Johannesburg, 18 April 2017 – Having stored over 310,000 umbilical cord blood stem cells locally and in Europe since 2000, Cryo-Save South Africa, a leading private stem cell bank, has been granted AABB accreditation for its South African laboratory, based in Pretoria. With no public stem cell bank in Africa, the Cryo-Save laboratory provides access to private stem cell processing and storage services in Southern Africa.

Cryo-Save South Africa, which is part of JSE-listed Financial Services Group, Ecsponent Limited, is responsible for the collection, processing and storage of umbilical cord stem cells for both Cryo-Save and Salveo Biotechnology. The facility now joins similar facilities from the United States and around the world who have also earned AABB Accreditation.

Haematopoietic or blood stem cells found in umbilical cord blood are used to treat diseases such as bone marrow failure, leukaemia, lymphoma and other types of blood cancers and hereditary blood disorders. These stem cells are collected at birth in a quick, painless and non-invasive procedure from what was once considered to be medical waste.

AABB, formerly known as the American Association of Blood Banks, is an international non-profit association, representing individuals and institutions involved in the field of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. Accreditation by the association follows an intensive on-site assessment by specially trained assessors who established that the level of technical and administrative performance within the facility meets or exceeds the standards set by the Association.

“The AABB Accreditation procedures are voluntary,” Dr Robert Crookes, Medical Director of Cryo-Save South Africa explained. “Cryo-Save South Africa has sought AABB accreditation as this programme assists facilities around the world in achieving excellence by promoting a level of professional and technical expertise that contributes to quality performance and patient safety.”

Erna West, Head of Product Development at Ecsponent Biotechnology says, “Having always operated under the internationally governed policies, processes and procedures of its parent company in Europe, this accreditation now adds an additional layer of confidence for parents who store their babies’ stem cells at the Cryo-Save laboratory, as well as for health care professionals who collect the umbilical cord blood and tissue at the birth.”

“With the advancements in biotechnology, and the fact that stem cells have been used to treat over 80 different diseases including leukaemia and other blood-related diseases, more and more expecting parents are considering umbilical cord stem cell storage. We will continue to uphold these standards as we remain focused on our mission to advance the health of South Africans, by providing access to affordable, life-saving technologies to everyone who wants to make responsible and informed choices for their children,” concludes West.

or more information on Cryo-Save or stem cell storage contact 087 8080 170 or info@cryo-save.co.za.

 

About AABB

 

Established in 1947, AABB (formally known as the American Association of Blood Banks) is an international, not-for-profit association dedicated to the advancements of science and practice of transfusion medicine and related biological therapies. The association is committed to improving health by developing and delivering standards, accreditation and educational programmes and services to optimise patient and donor care and safety.