WideCells Group


WideCells granted a government-backed Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership

News Release | WideCells Group PLC

19 March 2018

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

Granted Government-Backed Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership for Stem Cell Research

WideCells Group PLC, the healthcare services company focused on providing stem cell services and ground-breaking insurance for stem cell treatment, is pleased to announce that its 100% owned stem cell storage and research division, WideCells Ltd, has been granted a government-backed Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to undertake research on a new form of stem cell technology.  As part of this three-year research project, Innovate UK will provide £156,000 worth of funding towards a total project cost of £234,000.

 

The new technology allows specialised adult cells such as skin cells to be genetically reprogrammed to assume a stem cell-like state and accordingly be used in stem cell treatment and in the study of disease.  These stem cells, known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), could revolutionise the stem cell industry by making stem cells, and subsequently stem cell treatments, much more accessible.  Following the research project, WideCells hope to have advanced iPSCs to a point of commercialisation so that the technology can be included in the Group’s end-to-end stem cell service offering.

 

Testament to the pioneering nature and potential value of the research project is the support received from Innovate UK, a government-backed public body that is committed to driving growth by working with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation, particularly science and technology developments that it believes will drive future economic growth.  Out of the 33 proposals that were chosen to be supported by Innovate UK, WideCells and MMU’s project was ranked fifth.  Innovate UK will provide £52,000 per annum in funding for the three-year project and WideCells Group will provide £26,000 per annum. 

 

A post-doctoral scientist will be employed and based in WideCells facilities in Manchester to carry out the research under the supervision of Professor Peter Hollands, WideCells Group Chief Scientific Officer, who is a leading figure in the global stem cell industry, and Professor Tristan McKay from MMU.

 

WideCells Group CEO, João Andrade, said, “The granting of this government-backed Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership is testament to the quality of our research work and the leading role we’re playing in the stem cell industry.  By supporting the continued development of the industry, we help to ensure that our end-to-end stem cell service, which includes our unique stem cell insurance product, Cellplan, remains relevant to the market.”

 

**ENDS**

 

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

 

WideCells Group

CEO – João Andrade

Tel:  +351 919 033 171

Smaller Company Capital Limited

Broker – Jeremy Woodgate & Rupert Williams

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3651 2912

Shard Capital Partners LLP

Broker – Damon Heath & Erik Woolgar

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7186 9950

WG Partners LLP

Broker – David Wilson, Claes Spång and Andrew Craig

Tel: +44 (0)203 705 9320

St Brides Partners Limited

PR – Charlotte Page & Isabel de Salis

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7236 1177

 

Notes to Editors

 

WideCells Group PLC

WideCells Group PLC is building an integrated stem cell services company, focused on making stem cell treatments accessible and affordable.  This is achieved through three divisions:

 

The Group has 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: The Institute of Stem Cell Technology has been established and is based in the University of Manchester Innovation Centre to focus on stem cell research and regenerative medicine. WideCells also has international cryogenics divisions specialising in stem cell storage.
  • Wideacademy: 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 cord blood.
  • 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

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 (MAR).

Sources

WideCells Group PLC