New Laws Will Increase Umbilical Cord Blood Storage and Research
A pair of bills recently signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) will increase collection, storage and research of umbilical cord blood, which can be used to treat more than 70 blood diseases, including leukemia and sickle cell anemia, the Sacramento Bee reports.
AB 34 by Assembly member Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) will seek public, private or grant funds to collect and store umbilical cord blood in existing facilities for medical research or public use.
Portantino hopes the new law will create a genetically diverse supply of cord blood in California and strengthen federal efforts to collect 150,000 units of cord blood.
There are currently about 50,000 usable units of cord blood in registered inventories nationwide.
Public programs involving cord blood have been slow to develop in part because it costs about $1,500 to collect, test and store one unit of cord blood, according to the Bee.
Schwarzenegger also signed SB 962 by Sen. Carole Migden (D-San Francisco) to:
- Expand cord-blood research;
- Sell samples to private researchers; and
- Provide information to pregnant women about options for donating cord blood (Sanders, Sacramento Bee, 10/28).