Derriford Hospital

Biovault’s partnership with Derriford Hospital’s Maternity Unit for cord stem cell services

Expectant parents at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth can now choose to bank umbilical cord blood stem cells thanks to a ground-breaking new partnership.

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust has partnered with Biovault Family to give expectant parents the choice of paying to bank cord blood, which could be used in the future to treat conditions such as leukaemia and cerebral palsy.

Cord blood stem cells are unique in that they can renew or differentiate into a variety of specialised cells and can therefore be used to treat many diseases. Under the new arrangement, Midwives can collect the cord blood in a short and painless procedure immediately after birth. They are then processed, cryogenically frozen and stored at Biovault’s hi-tech facility at Plymouth International Business Park.

Sue Stock, Head of Midwifery at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The umbilical cord blood collection procedure is completely safe and poses no risk to mum or baby. The banking of cord blood could potentially provide lifesaving treatment for that baby or a matching family member in the future so we are really pleased to offer expectant parents this option.”

Dr Joanna Tilley, a Director at Biovault Family said: “Cord blood stem cells are currently being used to treat a wide variety of diseases and disorders, and research is continuing to extend the list of treatable diseases year on year. Partnering with Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust means that more people now have this important option available to them to help protect their family in the future.”

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