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LifeCell launches menstrual blood stem cell banking in India

Our Bureau, Mumbai
Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 17:50 Hrs  [IST]

LifeCell International, pioneers in stem cell banking, today launched LifeCell Femme-menstrual blood stem cell banking services in India. LifeCell is the first and only company offering menstrual blood stem cell banking in India. LifeCell introduced the menstrual blood banking in India after entering into a collaboration with Cryo-Cell International, who owns the patent for this technology. Under the agreement LifeCell will be paying the US based Cryo-Cell International royalty based on its sales in India.

Cryo-Cell International, is the technology partner of LifeCell and has been offering this service in other countries under the brand C’elle. This technology was first launched in the US in 2007. With this launch LifeCell has made this technology available in all its 70 centres across India. Mayur Abhaya, executive director, LifeCell International informed that they are planning to launch the LifeCell Femme-menstrual blood stem cell banking services in Dubai and Sri Lanka as well in the coming two years.

Every month during a woman’s menstrual period the uterine lining–endometrium is shed along with the extra blood and tissues. This lining of the uterus contains a large number of mesenchymal stem cells and several thousand fold high concentration of stem cell growth factoRs.These cells from the endometrium are unique because they have many properties and characteristics similar to both bone marrow and embryonic stem cells.

Until now, menstrual blood has been discarded as unsanitary waste. However, recent research has demonstrated that the menstrual blood contains large number of self-renewing stem cells. These cells multiply rapidly and can differentiate into many other types of cells such as neural, cardiac, bone, fat, cartilage and possibly others; demonstrating great potential for cell therapy.

Understanding the potential of these stem cells, LifeCell has bought the innovative concept of menstrual blood stem cell banking wherein these vital stem cells can be preserved for future therapeutic usage when needed. The menstrual blood derived mesenchymal stem cells also potentially overcome the problem of immune rejection in female patients, as they could use their own stem cells for therapies. Importantly these menstrual blood stem cells are can be easily collected, processed and harvested in an affordable, painless and non-invasive manner.

Speaking on the occasion, Abhaya said, “After our success of pioneering the concept of umbilical cord stem cell banking in the country, we are proud to introduce LifeCell Femme menstrual blood stem cell banking. In India, there is lot of myths and taboo associated with menstrual blood and our biggest challenge will be to get people to accept and overcome such traditional setbacks and myths. Considering the strong scientific foundation of this service and impressive clinical progress of mesenchymal stem cell research and therapy, we believe that this service will appeal to thousands of women in the country who desire to secure their future health.”

LifeCell Femme is the first and only menstrual blood stem cell banking service in India. The collection process for menstrual blood is painless and hassle free. The collection can be done at the privacy and convenience of home using a ‘menstrual cup’ - a conical shaped medical grade silicon cup which can collect up to 30 ml of menstrual blood. The menstrual cup is a reusable product, approved by US FDA and is used as an alternative to sanitary napkin or tampon globally.

Once collected the menstrual blood stem cells are dispatched to LifeCell’s state of the art laboratory facility at Chennai for processing. After processing the stem cells are harvested and the menstrual stem cells are frozen in liquid nitrogen storage container for cryogenic preservation at sub-zero minus 196 degree centigrade. This procedure will enable the stem cells to retain its potency and viability for indefinite period of time. The stored sample can be retrieved at any point of time with no additional cost.

LifeCell Femme will be available at a cost of just Rs.29,900 during the first year under the annual storage plan. The customer needs to pay only an annual storage fee of Rs.1,500 for every subsequent year for as many years as they desire to preserve their menstrual blood stem cells. One-time payment options are also available and this can be subscribed with a low EMI of just Rs.4,200 per month for 24 months for storage of stem cells up to the age of 60 without any additional interim costs.

Although menstrual stem cell technology has not yet been utilised to date in human therapies, the collective body of ongoing research may potentially change the types of therapies used to diagnose or treat a host of significant medical conditions in the future affecting hundreds of millions worldwide like Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson's disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and many others.

The goal of mesenchymal cell therapy is to treat diseases of non-haematopoietic tissues in an analogous fashion to treating leukaemia with haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Menstrual stem cells have the potential to differentiate into possibly every other cell type in the human body.


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Pharma Software Company Mar 10, 2011 12:23 AM
wow, it can open doors to many possibilities in healthcare treatment for critical diseases especially for women.
Mittu Mar 9, 2011 1:36 PM
its a great achievement...we'l c healthy women henceforth
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