Global Strategic Report
After a rapid growth period through the mid-2000s, the global cord blood banking industry reached saturation and stabilized through approximately 2012. Since that time, the market has been aggressively consolidating. This has created both serious threats and novel opportunities for the industry.
Serious threats to the industry include low rates of utilization for stored cord blood, expensive cord blood transplantation procedures, difficulty educating obstetricians about cellular therapies, and an increasing trend toward industry consolidation.
There are also emerging opportunities for the industry, such as accelerated regulatory pathways for cell therapies in leading healthcare markets worldwide, including the United States, Japan, Europe and South Korea.
Cord Blood Industry Trends
New themes are impacting the industry, including the pairing of stem cell storage services with genetic and genomic testing services, as well as reproductive health services. Cord blood banks are diversifying into new types of stem cell storage, including umbilical cord tissue storage, placental blood and tissue, amniotic fluid and tissue, and dental pulp.
Cord blood banks are also investigating means of becoming integrated therapeutic companies, with LifebankUSA becoming an asset of the augmented immunity and longevity company Celularity and Americord announcing in a press release that it “intends to launch its first therapeutic product offering sometime in 2018.”
With approximately 450 companies offering cord blood banking services worldwide, maturation of the market means that each company is fighting harder for market share.
Cord Blood Industry Consolidation
Growing numbers of investors are now entering the marketplace, with M&A activity accelerating in the U.S. and abroad. In the United States, AMAG Pharmaceuticals sold Cord Blood Registry (CBR) to GI partners for $530 million in June 2018. AMAG had previously bought CBR for $700 million in 2015. GI Partners, a private equity investment firm, simultaneously acquired CBR and California Cryobank (CCB) to merge the companies into a single entity that will be the global leader in stem cell storage and reproductive tissue services.
Holding companies are also emerging as a global theme, allowing for increased operational efficiency and economy of scale. Cryoholdco has established itself as the market leader within Latin America. Created in 2015, Cryoholdco is a holding company that will control nearly 200,000 stem cell units by the end of 2018. It now owns six cord blood banks, as well as a dental stem cell storage company.
Globally, networks of cord blood banks are also commonplace, with Sanpower Group establishing dominance in Asia. Although Sanpower has been quiet about its operations, its website states:
“In 2016, Sanpower Group and its subsidiary Nanjing Cenbest announced their participation in founding a foundation to buy CO. In the same year, Nanjing Cenbest also acquired Shandong Cord Blood Bank. As a result, Sanpower now holds 4 licenses out of only 7 issued provincial-level cord blood bank licenses in China. It has reserved over 900,000 cord blood samples at home, and the associated reserves amount to almost 1,200,000 when counting in the Cordlife reserves across Southeast Asian countries and regions.”
This positions Sanpower Group and its subsidiary Nanjing Cenbest as the world’s largest cord blood banking operator not only in China and Southeast Asia, but in the world.
The number of cord blood banks in Europe has dropped by approximately one-third over the past ten years, from approximately 150 to 100. The industry leaders in this market segment include FamiCord Group, who has executed a dozen M&A transactions, and Vita34, who has executed approximately a half dozen. Stemlab, the largest cord blood bank in Portugal, also executed three acquisition deals prior to being acquired by FamiCord in July 2018.
FamiCord is now the leading stem cell bank in Europe, controlling over 263,000 cord blood and tissue units among its network of banks and over 347,000 biological samples of all types. This places it among the leading cord blood banks worldwide.
Dozens of other cord blood industry acquisitions have also occurred worldwide, with the highest frequency occurring within the United States, Europe, and Latin America.
Digital Competition for Cord Blood Banking Services
Digital competition for cord blood has been growing increasingly competitive. The term “cord blood” has now become one of the 20 most expensive search terms on Google. Winning online traffic through Google AdWords for the search phrase “Cord Blood” now costs $45.87 in the United States.
The cost for acquiring traffic through Google AdWords for the phrase “Cord Blood” is $32.91 when all geographies are allowed.
Cord Blood Expansion Technologies
Because cord blood utilization is largely limited to use in pediatric patients, growing investment is flowing into ex vivo cord blood expansion technologies.
Key strategies being explored for this purpose include:
Nicotinamide-mediated (NAM) expansion
Currently, the following companies have ex vivo cord blood expansion products in Phase II clinical trials:
Gamida Cell Ltd
Magenta Therapeutics has a Phase I trial underway for its cord blood expansion technology.
Growing numbers of investors are also entering the cord blood banking marketplace, led by groups such as GI Partners, ABS Capital Partners & HLM Management, KKR & Company, Bay City Capital, GTCR, LLC, Excalibur, and more.
Global Cord Blood Banking Industry Dynamics
In 2008, a Taiwanese company, HealthBanks Biotech Company Ltd. became the first company to offer cord tissue storage. It was not until July 2010 that the first private U.S. cord blood bank began offering the service (Cord Blood Registry). Since then, the trend of cord tissue storage has had a major impact on the cord blood banking industry, with many cord blood banks worldwide now offering the service.
In China, the government shocked the industry by announcing that only one cord blood bank would be allowed to operate within each province, and official government support, authorization, and permits would be required.
In Italy and France, it is illegal to privately store one’s cord blood, which has fully eliminated the potential for a private market to exist within the region.
In Ecuador, the government is now creating the first public cord blood bank and has instituted laws such that private cord blood banks cannot approach women about private cord blood banking options during the first six months of pregnancy. This created a crisis for the private banks, and there are now only two remaining in Ecuador.
Most recently, India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) restricted commercial banking of stem cells from most biological materials, including cord tissue, placenta, and dental pulp stem cells, leaving only umbilical cord blood banking as “permitted and licensed” within the country.
While market factors can vary by geography, it is crucial to have a global understanding of the market. Research advances, clinical trial findings, and technology advances do not know
international boundaries.The cord blood market is global in nature and understanding dynamics limited to your region is not sufficient for making strategic, informed, and profitable decisions.
Cord Blood Report Highlights
This 265 page reports includes:
Market size determinations for cord blood and tissue storage, with projections to 2022
Volumes of cord blood and cord tissue storage worldwide
Rates of worldwide cord blood storage (units per year)
Rates of cord blood utilization
Trend rate data for umbilical cord blood grants, patents, and scientific publications
Clinical trial analysis, including comparison of cord blood vs. cord tissue trials
Current and future conditions treatable with cord blood
Regulatory pathways affecting cord blood banking in major healthcare markets
Digital marketing assessment and comparison of industry leaders
Competitive environment analysis, including identification of market leaders
Leading investors within the cord blood marketplace
Medical opinions of cord blood banking
Crucial trends and unmet market needs
ABS Capital Partners & HLM Management
Bay City Capital
Cell Care (Australia)
China Cord Blood Corporation (CCBC)
Cord Blood Registry (CBR)
Future Health Biobank
Gamida Cell Ltd.
HealthBanks Biotech Company Ltd
Human Longevity Inc.
KKR & Company
Natera, Inc. (EverCordTM)
New England Cord Blood Bank
National Cord Blood Program (NCBP) at the New York Blood Center
Precious Cells Group (now in administration, along with Pharmacells Ltd.)
Shandong Cord Blood Bank
Stem Cell Cryobank
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Transcell Biologics Pvt Ltd,
VAULT SC Inc.
Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.Download eBook