CBR Launches Research Partnerships to Study Cord Tissue MSCs and COVID-19

Peace of mind today, protection for tomorrow

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a lot of consideration about our own health and the health of those we love. When uncertainty is high, the decision to preserve newborn stem cells is one that can provide your family peace of mind: you’ll know you’re prepared with more healthcare options down the road.

Whether you’ve already made the decision to preserve (or plan to), we want to assure you that CBR is committed to supporting newborn stem cell research. Our goal is to connect our families to even more treatment options when they need them the most.

Stem cells are emerging on the frontier of medicine

It’s no surprise why mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) — the kind abundant in cord tissue — are one treatment option being studied in clinical trials for COVID-19-related complications. MSCs have well-documented anti-inflammatory and tissue-repair properties. These special characteristics make MSCs ideal candidates for intervention in a number of different diseases, including COVID-19. You can read more about why newborn stem cells are being considered for COVID-19 patients in our previous blog post, written by CBR’s own Ph.D. scientists.

It’s news like this that makes us especially excited, as more people are being made aware of how stem cells could play a key role in helping to treat many conditions for which there are no optimal treatments.

How CBR is helping drive COVID-19 research initiatives

Advancing the science of newborn stem cells has always been central to CBR’s mission. We also believe in supporting new and innovative ideas, especially when solutions are urgently needed, like in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

What are we doing to help? CBR is providing cord tissue from consenting donors to support clinical and laboratory COVID-19-related research studies.

Before COVID-19, we demonstrated through research partnerships that MSCs from cryopreserved cord tissue retain their anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating qualities.1-3 Importantly, these qualities may also be relevant to certain COVID-19 complications.CBR is partnering with top research institutions to study how cord tissue MSCs might help treat the symptoms of COVID-19.

What does this mean for you?

While we greatly appreciate the willingness and generosity of our client families, at this time CBR is not accepting planned cord tissue donations. We encourage expecting parents to preserve their newborn’s cord tissue for their family’s potential future use.

We also want to be clear that this research is not an opportunity to use your stored cord tissue for COVID-19. We do hope that this will pave the way for future options, and CBR is prepared to work with our families who enroll in any FDA-approved clinical trials or compassionate use protocols where their newborn stem cells may be part of treating COVID-19 and associated complications.

Early-stage research is critical to the development of new stem cell therapies. We hope you share in our excitement of helping science respond to this global health concern, while also making newborn stem cells an even more valuable resource for our client families.


1. Srivastava AK, Prabhakara KS, Kota DK, Bedi SS, Triolo F, Brown KS, et al. Human umbilical cord as a source of multiple potential therapeutics to treat experimental traumatic brain injury. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy 2018.

2. Sutton MT, Kaur S, Brown KS, Skiles ML, Folz MA, Caplan AI, et al. Anti-inflammatory therapeutic development and optimization of umbilical cord tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells. Journal of Stem Cell Research and Therapy n.d.;8:435. 3. Prabhakara, K, Caplan, H, Brown KS et al. Evaluating umbilical cord tissue-derived MSC populations for immunopotency using multiparametric non-radioactive lymphocyte proliferation assays. Presented at the International Society of Cellular Therapies, North America meeting 2019.

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