Duke University is studying the use of cord blood transplants in babies while still in the womb, in order to treat various metabolic disorders. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given approval for clinical trials.
Cord blood is blood that comes from umbilical cords, and contains a large amount of hematopoietic stem cells. Specialized cord blood banks are available to store this blood. 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. Close to a hundred 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 CordBloodStocks.com.
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 note that some of these companies have low market caps and are very speculative.
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 disburse 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%.
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.
Amgen Inc. (AMGN) is also funding research into cord blood extraction, preservation, and storage. The stock has a PE of 13.
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.
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.
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.
For a free downloadable Excel database of cord blood and stem cell stocks, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.
Author does not own any of the above.