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Anja Health Raises $4.5M to Help Pregnant Parents Save Stem Cells

Published by Anja Health on

May 11, 2022

Anja Health, the first stem cell safe, has raised a $4.5M seed funding round led by Alexis Ohanian's Seven Seven Six with participation from Y Combinator, Harvest Ventures, Crista Galli Ventures, and prominent executives, including Balaji Srinivisan, Cleo Abram, Chris Ovitz of Electric Ant, Zachariah Reitano - CEO and founder of Ro, and Tim Lenardo - CEO and founder of JetFuel. As the first stem cell safe for families, Anja is the frontier of medicine, democratizing access to not only potent stem cells that can multiply treatment options, but also democratizing access to birth information in general.

"At Seven Seven Six, we love funding companies that align with our values of equity and compassion," Ohanian said. "Anja Health does just that. Between their commitment to democratizing and creating affordable access to cord blood banking and their focus on the future of healthcare solutions."

What a stem cell safe entails:

As the first stem cell safe, Anja Health is able to cryopreserve a baby's stem cells in a lab. See more information on our lab here.

What umbilical cord and placenta stem cells can do:

To date, cord blood stem cells have been used to treat cancers, most often leukemia. However, research is quickly progressing. In 2012, someone with type 1 diabetes reversed their condition with cord blood stem cells. In February 2022, the third person ever was cured of HIV using cord blood stem cells. Cross's brother, Andrew, who the company is named after, could have used it to treat his cerebral palsy. However, he unfortunately passed away at age 19.

What happens if stem cells aren't saved at birth:

Although research is promising, finding a cord blood match to use for treatment purposes is difficult - especially for people of color. Anja Health has revolutionized this pain point as it's one that Anja's founder knows personally. Both Kathryn and her brother are half-asian. With most of today's cord blood donor pool coming from high-income areas, the donor pool is skewed white. So, Andrew couldn't find a match. In addition, if they were able to find a match, he would have had to take immunosuppressants and potentially face the consequences of transplant rejection. Transplant costs can also be costly.

The solution:

Bringing a stem cell collection kit(pictured above) to birth.

In a perfect world, everyone has access to their own cord blood, cord tissue, and placenta stem cells. Banking all three is essential so parents can have the greatest variety and volume of stem cells for their family (cord blood stem cells are hematopoietic - inclined to blood regeneration - whereas cord tissue and placenta stem cells are mesenchymal - inclined to tissue regeneration). In that perfect world, whenever an ailment arises - whether it's as dire as cancer or as simple as a scar - parents could turn to their family's potent stem cells to boost longevity and multiply treatment options.

If you know someone pregnant:

Share AnjaHealth.com with them. It could save a life.

How it works:

  1. Receive an Anja Health collection kit, delivered straight to your door
  2. Bring safe to birth. Let a nurse or physician know, and they will follow collection instructions. The entire collection process takes approximately ten minutes.
  3. Call Anja's pickup team within six hours of birth for pickup from anywhere in the United States. Anja's team will arrive within 12 hours, and the baby's potent stem cells will be brought to Anja's lab in New Jersey to be processed and cryopreserved.

To learn more, check out our founder's informative TikTok (community of 110K, reviews, tours of our lab and safe, and FAQs included) or the company's Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, and Facebook.

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