Nearly 10,000 moms choose annually in Romania to have stem cells harvested when giving birth to a child, according to Bogdan Ivanescu, the President of the Romanian Association of Accredited Stem Cells Banks (ARBACS), as saying in an interview to Agerpres.
The Romanian market will probably remain with no more than 5 or 6 stem cells banks compared with 17 banks at present, said Ivanescu.
We are pleased with the Romanian patient. ARBACS, the Romanian Association of Accredited Stem Cells Banks, which probably represents three quarters of the market in this field of activity, already gathered a very good experience in this field, given than 5 percent of the future moms in Romania choose to have stem cells harvested at birth. If we compare our 5 percent, not to speak of the 8 percent recorded in 2009, with the European average, where we can see that the average hovers somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 percent, we can say that this procedure is well known in Romania and to the Romanian audience, with the future moms embracing this idea with all determination, since 10,000 moms out of 200,000 annually, to give a round figure, have stem cells harvested’, said Ivanescu.
The transit time for the transport of the stem cells is guaranteed by contract, at least in the case of some of the banks that are member of the ARBACS, to not exceed 24 hours, from the moment the stem cell is harvested and until it reaches the bank, said Ivanescu.
Fortunately, in Romania none of the children who have samples at the bank showed signs of any of the 80 diseases treatable with stem cells. If we are looking at the diseases that are treatable with stem cells – leukemia, lymphoma – we can say very clearly that we have a first peak in their evolution somewhere around 5 years and another one around 55. If we remember that we only started to harvest stem cells in Romania 6-7 years ago and that, obviously, we started with one patient and then the number of patients increased we still cannot say that we reached the critical mass when we will be sure to have at least one patient who will need a transplant with stem cells harvested at birth and I’m talking here, of course, about a Romanian patient. The critical mass could be reach let’s say in the next two years, said Bogdan Ivanescu.