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Cord Blood Registry Reports Partial Victory: Competitor Viacord Removes Challenged Claims From Its Web Site Following Lawsuit For False And Misleading Advertising


10/19/2005 5:13:06 PM

SAN BRUNO, Calif., March 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cord Blood Registry (CBR), the leading provider of services for the storing and processing of newborn cord blood stem cells, announced today that within days of initiating its lawsuit against ViaCell, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary Viacord, Inc. for false and misleading advertising, Viacord's Web site was modified to remove or address some of the offending claims.

The complaint, filed on February 25, 2005, in the Federal District Court in San Francisco, alleges that Viacord has disseminated and continues to disseminate false and misleading advertising to the public in an effort to promote their umbilical cord blood stem cell preservation services. Cord blood banking is a process that allows parents to have the stem cells from a newborn's cord blood cryopreserved for future medical uses.

"While Viacord has taken action to remove some of the statements outlined in the lawsuit from its Web site, it is very disappointing that they have not yet removed and continue to disseminate electronic and print materials containing false or misleading information to consumers, physicians, and hospitals," says Stephen M. Grant, Vice President of Communications for CBR. "Cord Blood Registry intends to pursue its lawsuit until corrective actions are consummated to ensure consumers are provided accurate information."

Some of the claims challenged as false and/or misleading in the lawsuit are:

1. That ViaCell/Viacord is "VSA-compliant" and that the "VSA guidelines" represent published standards that have been reviewed and approved by an independent authoritative third party, and therefore have some value as a peer-reviewed or independently reviewed and endorsed industry standard;

2. That ViaCell/Viacord is the only cord blood company that stands behind its service with a "100% quality product guarantee";

3. That ViaCell/Viacord processes and cryopreserves more cord blood cells than any other lab in the world;

4. That ViaCell/Viacord is the world's largest and fastest growing cord blood preservation company;

5. That ViaCell/Viacord is the preferred choice among the nation's top OB/GYN practices and transplant centers;

6. That ViaCell/Viacord's specially designed cryobags provide for a higher cell recovery rate than do cryovials;

7. That ViaCell/Viacord is the only company with an internal regulatory affairs department whose policy is to ensure all its communications are factual in nature and in compliance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards and regulations; and

8. That ViaCell/Viacord is the only company that does not require an up- front deposit fee.

The entire claim can be viewed at http://www.cordblood.com/viacord-complaint/viacord-complaint.pdf .

About Cord Blood Registry

Cord Blood Registry is a registered trademark of Cbr Systems, Inc., the leader in newborn stem cell processing and cryopreservation for familial use in transplantation and regenerative medicine. The stem cells preserved by CBR are collected immediately after the birth of a newborn and are then available to be used in treatments for the newborn, siblings, and any compatible genetic family member. Once transplanted, the cells have the potential to repair damaged or diseased tissues with little risk of rejection and increased long-term survival. The company's research and development is focused on advancing the collection, processing, and storage methods to optimize quality and cell yield. Additionally, CBR facilitates collection of donated research samples, available for the nearly 200 research programs worldwide that are focused on stem cell expansion and cell-based therapies. For more information, visit http://www.cordblood.com/ , or call 1-888-CORD BLOOD.

Media Relations Contact: Rita Kennen, Cord Blood Registry, 1-800-588-6377, Ext. 239, rkennen@cordblood.com Web site Media Resources: http://www.cordblood.com/cord_blood_news/media/index.asp .

Cbr Systems

CONTACT: Rita Kennen of Cord Blood Registry, 1-800-588-6377, Ext. 239,or rkennen@cordblood.com



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