Private vs. public cord blood banks

So you’ve made the big decision to bank your or your child’s stem cells. But here comes the next step – deciding which cord blood bank to entrust with storing the precious stem cell sample.

Of course, your research tick list probably includes industry licenses, accreditations and treatment success stories. But are you aware of all the differences between public and private cord blood banks? They can be unclear and therefore misunderstood by many parents, which is why we’re laying the two side by side to set the record straight.

Knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each will help you choose the best stem cell banking solution for you and your family.

Private cord blood bank

Cord blood banks collect and store clients’ umbilical cord stem cells for potential future treatments. Privately banked stem cells are stored solely to be used by the donor or a member of the donor’s family. This type of bank offers a form of health insurance to each family, in case a member is diagnosed with a stem cell-treatable disease in the future.

Public cord blood bank

Public cord blood banks are run by government or charity. Your sample becomes part of a collection that can be matched to and used by members of the public. If a sample is required for treatment, those registered to a public bank must request to find a match within this stem cell pool.

Private vs. public comparison

Private cord blood bank

Only you and your immediate family can access your sample

A collection fee and storage fee are typically charged

The sample is a 100% DNA match to the donor, a 50% match to the parents and 25% match to their sibling

A strong DNA match guarantees a higher success rate of potential treatments

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Public cord blood bank

Your sample is publicly available to anyone with a need for treatment

Collection and storage is free

If the need for a stem cell transplant arises, you apply to find a suitable sample DNA match within the bank’s pool of samples

Sample success rate of treatments can vary, depending on how close the match is

There are public banks in Switzerland in Basel and Geneva. Cord blood donations for these banks are now possible at the following locations: Inselspital Bern, university hospitals in Basel and Geneva, the cantonal hospital Aarau and in Ticino in various hospitals.

In summary, the main advantages of public umbilical cord blood banks are that you can donate them for free and that the sample is available to the public worldwide. These samples could most likely help someone else who needs a sample. The search for an appropriate DNA sample and waiting lists in public health care make this route less ideal if you are in urgent need of stem cell treatment.

Choosing a private cord blood bank to collect and store your child’s stem cells means that the child has a perfect DNA match, a close match for family members, and that the sample is easily and quickly available for use in the event of treatment. The service fees give you the security that your sample will be kept safely for you and your family for up to 25 years.

Why choose us

Once you’ve decided that Cord Blood Banking is for you, you then need to decide which biobank you’re going to trust with your baby’s sample. Here’s why we think you should choose us;

One of the world's most accredited stem cell banks

1st private stem cell bank with GMP certification issued by Swissmedic

Storage of the samples in Switzerland