Liquidation order to Bio-Cord, and warning against Cord Blood Inc
Several private cord blood banks operate in Israel, and store, for a fee, cord blood collected during delivery for the newborn and his or her family.
In addition, public cord blood banks store cord blood units donated for the general public to use as a substitute for bone marrow transplant, for patients with no suitable donor.
During the review of the license of Bio-Cord – a private cord blood bank which had operated before enacting the applicable law, the Ministry of Health found many faults in the bank’s operations, and after providing the bank an opportunity for modifications, was forced to reject the application filed for a permit and ordered the bank to cease its operations and to find another appropriate institution to continue storing the units.
The Bank and its director, Mr. Shmuel (Mickey) Shaham, did not follow the instructions provided and the Ministry of Health was forced to apply to the court regarding this matter.
Since February 2013, a number of legal proceedings dealt with this issue.
The Ministry of Health has made considerable efforts, above and beyond its duty, to assist the clients of the private bank to find a suitable solution to store their units, and even funded nitrogen filling in two of Bio-Cord’s freeze containers of to enable customers to get organized and reach an agreed upon and applicable solution.
On March 03, 2014, the court issued liquidation order to the company, at the request of its employees.
Unfortunately, despite considerable efforts, no such solution was agreed upon on time, and further tests that were conducted on the units found them unsuitable for currently accepted use, and the solution proposed – was canceled.
As there were not enough customers who wished to store the units for future uses that are unknown today for an additional fee, on January31, 2016 the District Court ordering the liquidation of the company had ordered the Ministry of Health to work for the destruction of the units, and appointed a liquidator to sell the equipment.
On March 9, 2016, the defrosted units were removed from both freezers, and on March 23, 2016 the freezers and refrigerators were cleaned and disinfected, and the equipment were delivered to the liquidator.
The Health Ministry also announced that it rejected the application of Blood Cord Inc. for a permit to operate a private cord blood bank, and alerted the public that the company does not have permit to operate cord blood bank, and is not expected to receive such a permit in the near future, as may be understood from its website.