Salk Institute for Biological Studies researchers have discovered the use of a single protein called transcription factor-to convert cord blood cells may be helpful in treating spinal cord injuries, strokes, and other neurological disorders. Other research has shown that umbilical cord blood may be useful in treating leukemia. Several companies, both large and small, are involved in the cord blood industry, and Richard Branson has even invested in the cord blood business.
Cord blood is blood that comes from the umbilical cords of babies, and contains a significant amount of hematopoietic stem cells. Specialized cord blood banks store this blood. Cord blood stem cells are considered far superior to stem cells from bone marrow. Cord blood of a baby is preserved in the event it may be needed at some point in the future for treatment of the cancer or genetic disease of the child or the child's siblings. Many diseases have been treated with cord blood. Information on cord blood and how it is collected, stored, and used, is available at CordBloodStocks.com.
Investors have two options when investing in this industry. They can own the stocks of the cord blood banks or own the companies that use cord blood to develop cures and produce extraction and storage products. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has come up with a list of 20 companies involved in the cord blood field. One example is PerkinElmer, Inc. (PKI), which 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 trades at 11 times forward earnings and pays a decent yield of 1.1%.
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 forward price to earnings ratio of 11.4 and sports a yield of 2.4%.
Celgene (CELG) is a New Jersey company that 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 stock has a forward PE of 12.3.
Amgen Inc. (AMGN) is also funding research into cord blood extraction, preservation, and storage. The stock has a forward PE of 11.6 and carries a yield of 1.9%.
For a free list of cord blood and stem cell stocks, which can be downloaded, updated, and sorted, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.
Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.