California Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program Funded at UC Davis

Monday, June 26 2017

Sacramento, CA – On Thursday, June 22, AB 114, a very important budget trailer bill, passed the State Senate.  Included in AB 114 is a five-year extension of funding for the University of California’s Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program (UCBCP).  The current funding of this lifesaving cancer treatment effort is set to sunset on January 1, 2018.  The State Senate approved Governor’s proposal which was inserted in the State Budget by the State Senate Budget sub-committee chaired by Senator Anthony Portantino.  Creation of the Cord Blood Collection Program was the first bill authored by Portantino when he entered the State Assembly in 2006. 

Cord blood stem cells are left in the placenta and umbilical cord after a baby is born. These rich blood-forming cells are used to treat a variety of blood cancers such as Leukemia, Cycle Cell and Lymphoma. Cord blood is considered an essential alternative for patients who need a bone marrow transplant. Despite its potential benefits, prior to Portantino’s program umbilical cord blood was traditionally discarded as medical waste after a mother gives birth.

Since the UCBCP implementation in 2010, over 1,200 umbilical cord blood units have been added to the public registry. The University of California Davis currently reports 27 collected units under the UCBCP have been released for medical transplant.  Cord Blood Stem Cells are statistically 100 times easier to match than bone marrow.  About 1% of the public privately banks their family’s stem cells after birth.  The California program is an effort to capitalize on California’s diverse population and use that diversity to create a cord blood registry that can meet our populations health needs.

“I am very excited that the legislature extended the funding for this important program in the fiscal 2017-2018 budget.  The program was the result of the very first bill I introduced on my very first day in office as an Assemblymember.  I am very pleased to be in a position today to extend the program for an additional five years.  This will save a life and it feels pretty good to have played a part in that mission.” commented Portantino.

Contact: Anahit Sargsyan, 


Sen. Portantino represents nearly 930,000 people in the 25th Senate District, which includes Altadena, Atwater Village, Bradbury, Burbank, Claremont, Duarte, Glendale, Glendora, La Cañada Flintridge,La Crescenta, Lake View Terrace, La Verne,  Monrovia, Montrose,  Pasadena,  San Dimas,San Marino, Shadow Hills, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena, Sunland-Tujunga, and Upland.