LATAM Cord Blood Bank Players Discerning Between Want and Need

Cord blood has gone from something that is discarded immediately after a baby’s birth, to the source of potentially life-saving medical solutions for thousands of people across the world. Cord blood is widely acknowledged as a core repository of stem cells, the building blocks of cellular life. Although it has been a long time since scientists began all sorts of experiments and revealed discoveries related to the usefulness of stem cells in medicine, the connection between cord blood and stem cells was only successfully linked in the 1980’s. Additionally, the knowledge that umbilical cord blood holds nearly ten times the volume of stem cells than what adult bone marrow holds, has pushed a lot of organizations to storing and saving cord blood for further research and medical utility.

The Latin America cord blood services market in 2014, stood at US$196.9 mn and is expected to climb all the way up to US$445.4 mn by the end of 2023. This is a CAGR of 9.4% from 2015 to 2023. Several factors are responsible for such a high rate of propulsion of cord blood usage in the region for the given period, which can be understood through the following questions:

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What do Consumers Prefer? Private or Public Cord Blood Banking Services?
One of the fundamental ways to classify the overall scenario within the cord blood banking services being offered in a region is the segregation between private and public services. The Latin America cord blood services market is currently highly fragmented when it comes to its competitive landscape, and holds a high diversity in both service types. But the overall differentiation between public and private cord blood banks is not strong enough to distinguish one from the other. The core difference lie in the type of services being offered by each type, and the type of clients that each cater to. Public cord blood banks are more suited for research and development as they offer cord blood samples for a more generalized use. On the other hand, private cord blood banks cater to individuals or families and offer more personalized services such as issuing collection kits to parents or improved privacy policies.

Where Should People go Then?
Latin America holds an extremely diverse population pool that holds a large number of ethnic minorities. This makes donating cord blood a very valuable endeavor for all families. Unfortunately the economic status of most families in the region does not allow them to avail private cord blood banking services. However, recent surveys and studies have shown the greater value of public cord blood banks over private ones. This is because currently, stem cells can largely be used only for curing blood related illnesses. With this factor in perspective, it can be seen that not all blood ailments can be cured with UCB; a lot of blood defects inherently present in a child will also be present in their cord blood, thereby disallowing the use of those stem cells for that particular treatment. The child will need cord blood from another donor, which can be easily attained from public cord blood banks.

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