2018 CEO Today Europe Awards
Award | CEO Today Magazine
João Andrade, CEO of London listed WideCells Group PLC
João, one of the co-founders of the WideCells business, has a strong background in marketing and international business development (he holds an Executive MBA), together with over eight years senior experience in the stem call market and his certification as an insurance broker led him to identify a significant market opportunity to create an end-to-end stem cell service.
Prior to founding WideCells Group in 2012, João served in key roles at two leading European cord blood banks, both of which had operations in several countries; he was previously Chief Strategy Officer at Precious Cells International Limited and Key Account Manager at Future Health Technologies Limited. This experience enabled him to identify a business opportunity that led to the creation of WideCells Group and also resulted in João accruing an extensive contact network and unrivalled knowledge of the stem cell industry.
With strong commercial acumen, industry specific knowledge and a defined development plan, João is committed to making stem cell treatment accessible and affordable globally through the creation of the world’s first end-to-end stem cell service solution, driving industry change and development and building value for both clients and investors.
About WideCells Group PLC
Since 2005, there has been a 300% increase in the number of illnesses that can be treated using stem cells. With over 80 illnesses, such as leukaemia, currently treatable using stem cell procedures and this US$96 billion industry projected to be worth US$270 billion by 2025, the stem cell market is growing at a rapid rate. However, despite more than 4 million people worldwide having paid c. £2,000 to store stem cells, actual treatment can cost in the £hundreds of thousands, making it unaffordable for many.
WideCells Group Plc was established to overcome this barrier and make this potentially life-saving treatment accessible and affordable to all – regardless of their geographical and financial situations. This is achieved through three distinct and complementary divisions:
- CellPlan: the world's first stem cell insurance plan and expert medical opinion service to directly tackle the accessibility and affordability of stem cell transplantation for families across the globe; CellPlan is support by a leading global reinsurer and a global specialist medical advisory group;
- WideCells: which provides cutting-edge stem cell processing and storage facilities and pioneers innovative research work; and
- Wideacademy: which is committed to driving training, education and research in stem cell technologies to support the continued growth of this potentially lifesaving industry.
The revenue generative, award winning Company already has a number of highly strategic agreements to facilitate rollout globally. These include: stem cell storage facilities, such as Biovault, the UK’s largest stem cell storage facility, Stem Cell S.A. in Spain and Hemocord in Brazil. With the Company’s services due to be launched in Spain imminently, an e-commerce platform for CellPlan is now live to facilitate further expansion globally. Futhermore, with Wideacademy’s recently launched educational platform the Company has a highly active growth strategy ensuring its end-to-end service solution for the stem cell industry with the aim to drive innovation, improve accessibility and catalyse the next important phase in the medical industry. With an extensive contact network and unrivalled knowledge of the stem cell industry, Mr Andrade is undoubtedly best placed to deliver upon this strategy.
At a corporate level, the Company listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange in July 2016. The Group has subsequently completed a number of fundraisings, which have attracted institutional investment. Alongside this, and supporting development, the board boasts a number of pre-eminent figures in the stem cell, technology and corporate world. This includes Alan Greenberg, former Head of Higher Education at Apple EMEA and a Director of Apple Education, China who was responsible for building the technologies behind Podcasting and iTunes U; Prof. Peter Hollands, a leading figure in stem cell technology who was Senior Embryologist at the world’s first IVF clinic world; Peter Presland, who was CEO for 17 years at major international insurance group C E Heath PLC; Malcolm Glaister who was previously Head of Private Banking for Lloyds Bank PLC; Dr Marilyn Orcharton, co-founder of Denplan Limited, the UK's market leader in dental insurance; David Bridgland, an experienced CFO of Blue Chip companies; and, Lopes Gil, João’s co-founder at WideCells Group, who has over 25 years of managerial experience from multinational chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences company Merck KGgA.
With three divisions now operational and starting to generate revenues, WideCells Group is about to embark on a new period of growth and development to build its operational reach on an international scale, increase its client base, and ultimately transform the value profile of the company.