Iconic Labs PLC


excerpt from CellPlan blog...

"My main reason for offering to bank my granddaughter’s cord blood and tissue was that, as a grandparent, I could feel I had played a useful role in her and her family’s future health."

Gill Sepe

Gill’s Story

A diagnosis of blood cancer affects the whole family. At CellPlan we provide a unique protection plan that unlocks world-leading stem cell transplantation and covers the travel and accommodation expenses of the patient and a family member. For Gill Sepe, a grandmother from Surrey in the UK, CellPlan offers peace-of-mind: if one of her family falls ill, they will receive the best possible care. 

Stem Cell Treatments

Gill had been aware of stem cell treatments for some time when her first grandchild Frankie, now 5 years old, was born. Like many of us, Gill had seen medical documentaries and success stories featured in the news but had thought that such therapies may be financially inaccessible to her own family: “I had no real idea of the costs involved, other than that they were massive.”

Although there is no history of blood cancer in the Sepe family, there have been other cancers, such as lung cancer, and Gill herself suffers from an autoimmune disease that, she says: “thankfully, doesn’t give me any problems now but perhaps in the future it might deteriorate.”

Cord Blood Banking

A short time ago, Gill happened to see a presentation by João Andrade, CellPlan’s CEO at a business meeting. “He was so passionate about the massive potential of stem cell treatments,” she says “and how CellPlan insurance cover would revolutionise the way in which the average person could access treatments across the world for a fraction of the cost of paying privately.”

Umbilical cord blood contains haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs): an established treatment for leukaemias, lymphomas, multiple sclerosis, metabolic diseases and numerous disorders of blood cell proliferation, including sickle cell disease and Fanconi’s anaemia. Since the first transplant of umbilical cord blood HSCs in 1988, it is estimated that over 35,000 umbilical cord blood transplants have been performed worldwide. (Cell & Gene Therapy Insights, 3/8/17)

Stored umbilical cord blood offers an alternative source of HSCs that has advantages over both peripheral blood and bone marrow. The collection of cord blood is quick, non-invasive and painless, and the HSCs are generally healthier and in higher numbers than those sourced from older donors.

“By the time I heard João speak for a second time some months later, my daughter was pregnant,” Gill says, “so it really was a no-brainer to get on board.”