Stem cell bank opens with backing from leading scientists. Is it worth the money?

Is it premature to start storing stem cells in the event they might be useful for treating diseases in the future?

The company’s roster of scientific advisers amounts to a who’s who of prominent stem cell experts, leading figures from Harvard and Stanford who are at the forefront of a field trying to turn basic discoveries into medical treatments of the future.

But instead of trying to develop new therapies itself, the company, LifeVault Bio, intends to store customers’ cells like treasured items in a well-sealed time capsule. The hope is that by preserving pristine cells before aging takes a toll on them, the cells could be used to treat customers should they one day develop heart disease or Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

“We believe, and medicine is starting to believe, that this is really going to be a part of your health hygiene,” said LifeVault CEO Trevor Perry, predicting that stem cell banking will become as, as a form of “biological insurance”: “You insure a lot of things in your life, but have you taken out a policy on yourself?” Perry said.

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