Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cord Blood May Have Saved a Baby from Brain Damage: Top Cord Blood Stocks

A baby who had a stroke in utero, was treated with her own cord blood at Duke University. The cord blood had been stored from birth by a private cord blood bank. The director of the pediatric program at Duke believes that the cord blood cells help decrease inflammation in the section of the brain that was affected by stroke.

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 possible cancer or genetic disease of the child or the child's siblings. Numerous diseases have been treated with cord blood. Information on cord blood and how it is collected, stored, and used, is available at

Investors have a few options when investing in the cord blood industry. They can own the stocks of the cord blood banks, they can own the companies that use cord blood to develop cures, or they can own companies that produce extraction and storage products. 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 30 times earnings and pays a small yield of 0.6%.

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 price to earnings ratio of 18 and sports a generous yield of 2.9%.

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 PE of 46.

Amgen Inc. (AMGN) is also funding research into cord blood extraction, preservation, and storage. The stock has a forward PE of 19 and carries a decent yield of 2.0%.

For a free list of cord blood and stem cell stocks, which can be downloaded, updated, and sorted, go to

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.


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