StemCare A/S was founded in 2002 to make it possible for parents-to-be to have their children’s stem cells collected and stored from the umbilical cord, if needed for a potential future treatment. Since then, massive progress within research and treatment of various diseases has taken place securing continuous high expectations to the future. Stem cells from the umbilical cord blood represents a number of therapeutic advantages i.g. that they can be collected without any risk to mother or child.
Being the only stem cell bank in Denmark and the largest in the Nordic countries, StemCare has a unique and comprehensive expertise i.g. in handling, processing and research of the stem cells. Beyond providing this service in DK, StemCare is offering their expertise, primarily the laboratory and storage processes, to other stem cell banks in and outside the EU.
StemCare is approved by the Danish Health and Medicines Authority, which is responsible for monitoring that the company complies with the Danish Tissue Act and associated executive orders.Today StemCare stores close to 10,000 stem cell portions.
Emphasis on knowledge sharing
The stem cell universe is diverse and complex and knowledge sharing is essential, in particular when research in this area is still in its infancy. As a natural demand StemCare focus on sharing the knowledge the company helps produce with the many diverse institutions involved in stem cell research or treatment.
In 2012, StemCare and other leading stem cell experts therefore took the initiative to establish the Danish Stem Cell Society (DASCS); a forum that aims to create a network to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration between all parties involved in stem cell research in Denmark.
Further StemCare is actively informing doctors, midwives and nurses at both private and public clinics and hospitals in Denmark about new knowledge in the area and the possibilities presented by the storage of umbilical cord stem cells.
StemCare is actively involved in a number of research projects that place Denmark at the forefront of the expansion of both blood-forming and mesenchymal umbilical cord stem cells for use in research and treatment.
Blood-forming stem cells are used to treat diseases of the blood such as leukemia, while mesenchymal stem cells primarily have a potential for use in regenerative treatment of, for example, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatic diseases and diabetes I.
In 2010, StemCare, the research institution Bioneer A/S and the Dutch biotech company Vabrema jointly received around DKK 5 million from the EU’s Eurostar programme to complete the development of techniques for expansion of blood-forming stem cells.
In 2010 and 2011 respectively, StemCare and Bioneer also received DKK 600,000 from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation for joint trials with routine expansion of mesenchymal stem cells from frozen umbilical cord blood using validated culturing techniques. This expansion project, which is the first of its kind in Denmark, is expected to be completed in August 2012.
Cord Blood Europe
In 2009, StemCare was a co-founder of the organisation Cord Blood Europe, an association of leading private umbilical cord stem cell banks in Europe. Cord Blood Europe promotes the harmonisation of quality requirements and uniform handling of umbilical cord stem cells in member countries. The organisation also functions as a platform for cooperation and exchange of best practice between the leading private stem cell banks in the EU.