5 September 2016
WideCells Group PLC ('WideCells Group' or 'the Company')
Launches WideCells Brasil
WideCells Group PLC, the healthcare services company focused on collecting and storing stem cells and providing ground breaking insurance for stem cell treatment, is delighted to announce the launch of WideCells Brasil, its umbilical cord blood processing and storage facility in São Paulo, Brazil ('the Facility'). The launch follows a 2016 licensing agreement between the Company's wholly owned stem cell storage division, WideCells, and Biocells Brasil, the owner of the Facility, which has been in operation since 2012 and has an established client base of circa 400 clients.
· Established regional management team with proven operating experience both within the stem cell industry and regionally - includes Luiz Sardinha, the former COO of Coca-Cola Brasil (10,000+ employees and BRL4.9 billion) for 35 years, who has joined WideCells Brasil's Board as COO and has taken a 10% stake, which is testament to the strong market potential of the stem cell services industry
· Facility provides WideCells Group with unrivalled opportunity to penetrate the Brazilian cord blood banking market which is projected to be worth US$445 million by 2023, the largest in South America's booming stem cell industry
· Presents strong revenue opportunity - WideCells to receive a royalty payment for every stem cell storage offering sold
o The initial collection is charged at US$1,000 which includes the first year's storage fee
o Stem cell storage facilities benefit from a recurring revenue model given the annual storage fee of US$150, which is normally extended over a number of decades
o Customers can also purchase a long-term storage plan (usually 5 or 10 years), providing excellent visibility on earnings
· The Facility's current umbilical cord processing and storage service has been re-branded as WideCells' registered trademark
· Company in ongoing discussions with additional companies in line with strategy to capture an increasing share of the cord blood storage market globally by securing licence agreements with existing facilities
· Licensing agreements would provide WideCells Group with an existing and engaged customer base to roll out its brand and products
WideCells CEO João Andrade said, "With the market for processing and storing stem cells from cord blood in Brazil and South America established and growing rapidly, the launch of WideCells Brasil is a milestone moment for the Company both in terms of our brand expansion and our revenue potential. Our ambition is to become the go-to provider of a pioneering end-to-end stem cell services solution that enables families globally to protect those most important to them from disease in a financially accessible way. Given the Facility's established client base, we have a significant opportunity to penetrate an existing, compelling market whilst also generating recurring revenues through the provision of additional storage and healthcare services. Over the coming months, we will look forward to expanding our portfolio of stem cell storage facilities by completing work at our building in Manchester."
The Facility has been operating since 2012 and is currently owned by Biocells Brasil. With an established client base of circa 400 clients, the Facility provides WideCells with a compelling market through which it can roll out its stem cell processing and storage offerings, which include LipoCells (adipose tissue storage and processing), TeethCells (dental pulp storage and processing) and OssGraft (synthetic bone). The Facility's current umbilical cord processing and storage service will be re-branded as BabyCells. The initial collection is charged at US$1,000 which includes the first year's storage fee. Stem cell storage facilities benefit from a recurring revenue model given the annual storage fee of US$150, which is normally extended over a number of decades. Customers can also purchase a long-term storage plan (usually 5 or 10 years), providing visibility on earnings over the mid to long term. Each stem cell storage offering will be delivered in return for a royalty payment to WideCells, thereby expected to provide a separate stream of revenue. The WideAcademy, which is aimed at educating the medical community regarding the benefits of stem cell storage with the aim of increasing uptake of the offering, will also be delivered through the Facility.
South America's cord blood banking services market has experienced exciting growth in recent years, as medical professionals realise the benefit that blood derived from umbilical cords can play in the delivery of innovative treatments for diseases including cancers, immune conditions and metabolic disorders. With Brazil leading the way as the largest cord blood banking services provider in a market estimated to be worth US$196m in 2014, and projections that it will reach US$445m by 2023, the South American market for stem cell collection has significant potential and the agreement with Biocells and the launch of the Facility offers an attractive opportunity to penetrate this compelling market. Circa 3 million births were recorded in Brazil in 2015 and notably there are currently only 12 cord storage facilities available in Brazil to service this significant and growing market.
WideCells Brasil Team
André Feldman - CEO
Mr Feldman is a law graduate with over 19 years of experience in corporate affairs with significant international experience particularly within the healthcare industry. He has previously worked at Lucent Technologies, an American multinational telecommunications equipment company, Vesper S.A, Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical, a major US pharmaceutical company, and Mednet Group, an Australian based billing and patient administration software company supporting the healthcare industry. Mr Feldman is also CEO and founder of Stem Cell Bank Biocells Brasil and is the Vice President of the Brazilian Association of Stem Cell Banks (Associação Brasileira de Bancos de Células Tronco - ABBCT).
Luiz Fernando Sardinha - COO
Mr Sardinha initially graduated in economics, before completing a post-graduate degree in management and marketing. He has over 30 years of leadership experience in the commercial area of mass consumption products in the non-alcoholic beverage industry at leading multinational company Coca-Cola (FEMSA). Within this role Mr Sardinha was responsible for operational management, including restructuring projects and implementing cost reductions, and financial management, relating to pricing, profit margins and leading negotiations with large chain customers and suppliers.
Daniel Rubim - Medical Director
Dr Rubim qualified as a Doctor from the Itajuba Medical College in Brazil (FMIt) and as a Master of Medicine from the New University of Lisbon-Portugal. He is a specialist in Science of Human Physiology and Regenerative Medicine and has worked as medical director of the stem cell bank Biocells Brasil with emphasis on the use of cells in regenerative medicine.
Marta Scomparin - Sales Manager
Ms Scomparin as an Information Technology Analyst and Strategic Management Specialist who graduated at the State University of Campinas - UNICAMP. She has over ten years of experience in customer management, working with large companies in the pharmaceutical industry and other sectors. Most recently, over the past four years, she has worked in sales in the stem cell bank Biocells Brasil.
Rodrigo Peixoto - Administrative Manager
Mr Peixoto graduated from PUC-Campinas in advertising and subsequently worked as Customer Service Representative for eight years at IBM Brasil, part of the leading multinational technology company. Within this role, Mr Peixoto specialised in marketing contracts, audit contracts, managed help desk accounts and international maintenance contracts with customer service in Brazil in Puerto Rico and the US.
Ana Carolina Marchiori - Scientific Director
Ms Marchiori is a qualified Biologist and Master in Molecular Oncology from the faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo FM-USP. She has also completed a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho, UNESP, in São Paulo, Brazil. With over 13 years' experience in Molecular Biology and three years in hematopoietic stem cells Ms Marchiori is a leading figure in stem cell technology and was previously responsible for stem cell bank techniques at Biocells Brasil. During the last three years she has been active in overseeing the laboratory as Scientific Director.
Flavia Corrocher - Biomedical Technical Officer
Ms Corrocher qualified in Clinical and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP) in São Paulo, Brazil and has a PhD in Medical Sciences from the State University of Campinas-UNICAMP. She has experience in the manipulation of hematopoietic stem cells and the development of protocols in the cell culture area, and is currently responsible for the technical laboratory at WideCells Brasil.
Fabiane Lamera - Biomedical Specialist
Ms Lamera is a biomedical specialist in Clinical Analysis with a focus on blood banking. She is currently studying to achieve a diploma in Biotechnology at the Faculdade Metrocamp in Brazil. In the past four years she acquired experience in stem cell manipulation.
For further information, please visit the Company's website www.widecellsgroup.com, follow us on Twitter @WideCells_Group or contact:
CEO - João 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
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) 596/2014 (MAR).
This information is provided by RNS