’ valuable stem cells so it is absolutely essential that we ensure each sample is processed, stored and released successfully. There is no room for error.”
CryoSave Arabia is part of the global CryoSave network. The CryoSave European flagship company was established in 2000 and operates laboratories in Switzerland, Dubai, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, South Africa and Portugal. As of 2016, they have processed more than 300,000 cord blood samples, the largest number in Europe.
About Cryo-Save Arabia
CryoSave Arabia, the GCC region’s first private Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank, was officially launched in 2006, by the UAE Minister of Health and operates the region’s largest and most technologically advanced private laboratory and cryogenic preservation facility.
This laboratory is dedicated and designed exclusively to handle the stem cells found in the umbilical cord blood of newborns and is located in Dubai Healthcare City. It is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) and UAE Ministry of Health.
- CryoSave Arabia is the only private cord blood bank with UAE Ministry of Health approval.
- It is the only private AABB-accredited laboratory (American Association for Blood Banks) in the Gulf region.
- Licensed and regulated by Dubai Healthcare City Authority and is subject to their stringent regulations and inspections.
- CryoSave Arabia is S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registered. Any registered establishments are subject to FDA inspection to ensure they are complying with the regulations designed to help ensure the safety of processing cord blood and donor eligibility.
- CryoSave Arabia laboratory in Dubai Healthcare City processes the newborn’s umbilical cord blood, where vital stem cells are extracted and divided into two batches; one for storage in Dubai, and the other in a second cryogenic storage facility in Geneva, thus reducing the risk of losing stem cells to an absolute minimum should a need arise. However, if parents wish to keep both batches in Dubai or Belgium, this is also possible.
- Transplant transportation to any transplant facility in the world is done by CryoSave at no extra cost.
For more information
Dubai Healthcare City
Al Razi Medical Complex 64
Block C, 1st Floor
P.O. Box 502421
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 360 4410
Toll Free: 800-CRYO (800 2796)
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