WideCells Group


Update on Manchester Facility and Appointments

News Release | WideCells Group PLC

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5 August 2016

WideCells Group PLC (‘WideCells Group’ or ‘the Group’)

Update on Manchester Facility and Appointments

 

WideCells Group, the healthcare services company focused on collecting and storing stem cells and providing ground breaking insurance for stem cell treatment, is pleased to announce that WideCells, a fully owned division of the Group, is making rapid progress in establishing its state of the art, stem cell laboratory based at the University of Manchester Innovation Centre (UMIC).  Upon completion, the laboratory will be the Group’s first stem cell storage facility in the UK, cementing its expansion into the European stem cell storage market.

 

Highlights:

  • WideCells Institute of Stem Cell Technology (ISCT) to offer stem cell retrieval, processing and storage services to the public – the average cost to the consumer is expected to be in the region of £2,000
  • Facility to include two clean rooms that will be used for stem cell processing, and a large room which will be used for freezing and storing a range of human tissues in cryopreservation conditions
  • Existing clean room facilities are currently being upgraded to comply with WideCell’s high standards and orders have been placed for key laboratory equipment  
  • Initiating process to obtain a Human Tissue Authority (‘HTA’) licence for the procurement, processing, storage and release for transplantation of cord blood and cord tissue stem cells, which will enable the facility to become operational
    • As part of this process, all equipment and procedures will be validated in preparation for HTA inspection
  • Developing Quality Management Systems for the laboratory to ensure all stem cells are processed to the highest standards in quality and safety
  • Looking to appoint key new Manchester-based personnel to assist in next stage of Group‘s development:
    • Lab manager to oversee and manage work at UMIC
    • Marketing Manager to support the Group’s sales and marketing strategy, including the roll-out of its innovative stem cell insurance plan, CellPlan
    • Accounting Manager to oversee all Group operations
  • Official opening of UMIC targeted for H1 2017
  • UMIC facility further strengthens WideCells’ established stem cell collection, cryopreservation and storage services – the company recently established a third party blood bank / storage facility in Brazil and also have on-going operations in Portugal and Spain with third party blood banks

 

WideCells Group CEO Joao Andrade said, “We are delighted with the progress we have made in establishing of our first cord blood storage facility in the UK.  This facility not only marks our expansion into a new market, but is a further link in our fully integrated service offering as we look to broaden access to and combat the financial barriers associated with stem cell treatment.  Having recently listed on the London Stock Exchange and established CellPlan, a first of its kind insurance plan which provides financial cover for stem cell treatment, our cord blood banks and stem cell storage facilities form the first link in stem cell treatment by ensuring the safe storage of stem cell samples.  

 

“Currently over 3 million people worldwide have paid c. £2,000 to store stem cells, which can be used to treat many life-restricting illnesses such as cancers and MS.  There has been a 300% increase in the number of illnesses that can be treated using stem cells since 2003 and we expect storage demand to continue to rise in line with this.  By establishing a global portfolio of storage facilities and forming strategic partnerships with established cord blood banks and storage providers, we hope to be able to support this demand.

 

“With operations progressing well in both Sao Paulo, Brazil and Manchester and the imminent appointment of new team members that will be central to our growth, we are excited to move into the next phase of the Group’s development and look forward to updating the market in due course.”

 

**ENDS**

 

For further information, please visit the Company’s website www.widecellsgroup.com, follow us on Twitter @WideCells_Group or contact:

 

WideCells Group

CEO – Joáo Andrade

Tel:  +351 919 033 171

Vicarage Capital Ltd

Broker – Jeremy Woodgate & Rupert Williams

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3651 2912

Shard Capital Partners LLP

Broker – Damon Heath & Erik Woolgar

Tel: +44 (0) 207 186 9950

St Brides Partners Ltd

PR – Elisabeth Cowell & Charlotte Heap

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7236 1177

 

Notes to Editors

 

WideCells Group PLC is building an integrated stem cell services company, focused on making stem cell treatments accessible and affordable. The Directors believe that the use of cord blood stem cells for transplant will drive one of the next important phases in medicine and is therefore developing market leading products in complementary, strategic areas which are designed to take advantage of substantial market opportunities in one of the fastest growing segments in the healthcare industry.  With this in mind, it has created three 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: a portfolio of best in class stem cell processing and cord blood storage facilities with an existing presence in UK and Brazil
  • WideAcademy: developing an education and training division to promote awareness of the benefits of stem cell storage across the global general practice community

 

The Group has built an experienced senior management team that has been integral to the development of its growth and business to date.

 

Stem Cell Fast Facts:

  • Cord blood (which is taken from the umbilical cord) provides the most effective source of stem cells for families due to it being simple, safe and painless to collect relative to other sources of stem cells such as bone marrow – WideCells will focus on promoting the collection and storage of this.
  • Since 2005, there has been a 300% increase in the number of illnesses that can be treated using stem cells
  • 82 illnesses can currently be treated using stem cell procedures
  • Despite initial storage often costing no more than a few £thousand, actual treatment can cost in the £hundreds of thousands

Sources

Download the press release here