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Human Longevity Acquires Stem Cell Banking Business Unit from Celgene

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genomics company Human Longevity announced today it will acquire placental and cord blood banking business LifebankUSA from Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Celgene.

As part of the deal, HLI will receive LifebankUSA's proprietary method for high-yield extraction of placental stem cells — this process yields 60 percent to 70 percent more of CD34+ stem cells, which are critical for bone marrow and cord blood transplants, HLI said in a statement. The company will also receive all the related therapeutic programs, as well as the biomaterials business that includes a wound healing cell matrix product called Biovance.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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. Following the closing, HLI plans to start offering its newborn genome sequencing product alongside stem cell banking options for parents. The company said it anticipates rolling out this product combo starting in the second quarter.

"Stem cells are an important component to understanding and unlocking insights into human biology and human disease," said HLI Co-founder and CEO Craig Venter in a statement. "This is a unique acquisition that gives HLI the ability to combine the power of stem cells with newborn genome analysis to offer parents new information and potential treatments for their families."