Stem cells are one of the hottest areas of medical research in the hope (and expectation) that one day they will help treat many diseases.
Certain ailments such as bone marrow transplants already use them a standard treatment but cost and access remain barriers.
Its mission is to make stem cell treatments accessible and affordable to as many people as possible through an ‘end-to-end’ service.
Currently the group has three arms
CellPlan is a stem cell healthcare insurance plan that makes stem cell transplants affordable for families who require treatment for life-threatening diseases.
WideCells Group Science focuses on stem cell research and stem cell storage.
Wideacademy, launched in February 2018, is the education and training division and provides free-to-access educational areas with paid for premium digital tools and resources for doctors/medical professionals.
“The group is now positioned to focus on revenue generation from all three of our divisions," said Joao Andrade, chief executive officer of the company.
Licence from the UK’s Human Tissue Authority
WideCells took a “significant step” towards its end-to-end ambition with the grant of a licence by the UK’s Human Tissue Authority.
This allows the company to import, export, process, store and distribute for treatment umbilical cord blood and tissue.
Umbilical cord cells are one main sources of a person’s stem cells and storing them following the birth of a child for use later on is a rapidly growing business.
Getting a UK licence enabled the group, under its brand name BabyCells, to offer umbilical cord blood and tissue storage services to clients in the UK and Europe.
UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University
In March, WideCells was granted a government-backed Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University to undertake research on a new form of stem cell technology.
The new technology allows specialised adult cells such as skin, to be genetically reprogrammed to assume a stem cell-like state and accordingly be used in treatment and in the study of disease.
Following the three-year research project, WideCells hopes to have these advanced induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to a point of commercialisation so that the technology can be included in the group’s end-to-end stem cell service offering.
Expanding into Asian market
WideCells has also signed a deal to bring stem cell insurance product, CellPlan, to the Asian market.
The agreement had been signed with Cryoviva, a cord blood storage facility with operations in Thailand, Singapore, and India.
Cryoviva to date had almost 250,000 inspected samples stored, with forecasts to store around 25,000 new samples per year going forward.
WideCells added that product will be launched to Cryoviva customers on a phased basis, commencing in the second half of 2018, and would provide staged revenue increases.
The agreement will be another step in geographical expansion for the group, following recent contracts in both Europe and South America.
WideCells results so far have reflected its early stage status. In the six months to 30 June 2017, loss before tax was £880,000 on nominal sales.
The market value of £7mln at 10.7p also highlights that the group currently is just at the start of its development.