San Diego genomics company Human Longevity Inc. announced Thursday that it will acquire placental and cord blood banking business LifebankUSA from Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Celgene. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The cord of a newborn and placental blood and tissue from a mother can provide high-quality DNA that can be used for genome sequencing. Following the closing of the acquisition, HLI will start offering a newborn genome sequencing product along with stem cell banking, according to a company news release.
Having the newborn genome can provide families with relevant information about their child’s health, including the risk of preventable or treatable childhood diseases, allergies, and adverse drug reactions. The company anticipates that the product will come available in the second quarter of 2016.
Stem cell banking will also result from the acquisition, as cord and placental blood and tissue are ideal sources of stem cells and biomaterials. Stem cell transplantation has been used to treat blood cancers, inherited metabolic disease and congenital and acquired immunological diseases. They also have the potential to treat a variety of other diseases, according to HLI, including cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
With these new assets, HLI will continue the research to develop unique cell therapies for multiple applications, the release said.
LifebankUSA was founded by HLI's own co-founder, Robert Hariri, HLI said. Approximately 30 of LifebankUSA's employess will join HLI, and the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.