As a special preview of the LA Baby Show, coming up on the weekend of November 5-6, we have interviewed or profiled many of the Show’s vendors and participants. You can read all about them on this Show blog, but of course the real fun is experiencing the Baby Show in person.
Tickets to the Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual, and can be purchased here.
Stem cells are invaluable to doctors who are trying to save patients with all sorts of illnesses and injuries, from leukemia to severe burns. The stem cell industry is expanding and finding new ways to help their patients. Caricord is on the forefront of that expansion and, working with the University of Colorado, is helping families every day.
To find out more about Caricord, we spoke with Marketing Project Manager Marilyn Gutierrez.
For someone unfamiliar with Caricord, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?
CariCord is a stem cell services company that focuses on providing best in class cord blood and tissue preservation, while also improving the health, wellness and quality of life for families who choose to save their baby’s stem cells at birth.
What is the background of Caricord? When did it start, and how has it evolved since then?
CariCord has a strategic partnership with the University of Colorado (CU)/ClinImmune/University of Colorado Cord Blood Bank (UCCBB), which includes an exclusive contract manufacturing agreement between CariCord and the University. CariCord is the only private cord blood banking company processing and storing cord blood on a major university campus.
What are the most popular and/or newest products from CariCord?
Our bodies are made up of over 200 specialized cells that carry out very specific functions. Stem cells can replicate themselves and they can also produce one or more of these special cell types. Although there are different types of stem cells, generally speaking, a stem cell is not yet specialized to perform a specific task in the body. The ability of these cells to differentiate makes them valuable to scientists, who want to use them as treatments to repair damaged cells or to replace cells that have been lost.
Most of the current stem cell therapies utilize hematopoietic stem cells, which are found in bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and peripheral blood. Depending on many factors, the physician will decide which one of these to use. For decades, transplant physicians have been using this type of adult stem cell to treat patients with diseases such as leukemia, sickle cell anemia, bone marrow damage, and some metabolic disorders and immunodeficiencies, where the body has lost its ability to replenish its own set of healthy blood cells. Hematopoietic stem cells give rise to all the blood cell types, from infection-fighting white blood cells to blood-clotting platelets.
Recently, researchers have identified additional types of stem cells in the umbilical cord itself. There are mesenchymal stem cells in the Wharton’s jelly, found inside the umbilical cord. These cells are the building blocks of bone and cartilage and show much promise for use in regeneration of those types of tissues. Additionally, the lining of the umbilical cord blood is found to contain mesenchymal and epithelial stem cells in high quantities. Epithelial stem cells are precursors to skin, smooth tissue and organs. Clinical trials are underway, using epithelial cells from the cord lining tissue to treat burns and early results are very encouraging.
What sets CariCord apart from other cord blood banking companies?
ClinImmune Labs, a university-owned leader in cord blood, covers all laboratory processing and repository needs, providing CariCord a direct association with the adjacent facilities, including University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, The Veterans Hospital, and Children’s Hospital Colorado. These research facilities and treatment centers are geared toward current and next generation life-saving technologies.
The University of Colorado Cord Blood Bank (UCCBB), a major component of ClinImmune Labs, has a seventeen year history of collecting, processing, banking and distributing cord blood for human transplantation. UCCBB is a public cord blood bank, which has been given consent from 30,000 women and banked over 9,000 cord blood units, of which more than 800 have been transplanted at over 150 different transplant centers in the United States and abroad. UCCBB is a major provider of Hispanic cord blood units to patients in the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America.
What can parents expect to see from Caricord at the LA Baby Show?
Educated sales and customer service specialists from CariCord will be on hand, who can answer questions from expectant parents regarding the collection, storage, and potential use of cord blood and cord tissue, and the benefits of saving cord blood at the leading cord blood bank in the country.
If you want to learn more, visit caricord.com