Updated on 31 December 2012
Mr Mayur Abhaya, CEO and managing director, LifeCell International
LifeCell International, India's largest private stem cell bank and the first stem cell solution provider to bring the concept of umbilical cord blood stem cell banking to India, launched BabyShield, a newborn screening service capable of screening over 118 health conditions at birth.
This test is done entirely in a non-invasive manner thereby making it safe for the baby and is simple to implement in an everyday healthcare setting. The BabyShield screening program is performed using a few drops of blood collected from the baby's umbilical cord at birth and on the urine sample retrieved 48 hours after the baby's birth. The test results are available within a few days of collecting the sample, aiding early diagnosis and timely treatment thereby improving a child's chances of loving a healthy and normal life.
Newborn screening is recognized by health experts as an essential medical test, as it can help identify children who may be born with such conditions even before they become sick. This enables parents to initiate early and preventive treatment thus safeguarding their children from severe harmful conditions such as mental retardation, physical abnormalities, bone deformity, and liver dysfunction.
In a survey on Smart Healthcare, conducted by BioSpectrum in the month of November, it was noticed that genetic diagnostics is one-of-the-fastest growing segments in the Asia Pacific. Newborn screening is one of the verticals of genetic diagnostics that is also picking up, although at a very sluggish pace. BioSpectrum connects with Mr Mayur Abhaya, CEO and managing director, LifeCell International, to talk about the company and the new service that they have launched.
Tell us about LifeCell and how it came into existence?
LifeCell was incorporated in May 2004 and was started by the founder of Shasun Chemicals. One of the directors of Shasun, Dr Jagdish Seth, is a member of CryoCell. He introduced us to the concept of stem cell banking and he wanted to venture into the biotechnology space. Previously, I was working with Shasun, handling its IP portfolio. In 2008, there was an opportunity in LifeCell, as the company was doing well. Since my father was busy handling multiple operations, I got an opportunity to step in.