Friday, June 05, 2009

Cord Blood Stocks

Cord blood has been in the news a lot recently. A Florida hospital is waiving the fee for the donation of cord blood. Five cord blood transfer centers in Spain have joined a study for the treatment of lymphoma and leukemia. And a cord blood bank in Texas has added Midland Memorial Hospital to is collection network.

Cord blood is blood that comes from umbilical cords, and contains an extensive amount of hematopoietic stem cells. The blood is kept in depositories called blood banks. Cord blood stem cells are considered far superior to stem cells from bone marrow. Many parents have their newborn's cord blood preserved in the event it may be needed at some point in the future for treatment of their child's or the child's sibling's cancer or genetic disease. Over 75 diseases have been treated with cord blood. For a lot more detail on cord blood and how it is collected, stored, and used, go to

Even Richard Branson, of Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airways fame, is in the cord blood business. He set up Virgin Health, a cord blood bank.

There are a couple ways to invest in the cord blood industry, the cord blood banks and the companies that use cord blood to develop cures. Here are several stocks that participate in the cord blood business. Please be aware that many of these companies have low market caps and are extremely speculative.

Cord Blood America Inc. (CBAI.OB) One of the cord blood bankers, this Los Angeles company is involved in the collection, testing, processing, and preservation of the blood from umbilical cords for use in future stem cell therapy. They own the Cord Partners umbilical cord blood banking company. They have recently generated negative earnings. This is an extremely low cap stock and should therefore be considered extremely speculative.

ThermoGenesis (KOOL) This California company designs, makes, and sells automated blood processing systems for the manufacture, preservation, and delivery of cell therapies. They are involved in a joint venture with GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (GE) to distribute the AXP(TM) AutoXpress Platform, a closed and automated system for harvesting mononuclear cells from cord blood. They have a price sales ratio of 1.4. They have recently generated negative earnings. This is an extremely low cap stock and should therefore be considered extremely speculative.

Cryo-Cell International (CCEL.OB) This is a Florida based cord blood stem cell bank, specializing in the family market. The stock has a PE ratio of 665. This is an extremely low cap stock and should therefore be considered extremely speculative.

PerkinElmer, Inc. (PKI) owns ViaCell, a Cambridge, Massachusetts company which sells ViaCord, a product which is used to preserve baby's umbilical cord blood. They also research and other therapeutic uses of umbilical cord blood-derived and adult-derived stem cells. The stock has a PE of 17 and a yield of 1.7%.

Celgene (CELG) This New Jersey company is involved in the discovery, production, and marketing of therapies designed to treat cancer and immune-inflammatory-related diseases. They own LifeBank USA, a cord blood bank. The P/E is 74.

Baxter International Inc. (BAX) makes blood collection bags for umbilical cord blood and develop adult stem-cell therapies. They also own a patent for assembling and methods to process cord blood in a sterile fashion to avoid exposure to bacterial contamination and to meter the introduction of cryopreservation solution into cord blood at a desired rate, thereby avoiding damage or trauma to the cord blood cells. The stock has a PE ratio of 14 and pays a yield of 2.1%.

Amgen Inc. (AMGN) is also funding research into cord blood extraction, preservation, and storage. The stock has a PE of 13.

For a free downloadable Excel database of cord blood and stem cell stocks, go to

Author does not own any of the above.


Anonymous said...

KOOL: up 20% today, highest single company sales in Stem Cell Sector, Res-Q explodes market size.

Thermogenesis new CEO has a financial package, which includes options on 700M shares of stock, provides a lot of incentive for him to move the company and its market value forward.

In June, KOOL will introduce a Point-of-Care use product called Res-Q which represents a quantum leap in potential market size for KOOL. Res-Q will process bone marrow stem cells or peripheral blood (for platelet rich plasma) in 15 minutes. MarrowXpress and Res-Q each represent KOOL's first attempt to expand its market beyond cord blood.

Thermogenesis (KOOL) developed the BioArchive and AutoXpress to serve the cord blood stem cell collection and preservation market. With these two products, KOOL has grown to over $20 million in sales and projects profitability in early 2010. KOOL will grow only as fast as the collection of cord blood grows, assuming the company maintains market share, unless it expands into larger markets with new products.

And that's exactly what it's doing. KOOL has introduced and received both CE Mark and FDA approval for MarrowXpress which is the bone marrow stem cell processing equivalent of the very successful AutoXpress cord blood stem cell processor. MarrowXpress will process bone marrow aspirate and stem cells and will be primarily used in laboratories.

Alen Kcatic said...

This is based on an in vitro study, which showed that the stem cell viability could actually be improved by volume reducing the umbilical cord blood units before infusion to restore the osmolarity of the suspension.