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SOE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD 2011

SOE ENTREPRENEURSHIP AWARD 2011

Dr. Steven Fang: In the Business of Saving Lives

It began in the 1990s when a close American-Vietnamese friend of Steven Fang, founder of CordLife, had a major medical emergency. His 2 year old son developed leukemia and needed an infusion of bone marrow to boost his immune system. Unless a bone marrow donor could be found, there was a great chance the boy would not survive. No donor could be found. The family was beginning to despair when a doctor suggested an alternative. The wife was at the time pregnant with their second child. When the baby was born, blood was extracted from the umbilical cord and used to save the older child.

“It was a time of my life that I was actually taking things easy,” said Dr. Fang, who then worked for a major pharmaceutical company in the United States “I was pretty comfortable where I was but this incident changed my life. I came to realize the life-saving potential of cord blood, and, more importantly, the stem cells that were beginning to spawn a whole new industry.”

Until recently, the umbilical cord and placenta were discarded after a baby’s birth until the 1970s, when researchers discovered that umbilical cord blood could supply the same kinds of blood-forming (haematopoietic) stem cells as a bone marrow donor. And so, umbilical cord blood began to be collected and stored to overcome some serious illnesses, such as certain cancers, blood diseases, and immune system disorders. Meanwhile, worldwide medical research continues to unlock further potential uses for stem cells with focus on developing treatments for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, amongst many others.

Upon Mr. Fang’s return to Singapore in 2001, he built CordLife as the first cord blood banking services provider in Singapore, and among the very first in Asia.

In 2005, CordLife clearly became a regional leader. It gained accreditation from the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), the first cord blood bank in this region to do so. So far, only few stem cell banks in Asia have achieved this status. AABB is the gold standard for transplant medicine, and specialists in this field recognize that obtaining a cord blood unit from an accredited stem cell bank is an assurance that samples are collected, processed, tested and stored, leading to a successful transplant.

Today, the company can look back with some pride on what has been accomplished so far. CordLife has grown to become Asia Pacific’s most experienced and largest network of stem cell banks with its services available across the region. 2009 marked the most successful year in the history of the Company’s performance despite major market turbulence. The Company achieved an all-time high of A$23,686,000 in total revenue and a net profit of A$4,224,000, a growth of 60 per cent and 1,731 per cent respectively from the previous year. Dr. Fang, who is happily married and has three children, explains that the demand for cord blood banking remains notably strong in challenging economic conditions because it is a relatively affordable healthcare need. “In addition, research news and positive media on the expanding utility of cord blood stem cells have helped strengthen its relevancy for families today, including families in Indonesia.”

“You have only one chance to save your baby’s valuable cord blood and that is at birth” concludes Mr. Fang, who has won numerous prestigious awards for his work. ”The time to plan and act is now.”

Corporate Profile

CordLife Limited at a glance
Cordlife Limited is a leading healthcare group of companies that provides a full suite of cord blood and tissue banking services to expectant parents for the collection, processing and cryopreservation of cord blood stem cells and umbilical cord tissue. The Group is dedicated to offering the highest possibility of successful adult stem cell therapy to give hope and save lives. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, Cordlife Limited is well established as the largest network of private stem cell banks across Asia Pacific with state-of-the-art facilities in India, Indonesia and the Philippines as well as a network that extends to Singapore, Hong Kong, and China.

Expertise and quality you can trust
The Group’s in-depth knowledge of stem cell banking practices and standards is well recognized by numerous world-class quality standard organizations as well as country regulators in the Asia Pacific region. In 2007, Cordlife Limited was bestowed the prestigious “Technology Pioneer” title by the World Economic Forum which further validated the Group’s outstanding performance in the industry.

More than just stem cell banking
Cordlife Limited holds patented technologies in immunotherapy and engages in the commercialization of intellectual properties from research collaborations and government-funded programmes with key institutes in the world to drive new and exciting applications with cord blood stem cells.

With the combined strengths of stem cell banking and cellular therapy partnerships, the Group is well positioned in the cellular therapy arena.

Highlight: Information about Cordlife Limited Demerger
As of 30 June 2011, Cordlife Limited demerged its developed businesses while retaining its developing businesses. This strategic action was undertaken to unlock shareholder value. Following the demerger, Cordlife Limited remains an ASX-listed entity with ownership of its developing businesses in India, Indonesia and the Philippines. The demerged segment, Cordlife Group Limited, will be a public and unlisted company governed by Singapore’s law. Cordlife Group Limited operates in Singapore and Hong Kong, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Cordlife (Hong Kong) Limited as well as a 10 percent direct interest in Guangzhou Municipality Tianhe Nuoya Bioengineering Co Ltd, which operates the only cord blood bank in Guangdong province of China.

  • Cordlife Limited and Cordlife Group Limited are two separate companies as at 1 July 2011. The companies are, however, affiliated through contractual agreements for the fulfillment of cross-border customer requests. The Cordlife brand and www.cordlife.com are properties of Cordlife Group Limited.
  • Cordlife Limited is headed by CEO Steven Fang
  • Cordlife Group Limited (formerly known as Cordlife Pte Ltd) is headed by CEO Jeremy Yee