Biovault

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Biovault's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Biovault is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.biovaultfamily.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | BIOVAULT
CEO Kate Sneddon
Cryogenic storage
at Biovault
CEO Kate Sneddon tells
The Parliamentary Review
that
Biovault has been at the forefront of the field of human
tissue processing and cryogenic storage for almost 20
years. This rapidly-developing field has seen a massive spike
in demand as doctors and scientists alike find ever more life-
changing medical applications for human tissue. These include
established treatments already used by the NHS – for conditions
such as lymphoma and leukaemia – as well as highly innovative
stem cell treatments for children born with conditions such as
cerebral palsy and autism. Kate talks about Biovault’s history
and how the organisation has evolved in recent years.
Initially, we acted as a service organisation supporting the NHS and international
partner organisations, but in 2012, we took a brave step and launched our own
customer-facing offering: “Biovault Family”. This was a unique new venture,
offering umbilical stem cell banking in the UK and international markets.
More recently, in 2017, we commenced a research programme that looks at
opportunities to increase the possibilities for use of umbilical cord stem cells banked
at birth.
Working to the highest standard
Working in the medical field requires that we work to the highest quality standards.
However, we go above and beyond the mandatory UK Human Tissue Authority
licence and have sought out two of the most exacting international accreditations.
FACTS ABOUT
BIOVAULT
»CEO: Kate Sneddon
»Established in 2002
»Based in Plymouth
»Services: Human tissue
processing and cryogenic
storage
»No. of employees: 22
Biovault
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | BIOVAULT
CEO Kate Sneddon
Cryogenic storage
at Biovault
CEO Kate Sneddon tells
The Parliamentary Review
that
Biovault has been at the forefront of the field of human
tissue processing and cryogenic storage for almost 20
years. This rapidly-developing field has seen a massive spike
in demand as doctors and scientists alike find ever more life-
changing medical applications for human tissue. These include
established treatments already used by the NHS – for conditions
such as lymphoma and leukaemia – as well as highly innovative
stem cell treatments for children born with conditions such as
cerebral palsy and autism. Kate talks about Biovault’s history
and how the organisation has evolved in recent years.
Initially, we acted as a service organisation supporting the NHS and international
partner organisations, but in 2012, we took a brave step and launched our own
customer-facing offering: “Biovault Family”. This was a unique new venture,
offering umbilical stem cell banking in the UK and international markets.
More recently, in 2017, we commenced a research programme that looks at
opportunities to increase the possibilities for use of umbilical cord stem cells banked
at birth.
Working to the highest standard
Working in the medical field requires that we work to the highest quality standards.
However, we go above and beyond the mandatory UK Human Tissue Authority
licence and have sought out two of the most exacting international accreditations.
FACTS ABOUT
BIOVAULT
»CEO: Kate Sneddon
»Established in 2002
»Based in Plymouth
»Services: Human tissue
processing and cryogenic
storage
»No. of employees: 22
Biovault
37BIOVAULT |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
The first of these is the foundation for
the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy
Joint Accreditation Committee for
ISCT and EBMT. This is Europe’s
only official accreditation body in
the field of haematopoietic stem cell
transplantation and cellular therapy.
It promotes high-quality laboratory
practice through a profession-led,
voluntary accreditationscheme.
The second accreditation is the
American Association of Blood Banks,
which has been supervising the field of
cellular therapy for over 20 years.
We are truly proud to hold these
accreditations, which ensure we
maintain our unique place as the
leading private cell and tissue banking
facility in the UK. In addition to quality,
we are very proud of our ethics: as
scientists and parents, we care for
every person and every cell in our
care and put the wellbeing of people
beforeprofit.
We are the South West Peninsula
Transplantation Service’s tissue
establishment, and we work in
partnership with four NHS hospitals as
they perform stem cell transplants for
patients with complex blood cancers
for whom more traditional treatments
have failed. We provide the processing
facilities and store the patients’
or matched donors’ stem cells at
cryogenic temperatures, -196°C, until
they are ready to receive the cells post-
chemotherapy, to help build a new
cancer-free immune system. We are
also very excited about the prospect
of this service being expanded to treat
autoimmune conditions, the most
notable being multiple sclerosis.
Umbilical cord banking
While many patients treated by the
transplantation service wouldn’t
have had the chance to store their
stem cells at birth, a relatively new
area of medicine is developing using
stem cells from the umbilical cord.
When parents give birth, they have
the option to collect the cord blood
left in the placenta and the cord
itself. These tissues are rich in stem
cells and have the advantage that
they have not been damaged by the
environment or ageing process and
do not need to be so closely matched
to the patient. At birth, parents have
the option to discard these tissues and
cells as medical waste, donate to a
public bank, or privately bank for their
family’s use should they become ill in
later life.
An increasing number of families are
choosing to bank for their own use,
which is known as private banking.
Although this option has been
available for nearly 20 years in the UK,
the number of parents choosing it is
relatively low when compared to other
countries across the world, and many
that do know about it have learnt
about it elsewhere. This is primarily
down to awareness; parents do not
know they have the option, as it is not Each cryogenic freezer
can hold approximately
4,000 tissue units
We work in
partnership
with four NHS
hospitals to
provide stem
cell transplants
for patients
with complex
blood cancers
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
38 | BIOVAULT
routinely discussed during pregnancy.
This, coupled with the fact that
donation to public banks is through
a limited number of hospitals only,
means these precious cells often end
up in the incinerator.
There has also been considerable
challenge in terms of the collection
of the cord. The Royal College of
Midwives does not currently support
private banking unless there is a
medically indicated reason, although
they are currently reviewing their
position. As a result, hospitals and
midwifery teams have not put in place
the systems and resources to facilitate
this collection, resulting in the use of
external personnel to attend the birth
to make the collection. This can be
logistically complex, as babies do not
arrive to a set timetable. The recent
move to delayed cord clamping as
standard within the NHS can mean
medical professionals and parents think
collection of the cord and blood is
not possible, and again it is dismissed
without proper consideration.
Searching for a solution
We are not content with simply offering
the existing service. We understand
that parents rightly want to give their
child the best start in life by delaying
cord clamping but also want to protect
them for the future. Because of this,
we have embarked on a research
programme, in partnership with
University College London, to look at
how we can “replicate” stem cells using
cords donated specifically for research.
Hopefully, this will provide a process
which expands the number of available
cells through the use of pioneering
technology. This development may allow
not only the child to have protection,
but other members of the family too.
The field of stem cells, cellular
therapies and regenerative medicine
has developed rapidly over the last 30
years, but we are now on the cusp of
new possibilities for the use of these
precious cells. We continue to work
hard to be at the forefront of this.
Many parents
do not know
they have the
option to
bank their
child’s cord
blood, as it is
not routinely
discussed
during
pregnancy
Cleanroom processing in
action at Biovault

www.biovaultfamily.com

This article was sponsored by Biovault. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development