Revista Business Magazine Portugal
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Investments that ensure the future
WideCells Group's mission is to make stem cell therapies globally accessible. The group consists of 3 divisions.
- CellPlan: the world’s first stem cell healthcare insurance plan with financial cover for medical treatment, travel and accommodation expenses and concierge service to manage the treatment process.
- WideCells: The Institute of Stem Cell Technology has been established and is based in the University of Manchester Innovation Centre to provide stem cell storage services and focus on stem cell research and regenerative medicine. Its international cryogenics division specialises in stem cell storage, with the Group currently offering umbilical cord blood and tissue storage services to clients in the UK and Europe under the brand name BabyCells.
- Wideacademy: an education and training division to promote awareness of the benefits of stem cell storage across the global general practice community.
João Andrade and Lopes Gil are the founders of this company that has a very well defined strategy in the international market.
Stem Cell industry encouraged the development of the business
The first challenge is related to the value of stem cell treatments. Most families who store cord blood stem cells are unaware of the costs associated with the possible future treatment using the stem cells from cord blood, which can reach 300,00€. This is where CellPlan comes in with an affordable insurance policy, making it possible for the families to afford the treatments and also all the associated expenses. Another problem identified is the lack of information regarding the effectiveness of treatments through the use of stem cells: a 100 percent compatibility with the bone marrow is required while for a cord blood transplant the required compatibility is 25 to 50 percent, which significantly increases the possibility of finding the solution within the family.
In addition to the offices located in Manchester, London, Madrid, Sao Paulo and Dubai, WideCells Group also has an office for the insurance area, CellPlan, in Portugal. It is from the latter, led by our division head Ricardo Pires, an insurance specialist, that we are revolutionising the access to cellular therapies around the world.
CellPlan offers a complete service with financial cover for medical treatment, travel and accommodation expenses and concierge service to manage the treatment process.
Future of the industry
As Lopes Gil refers, while the pharmaceutical industry has been around for a long time, this one is very recent, so there is still a lot to evolve. The future is to develop treatments, for example, in the area of cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis, among many others.
João Andrade divides this matters in two different points: preventive medicine (with storage of stem cells) and precision medicine, because the cells are directed to future treatments in the child or their family. We have a research department to develop two projects: one in the area of activation, through a laser, of stem cells that are already present in our body, and another one that consists on the reprogramming of stem cells. We want to drive the next generation of stem cell technology.
Follow the link to review the full article https://issuu.com/revistabusinessportugal/docs/rbp_abril18_online/90 (note: article published in portuguese)