offers a way for surgery patients to plan for future surgeries. The startup company allows patients undergoing knee and hip replacement surgeries to store their own stem cells for possible future procedures. CellBank recently received $25,000 from the Innovation Fund
“We offer a way to harvest and store stem cells without requiring a second surgical procedure,” explains Rachel Uram, CellBank founder and president. “There are one million hip or knee replacement surgeries each year, and surgeons go in and throw out a lot of stem cell-rich tissue. In 2005, five percent of replacement patients had a second surgery that required a bone graft.”
Using a patient’s own stem cells in a grafting procedure is “the gold standard in grafting,” says Uram. “Ten years ago they would go into the hip and harvest the tissue and use it. There were more patient complications and it was more painful.”
CellBank offers a better solution. “We collect specific tissues, process and store them so the patient doesn’t need a second procedure in situations like bone graft surgeries,” says Uram.
The family-run business has three founders, and they have brought on four part-time consultants. They are in the process of raising $1.5 million in seed money to complete testing. The Innovation Fund money will help bring CellBank closer to accepting customers.
“When we’re up and running we expect to have 15 to 16 employees,” says Uram. “Everybody loves the idea.”
Source: Rachel Uram
Writer: Karin Connelly