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Regulating Umbilical Cord Blood Biobanking in Europe

1 October 2015 - 30 September 2017

PI/s in Exeter: Professor Christine Hauskeller

CI/s in Exeter: Dr Lorenzo Beltrame

Funding awarded: £ 139,610

Sponsor(s): European Commission (H2020)

About the research

REGUCB is a research on how international, European and national regulations on Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) banking influence the bioeconomy of this field of biomedicine, that is the collection, banking, research and clinical application of UCB derived stem cells. The aim of REGUCB is to understand how this bioeconomy is structured, how value is produced and what are the main societal issues related.

REGUCB aims at offering a novel approach to Science and Technology Studies (STS) of current biomedicine and its economic and societal implications. It has developed a new analytical model for analyzing the production of value in UCB economy and for considering the embeddedness of UCB banking in social relations. It analyses the entanglement of value production and social relationships that links individuals, families and the general society with the related obligations, social bonds and forms of solidarity.

We have elaborated an analytical model that analyses value production in UCB banking surpassing the dominant model employed by bioethics and biomedical literature. Our model shows that the whole UCB bioeconomy cannot be enclosed in rigid distinctions (public-private, redistributive-market economy), but it works through complex economic configurations that overlap, crisscross and hybridize economic forms and institutional arrangements.

Main publications

C. Hauskeller, L. Beltrame 2016. The hybrid bioeconomy of umbilical cord blood banking: Re-examining the narrative of opposition between public and private services. BioSocieties 11(4): 415-434

C. Hauskeller and L. Beltrame 2016. Hybrid Practices in Cord Blood Banking. Rethinking the Commodification of Human Tissues in the Bioeconomy. New Genetics and Society 35(3), pp. 228-245.

L. Beltrame 2018. The bioeconomies of stem cell research, in Hauskeller, Pichl and Manzeschke, The Matrix of Stem Cell Research Revisited, Routledge, 2018

European Commission