Mon, 7th Nov 2016 07:00
7 November 2016
WideCells Group PLC ('WideCells Group' or 'the Company')
Signs LOI with First Cord Blood Bank to Roll Out CellPlan
WideCells Group PLC, the healthcare services company focused on providing stem cell banking services and ground breaking insurance for stem cell treatment, is pleased to announce that its 100% owned subsidiary CellPlan Limited ('CellPlan'), which has developed the world's first stem cell healthcare insurance plan and medical concierge service, has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent ('LOI') with Biovault Technical Ltd ('Biovault'), the UK's largest private human tissue storage facility, which also operates a family stem cell processing facility. CellPlan will offer its revolutionary stem cell healthcare insurance plan and services to Biovault's expansive client base, whereby its insurance plan will cover the cost of treatment using stem cells stored by Biovault and its affiliates. When completed, this will deliver a new revenue stream to the Company and will be a landmark development in the commercialisation of CellPlan.
The two parties are currently finalising market-roll out plans and hope to sign a definitive, binding agreement (the 'Definitive Agreement') by the end of this year, subject to due diligence and final management approval. Commercial roll out and sales of CellPlan to Biovault customers is currently targeted to commence early 2017.
As envisaged in the LOI, the Definitive Agreement is intended to cover an initial five year term, during which CellPlan would provide Biovault's register of over 25,000 clients with access to its insurance product, which has been developed in conjunction with Best Doctorsâ, a global leader in expert medical opinion, and underwritten by a leading reinsurance company. The innovative insurance plan provides customers with access to international stem cell specialists, hospitals and financial cover for up to ï¿½1 million worth of medical, travel and accommodation expenses, in line with its strategy to make access to potentially lifesaving stem cell treatments more affordable. On completion, BioVault would become a member of CellPlan's Excel Membership Programme, meaning it would adhere to CellPlan's stringent quality standards in order to maintain operating excellence within the stem cell industry. The Company will announce further details of the Definitive Agreement in due course.
WideCells Group CEO, João Andrade, said, "This is transformational for CellPlan. Since launching in May 2016, the effective roll out of CellPlan has been central to our strategy to make life-saving stem cell treatments more affordable and ultimately accessible for all. The signing of the letter of intent with Biovault, the UK's pre-eminent cord blood bank, is a first step in the provision of an unrivalled platform from which to achieve this. Biovault has a reputation for excellence in the UK's stem cell storage industry and we are delighted to be working with them as we continue to develop CellPlan into the foremost stem cell healthcare insurance plan.
"Having recently secured a number of key team members to work alongside our bolstered Board, our focus over the coming months will be to formalise the agreement with Biovault with a view to rolling out CellPlan in early 2017. We continue to seek further partnerships that will enable us to maintain the momentum we have gained since the plan launched earlier this year, as we look forward to the future."
Biovault CEO, Kate Sneddon, said, "We are excited to be able to work with Cellplan in pioneering this approach to make stem cell treatment more accessible and affordable. Through our work supporting clinical transplant services in the UK we have first-hand experience of the complexity of these treatments and the specialist care required. We feel offering Cellplan insurance to our customers is a great way to increase the awareness and use of stem cell treatments."
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 Page
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).