Benefits consultancy the Leslie Group Ltd. is partnering with health-care technology company Acorn Biolabs Inc. to offer onsite live cell collection to employees.

Initially, the consultancy offered the service to its own employees before expanding it to its plan sponsor clients.

Cell collection is important for stem cell therapy and other regenerative medicines, noted a press release. Normally, people would go to a clinic for medical procedures like bone marrow harvesting, liposuction or venous blood draws in order for their cells to be collected. 

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The onsite collection involves plucking a few hair follicles from an individual’s head. Acorn developed a way to keep the cells viable during transport and storage, “turning collected hair follicles into a highly valuable and accessible resource for regenerative medicine and genetics.”

The method also allows for full genome collection without a physician or surgery. “Our teams agree that cell therapy will play a major role in the future of health care and the Leslie Group’s employees will now have the ability to tap into this revolutionary technology that will ultimately help people live longer and healthier lives,” said Drew Taylor, Acorn’s co-founder and chief executive officer.

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Shawn Leslie, president and CEO of the Leslie Group, said the partnership was part of the organization’s commitment to taking an innovative approach to employee benefits. “That’s why we decided to partner with Acorn to enable our employees to have their cells collected and cryopreserved. 

“Simply put, we want to practise what we preach, particularly when it comes to developing effective wellness strategies that will assist in improving employees’ health over the long term. That is exactly what Acorn is providing.”

Copyright © 2019 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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