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Over 5,300 additional cord blood units declared non-viable at Cordlife, says MOH

The Singapore Ministry of Health reports over 5,300 more cord blood units at Cordlife are non-viable for transplants, in addition to the 2,200 units improperly stored in Nov 2023.



In a concerning development, the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Singapore revealed on Monday (8 Apr) that an additional 5,300 cord blood units (CBUs) stored at Cordlife are now considered non-viable for stem cell transplant purposes.

This news follows previous revelations that cryopreserved CBUs in seven out of Cordlife’s 22 storage tanks were exposed to suboptimal temperatures, casting doubts on their viability.

These CBUs, stored in a tank and a dry shipper, have been deemed unsuitable after rigorous testing, increasing the count of compromised units.

“The results of the further investigations, which have been reviewed by MOH and its panel of experts, revealed that cryopreserved cord blood units stored in one of the storage tanks (Tank B) and the dry shipper are at high risk of adverse impact due to temperature warming events,” said MOH

“Hence an estimated 5,300 CBUs from Tank B and the dry shipper are deemed non-viable as they are unlikely to be suitable for stem cell transplant purposes.”

Moreover, MOH disclosed that the viability of CBUs in five other tanks is still under review, necessitating further examinations to ascertain their condition.

The outcome of these tests, crucial for thousands of families relying on the viability of these units for potential medical treatments, is expected to be delayed by a year due to the intricate nature of the testing process.

The crisis traces back to 30 November 2023, when it was initially discovered that certain CBUs were stored under conditions not meeting the required standards, leading to approximately 2,200 units in Tank A being rendered useless for their intended medical purposes.

The situation worsened with the recent finding that units in Tank B and a dry shipper also failed viability tests, attributed to inadequate liquid nitrogen levels and monitoring failures by Cordlife’s staff.

In response, MOH has mandated that Cordlife inform clients whose CBUs are directly affected or those awaiting further tests about the situation. The ministry urged patience among affected clients, advising against hasty decisions like transferring CBUs to other banks due to significant associated risks.

Amid these operational failures, MOH has taken steps to ensure Cordlife addresses the identified gaps in its governance, processes, and systems.

Additionally, a recent crackdown saw the arrest of seven senior executives from Cordlife for potential breaches related to the company’s disclosure obligations concerning the mishandled CBUs.

Cordlife, a key player in the private cord blood banking sector, faces scrutiny not only from health authorities but also from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

Seven senior executives from Cordlife were arrested over concerns regarding potential failures to meet the company’s disclosure obligations.

This action concerns the mishandling of CBUs and involves key figures within the company, including the former Group CEO Tan Poh Lan, Chief Financial Officer Thet Hnin Yi, Acting Chairman Ho Choon Hou, and a mix of both independent and non-independent directors.

This development followed after Cordlife received a notice from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on 19 March, indicating the start of an investigation under the Securities and Futures Act related to the company’s management of a cryogenic storage tank’s temperature irregularities.

The company formally acknowledged this investigation in a stock market filing on 22 March, stating the issues were initially disclosed in their announcement dated 30 November 2023.

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Certain industries should not be allowed into Singapore. There needs to be more use of our common sense instead of trying to impress and compete with the World. We live in the tropics, there must be anticipation that the air-conditioning system will fail periodically over time. The other industry that will fail is creating for human consumption. Please don’t invest taxpayers’ hard earned monies in
Startups without calculating costs on delivery to market. Green corridors should be identified and food should be grown naturally.

Does anyone recall why the MRT flooding occurred? Because they employed cheaper labor who has a bo-chap attitude, very “smart” only to FALSIFY the maintenance records to look good. High-end operations using low-end (unmotivated) labor – can work well, meh?

Sabotage ? Or staff negligent? Hard to believe.

SG under the Kayu Son just wants to be a wannabe in everything, showcase to the world we are “progressive” in everything. Very good for wayanging and bragging. But actual performance, quality and productivity is another matter, hor.

Just look at most recent FDI data, officially said to be slowing down in the world economy. But SG’s FDI are largely from banana nations known to be havens for money laundering. So the noticeable drop in FDI could be due to these ops starting to pull OUT of SG due to the recent Fujian gang of money launderers being persecuted, hor.

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