Singapore's first public stem cell bank opens

SINGAPORE - With the opening of Singapore's first public stem cell bank on Tuesday (Oct 27), adults can now store their stem cells in Singapore while they are still young and healthy as a safeguard against future illnesses.

Stem Med, a joint venture between public-listed TalkMed Group and StemCord, opened on Tuesday at Pasir Panjang.

The facility boasts two separate laboratories for the processing, cryopreservation and storage of the Bone Marrow and Peripheral Blood Stem Cells for immediate or future therapeutic use, Stem Med said in a press release Tuesday.

It is also offering the extraction and storage of mesenchymal stem cells from the bone marrow and adipose (fat) tissues on a research/clinical trial basis, as these specialised cells can be isolated and further cultured for regenerative therapies in the future.

Dr Lim Hong Liang, CEO of Stem Med said: "Stem Med was founded to provide an opportunity for families who have missed the chance to store their own cord blood at birth."

Medical Director of StemCord, Dr Teo Cheng Peng, added: "Since the founding of StemCord 13 years ago in Singapore, we have been a strong advocate of the benefits of cord blood banking as it may treat over 80 blood-related diseases."

Since its inception on March 6, 2002, StemCord has processed, stored and released 12 cord blood units to its clients for treatment.

grongloh@sph.com.sg