Cells4Life was founded in 2002 by a group of forward-thinking scientists and doctors, who knew that stem cells were the future of medicine. They also knew that the umbilical cord was a rich source of stem cells that were more powerful and pure, and could become more types of cell, than those taken from other sources.
At first, they stored their own children’s umbilical cord blood so that it could one day be used in regenerative therapies, as these cells are currently being used in clinical trials for conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy and Alzheimer’s.
We have since stored for customers in more than 50 countries. We don’t claim to be the oldest… but we are the best.
Everything we do is designed to maximise the potential of your baby’s sample:
- 100% compatible with delayed cord clamping – unlike most other cord blood processing methods, our CellsPlus service can process even the small samples volumes of blood left behind after delayed and optimal cord clamping cord blood
- Multiple treatments – we are the only cord blood bank that offers to store cord blood and cord tissue in multiple samples, meaning we can thaw just the amount required for a treatment and leave the remainder in storage for future therapies
- Dual storage locations – we can also store your samples at our two separate storage facilities, providing maximum security and added peace of mind.
Cells4Life has two state-of-the-art laboratories in the South of England, which operate 24/7 365 days a year. All of our systems and processes are designed so that your child has access to the best stem cell sample possible…
R&D licensed and lead
Our International Collection Kits come with built-in NanoCool systems, which keep samples between 2-8 degrees for up to 72 hours through advanced evaporative cooling technology. The system is activated at the push of a button, and maintains sample temperature until it arrives at our laboratory.
Our management team
Wayne Channon | Chairman
Wayne is an entrepreneur with a passion for life sciences who’s on a mission to make regenerative medicine available to everyone. His love for science, cutting-edge technology, and helping people achieve better health outcomes drives his work in life sciences.
Today, he chairs three exceptional companies that are pushing the boundaries of innovation in their respective fields:
- Cells4Life, the UK’s largest and one of Europe’s leading cord blood stem cell banks. The company offers families the opportunity to store their baby’s cord blood stem cells, which can be used in the future for potential medical treatments. Cells4Life uses advanced processing and cryopreservation techniques to ensure that the stem cells are preserved at their maximum viability. The company has expanded its services to include placental tissue processing and storage.
- iosBio, a biotech company that has developed a revolutionary oral vaccination platform technology called OraPro. This technology allows for most vaccines to be delivered in a capsule, making them easier to administer and distribute than traditional injections. The company has used this platform to develop FluVid, the world’s first thermally stable, orally administered Influenza and COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has the potential to transform the way vaccines are administered and distributed, particularly in areas where access to healthcare and traditional vaccination programs is limited.
- CyteTech, a life sciences company that has developed a highly innovative technology for processing cord blood stem cells. The company’s proprietary red cell depletion technology provides three times more stem cells from cord blood at the point of therapy than any other technology. This means that more patients can be treated with cord blood stem cells, which have the potential to treat a wide range of medical conditions. CyteTech’s technology has been used in clinical trials for the treatment of conditions such as cerebral palsy and autism.
Wayne serves on the board at the Heart Cells Company, which has conducted a phase 2 clinical trial using stem cells from bone marrow to treat dilated cardiomyopathy following a heart attack. This therapy has been hugely successful with over 60% of patients regaining their quality of life.
He has also served on the All Party Parliamentary Group Longevity’s Science, Genomics, and Technology Advisory Board and Business, Finance, Innovation, Investment Advisory Board.
Before founding his first company, Wayne graduated from Imperial College with a First Class Honours degree in mathematical physics in 1980 and worked at IBM as a Systems Engineer. His first company, Persona (later renamed ilion) was a Value Added Distributor specialising in networking and communications products, and it grew to revenues of over €500m in 13 years and listed on the London Stock Exchange. Wayne has also founded and run several other successful start-ups, including Persona Faculty, Europe’s largest network training company, one of the first LAN search engines and a US company that developed the world’s first gigabit firewall.
In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Wayne is an accomplished dressage rider. He has represented Great Britain at many international competitions, including the 2005 European Championships, the 2006 World Equestrian Games, and the 2007 World Cup. In 2004, he was shortlisted for the Athens Olympics and served as the CEO of the International Dressage Riders Club for nine years.
Dr Jeffrey Drew | Science Director & Founder
Jeff is a serial Biotech entrepreneur and co-founder of Cells4Life and CyteTech, and founder of Stabilitech (now iosBio) pioneering the technology and advancements behind each company. He is a highly accomplished scientist and holds a degree in Microbiology and Virology with Biochemistry from Manchester University, and a PhD in Molecular Virology from the world’s leading Exotic Virus Research Institute at Pirbright, UK. Jeff’s postdoctoral experience is wide ranging with more than 30 years’ experience in virology, cancer, regenerative medicine, and gene therapy undertaken at prestigious UK research centres such as University of Oxford, Marie Curie Research Institute and The Institute of Cancer Research. Jeff has peer reviewed publications in the field of virology and has co-authored book chapters on advances in gene therapy.
Jeff’s first steps into Biotech resulted from the imminent arrival of his first child, and the desire to store his baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells knowing that they had potential for use in regenerative medicine. From this Cells4Life was launched. Over the intervening years since the founding of Cells4Life, Jeff has made several technological advances including virus stabilisation negating the need for refrigeration, oral vaccine delivery and a blood separation and preservation platform, which together have resulted in more than 90 patent applications and Innovate UK grant awards leading to the formation of iosBio and Cytetech to bring these technologies to market.
Jeff is passionate about current and future healthcare and believes collaboration and innovation are key to improving healthcare globally.
Dr Lesley-Ann Martin | Chief Scientific Officer
Lesley-Ann holds a PhD in molecular biology and has over 20 years’ experience in cancer research. Prior to joining Cells4Life she was a group leader at the Institute of Cancer Research. Lesley-Ann is passionate about gene therapy and drug re-tasking.
She was part of the team that developed and conducted the first suicide gene therapy clinical trial for breast cancer in the UK and she is an expert in the development of model systems for the identification of phenotypic and genotypic alterations that influence response or resistance to cancer therapies and the translation of these into novel treatments and biomarkers including use of circulating tumour DNA.
Key areas of interest include how cancer cells develop plasticity allowing them to become resistant to drug therapy. Lesley-Ann has shown these changes can be exploited as new therapeutic “Achilles heels”. Her studies have informed on and led to the design of several key clinical trials for the treatment of oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer.
Lesley-Ann has over 172 research articles including high impact science journals such as The Lancet, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nature Communications, Cancer Cell, Cancer Discovery, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research and Oncogene.
She also acts as a peer reviewer for these Journals and for granting bodies such as Wellcome, Medical Research Council, Breast Cancer Now and Cancer Research UK. Lesley-Ann also holds patents in the field of drug re-tasking and successfully secured funding in excess of £11 million for programs identifying new treatment strategies for ER+ breast cancer.
As an academic, Lesley-Ann has supervised many PhD students and acted as an examiner both nationally and internationally. She was an elected member of the Institute of Cancer Research’s Academic board and considering her international standing sat on numerous advisory boards for major pharmaceutical companies including Novartis, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, GSK, and Genentech.