Insception Lifebank Company Statement

Date: Sunday 11th November

The Fifth Estate has broadcast an episode (the “Episode”) on private cord blood banking and Insception Lifebank “Insception”. The story did not accurately report the scientific facts and published data that Insception provided to the program in the lead up to their show.

The facts are as follows:

  • In the Episode, it is suggested that only the public banking system has been used to treat the 80 diseases and conditions for which cord blood is recommended. This is not correct. Privately banked samples, including those from Insception, have been used to treat many of those conditions.
  • The Episode says that, in most cases, a child’s own cord blood cannot be used for transplant in treating their condition. To be clear, there are conditions on the list referred to in the Episode where treatment can include transplant with a child’s own sample. In addition, a healthy child’s sample can be used to treat their sibling in many cases.
  • Family cord blood banking is provided to expectant parents as a matter of their choice, in approximately 450 private family banks in over 100 countries.
  • For transplants using a child’s own cord blood, the Insception group has released cord blood for treatment of life threatening conditions including Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, Retinoblastoma and Neuroblastoma.
  • For transplants using related, sibling cord blood donors, published data has shown better survival outcomes and lower graft versus host disease as compared to transplants using unrelated matched donors[1],[2] (i.e. unrelated donor samples would typically be sourced from the public banking system).
  • Insception has released sibling cord blood for the treatment of life threatening conditions including Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, Beta Thalassemia, Fanconi Anemia and Severe Congenital Neutropenia.
  • For example, The Hospital for Sick Children (“Sick Kids”) in Toronto has used sibling cord blood that was stored at Insception for the treatment of all the above diseases.
  • The Episode’s cursory mention of the future potential utility of cord blood was inadequate. International research and clinical trials are exploring the potential of cord blood in new therapies. The Insception group has already released cord blood for clinical trials in cerebral palsy, autism and type-1 diabetes.
  • The Episode failed to report on difficulties associated with finding donor matches. As reported by Canadian Blood Services, “half of the patients in Canada requiring a stem cell donor are without a match”. Storing with a family cord blood bank increases the probability of a match, particularly in the case of mixed ethnic and racial backgrounds.
    Insception is the most accredited cord blood bank in Canada – public or private – (including FACT, AABB and Health Canada compliant), and the Insception group is the one of top 10 family cord blood banks in the world. With its broad accreditation regime, Insception is as regulated as any cord blood bank in the world – public or private.
  • Insception has a robust internal compliance process to ensure statements we make are supported by independent medical studies and peer-reviewed publications. The information we provide is designed to give families sufficient insight to understand their options and assess the suitability of our service.
  • Insception aligns with the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) guidelines in providing information relating to the benefits and limitations of both private and public banking. It is well documented that expectant parents want information and education on the options relating to cord blood[3].

[1] Gluckman et al NEJM (1997) 337: 373-81
[2] Bizzetto et al Haematologica (2011) 96: 134-41
[3] Jordens et al Birth. 2014 Dec;41(4):360-6.

Media Contact Information:

Frank Cashen
General Manager
Office: 1 (866) 606-2790, Option 3

Insception Lifebank
1-1620 Tech Ave.
Mississauga, ON L4W 5P4

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