Watch| If you're a regular blood donor or you were considering to be one, you can now freeze your blood to save your life in the future.
Silene Biotech, a pharmaceutical-grade cell preservation service, is deep freezing blood from donors with the hope that scientists will develop cures to what ails us and the cells could then be thawed and used to heal ourselves, affiliate KOMO reported.
Melissa Wasserman is one of the first official customers for Silene Biotech and stated, "my cells are not getting any younger, so collecting them now is kind of insurance."
The customer retains full ownership of their own cells and can retrieve or destroy them at any time. Customers can also opt-in to have the cells used anonymously for scientific purposes.
Dr. Alex Jiao, Co-founder of Silene Biotech, claimed that the older we get our cells become damaged and mutated, so it's best to freeze small amounts when a person is healthy. Jiao said all personal information is kept confidential with Silene Biotech. There’s even a provision in case the company goes out of business.
“We prepay a lot of the storage costs, but if we go out of business and [the customer’s] storage is up, they have the ability to pay for the storage themselves,” said Jiao.
In the future, a person’s own stem cells could be used to reverse macular degeneration. The younger the donor, the better shape the stem cells could be and likely free from pre-cancer factors said Jiao.
The company currently offers two payment options. There is a $50 annual payment plan with a one-time processing fee of $299. Or there’s a one-time lifetime payment of $999.
Core blood storage via freezing is not a new concept. It’s been done for years for diagnostic reasons and large qualities can be frozen for future surgeries.
But, Jiao believes their niche will be smaller, affordable blood storage for future stem cell harvesting.
“The ethics come into play when you over-promise and you say there’s something today and it’s not,” said Jiao. “We definitely don’t do that."