Cell therapy

Philanthropy fuels new life, new hope!

San Diego Blood Bank’s Cell Therapy Program initiatives are Cord Blood and Tissue Banking.


Cord Blood Banking

San Diego Blood Bank is a primary cord blood provider! We collaborate with San Diego and Southern California hospitals to collect umbilical cord blood after the birth of a healthy full-term baby.

Umbilical cord stem cells provide hope for a cure and new life for patients in need of a transplant or life-threatening medical conditions such as leukemia, lymphoma, immune diseases, metabolic disorders, autism, stroke, and cerebral palsy.

The cord blood is processed and stored at San Diego Blood Bank and is donated anonymously for the use of any patient in need of a lifesaving bone marrow transplant. Each certified cord blood unit is listed on the Be The Match Registry®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) which makes stem cells available to patients around the world for a match.

The positioning of the blood bank, and the cord blood bank in particular, have really offered up an opportunity for us to leverage our current high-quality product generation not only for blood transfusion, but also cord blood transplants in ways that go beyond the standard.
— Rob Tressler, Ph.D., Vice President of Laboratories, Cell Therapy

Cord Tissue Banking

San Diego Blood Bank is pioneering an umbilical cord tissue bank — a breakthrough for the aging population.

A broad variety of age-related disorders such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune and neurological deficits are a growing medical burden on individuals. Umbilical cord tissue is abundant in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which researchers have discovered can play a critical role in not only maintaining health but also in regenerating diseased or damaged organ tissue. Currently, umbilical cord tissue is discarded as medical waste. By collecting instead of disposing of cord tissue, the rich supply of young functional stem cells that help the body heal itself can be studied and developed into possible therapies and cures for various diseases.

This has launched a new era of regenerative medicine that continues to expand. Clinical trials with MSCs for the treatment of heart attack, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke, arthritis, autoimmune disease, and brain injury are underway. The supply of MSCs from San Diego Blood Bank’s public cord tissue bank will support research and clinical trials.

In collaboration with academic, biopharmaceutical and clinical research and development organizations, the establishment of San Diego Blood Bank’s cord tissue bank will enable research and development of new cell therapies in regenerative medicine for age-related disorders.

Certainly, in some of San Diego Blood Bank 2.0 initiatives, a lot of them have to do with just a tube of blood, not even a pint of blood. Investing in cellular therapies and genetic analysis of that single tube of blood could discover a new disease mechanism, could develop new therapies and impact thousands to maybe even millions of lives.
— David Wellis, Ph.D., CEO, San Diego Blood Bank

Philanthropy will help pioneer the next era of cell therapy and precision health.