ORLANDO, Florida, May 4, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank, is pleased to announce its plans to open the CORD:USE Family Cord Blood Bank. CORD:USE and its world class team have decided to make available CORD:USE's high-quality cord blood banking services to expectant parents wishing to privately bank their babies' cord blood, said Edward S. Guindi, M.D., CORD:USE President and CEO. The CORD:USE team of leading physicians and scientists supports family banking with CORD:USE because of our high-quality practices and commitment to providing expectant parents with medically and scientifically accurate information regarding the current and potential therapeutic uses of cord blood.

CORD:USE is a leading provider of public cord blood banking, which allows parents to donate their newborn's umbilical cord blood and have it placed on a public registry for patients in need of a cord blood transplant. CORD:USE's cord blood units are used in transplants performed around the nation and world. CORD:USE will continue to pursue its important mission of increasing the inventory of high-quality cord blood units for patients in need of a transplant while also offering expectant parents the option to privately bank their newborn's cord blood. This will give expectant parents the ability to choose the option that is right for them.

CORD:USE's management and team believe that expectant parents who choose to privately store their babies' cord blood should have their cord blood receive the same attention to quality as those donated units which are placed in the public registries. As an obstetrician who has performed thousands of deliveries, I feel strongly that expectant parents should receive the best medical care that is available. Their cord blood should also benefit from the best procedures and technologies that exist. CORD:USE Family Cord Blood Bank will allow expectant parents to benefit from CORD:USE's stringent processes, advanced technologies and world-renowned team to store their child's cord blood for their family's potential use, said Dr. Guindi.

The CORD:USE team is unparalleled in cord blood banking and has experience with thousands of cord blood transplants. We are very fortunate to have many of the world's leaders in this field on our team. Their pioneering work and multiple innovations have significantly led to the creation and development of the field, said Dr. Guindi.

The Founder of CORD:USE's Family Cord Blood Bank is Hal Broxmeyer, Ph.D. Dr. Broxmeyer is internationally recognized as a founder of the field of cord blood stem cell transplantation. He is the current President of the American Society of Hematology (ASH). ASH is the world's largest professional society, with over 16,000 members from 97 countries, concerned with the causes and treatments of blood disorders. I am very excited to be associated with CORD:USE and its team of experts that strive to meet the highest quality practices based on proven and sound rigorous scientific and clinical information, said Dr. Broxmeyer.

The Medical Director of CORD:USE Family Cord Blood Bank and Public Bank is Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D. Dr. Kurtzberg is the Director of Duke University's Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, which is one of the nation's most active cord blood transplant centers, and the Medical Director of Duke's Carolina's Cord Blood Bank. She performed the world's first successful allogeneic cord blood transplant in 1993 and her program has since performed approximately 1,000 cord blood transplants. She is the Co-Chair of the National Marrow Donor Program Cord Blood Advisory Group. I believe that cells from cord blood have enormous potential to save lives now through hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and in the future as a source of cells for regenerative medicine. While we are still learning about its potential, it's critically important that cord blood cells are collected, processed and stored using the highest quality procedures and equipment. The CORD:USE cord blood bank is committed to providing high-quality family banking services for new parents choosing to bank their baby's cord blood for their family, said Dr. Kurtzberg.

The Director of CORD:USE Family Cord Blood Bank is Alan Levine, Ph.D. Dr. Levine is the former Director of the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Blood Disease Program at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). While at the NIH, Dr. Levine created the Bone Marrow and Cord Blood Research Programs at the NHLBI. I was at the NIH at the inception of the field of cord blood banking and have seen the progress over the last two decades. Expectant parents will greatly benefit from the collective knowledge and experience of the CORD:USE team, which includes the original founders of the field, the people who have made significant advancements in the field, many of the most renowned cord blood experts and most experienced transplant physicians, said Dr. Levine.

The Chief Clinical Scientific Advisor of CORD:USE Family Cord Blood Bank is John E. Wagner, M.D. Dr. Wagner is the Director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Scientific Director of Clinical Research of the Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota, one of the nation's most active cord blood transplant centers with nearly 1,000 cord blood transplants and it has performed more transplants in adults than any other program worldwide. He and his team were the first to use umbilical cord blood in the treatment of leukemia in 1990 and discovered that two partially matched umbilical cord blood units could be safely used to treat larger patients for whom a single unit was not adequate. This is an exciting era for cord blood transplantation. With the explosion of research with cord blood cells, it is hoped that new discoveries will make it an even better source of blood forming stem cells in the near future as well as clearly establish its use in the treatment of new diseases, said Dr. Wagner.

The Director of International Operations of CORD:USE Family Cord Blood Bank is Eliane Gluckman, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Gluckman is the pioneering transplanter who performed the world's first successful cord blood transplant in Paris in 1988 and has authored over 700 publications. She is the President of Eurocord, which is the International Registry on Cord Blood Transplantation with 47 participating countries, and is the President of the European School of Hematology. I look forward to working with CORD:USE on its international expansion and pursuing many of the opportunities which exist in Europe and around the world, said Dr. Gluckman.

Cord blood stem cells already have been proven effective in the treatment of more than 70 diseases such as leukemias, lymphomas, myelomas, sickle cell disease, and thalassemia. In addition, there is a great deal of research being conducted which is likely to lead to more effective and additional therapies. CORD:USE and its team believe that when offering expectant parents their cord blood banking options, it should be made clear to them which treatments are available now versus which treatments may be possible in the future.

Over the past 5 years there has been an increasing interest by expectant parents to have their child's umbilical cord blood stem cells stored privately for their family's exclusive use, and we receive frequent requests to privately store cord blood for families. Additionally, many hospital administrators are reporting to us that family cord blood banking is on the rise for the deliveries which take place at their hospitals. We are glad to provide expectant parents demanding this important service the best practices, technologies and experience, said Michael Ernst, CORD:USE Executive Vice President and CFO.

For more information, please call +1-888-CORDUSE (267-3873) or visit the CORD:USE website at http://www.corduse.com.

SOURCE: CORD:USE Cord Blood Bank

CONTACT: Michael Ernst, CORD:USE Executive Vice President and CFO,+1-407-667-4844, mernst@corduse.com