Home Education University of Manchester-based WideCells Group lands ‘significant licence’

University of Manchester-based WideCells Group lands ‘significant licence’

Joao Andrade, CEO, WideCells

WideCells Group PLC, a provider of stem cell services, has secured a highly sought-after licence from the UK Human Tissue Authority (HTA).

Based at the University of Manchester Innovation Centre (UMIC), WideCells, can now offer umbilical cord blood and tissue storage services to clients in the UK and Europe.  This service will be known as BabyCells.

WideCells CEO, João Andrade, described the licence as a ‘transformational milestone’.

He said: “The granting of this licence from the HTA marks a significant step in the Group’s end-to-end stem cell service solution.

“WideCells Group can now store and process umbilical cord blood and tissue, provide financial cover and support for associated treatment through our innovative CellPlan insurance product, and support development and medical advancement within the industry through both our research work, and our education and training division Wideacademy.

“This licence enables us to leverage further our significant industry contacts and market presence to position our state of the art facility in Manchester as a leading stem cell storage bank. The Group is now positioned to focus on revenue generation from all three of our divisions.”

After listing on the London Stock Exchange in July 2016, WideCells was later ranked as the 21st most disruptive company globally by ‘Disrupt 100’ and has been nominated for the IPO Life Sciences of the year award by Biotech&Money.

WideCells Group employs 30 people across its three divisions in Manchester, Lisbon and Brazil.

Professor Peter Hollands, Chief Scientific Officer of WideCells Group, heads up the laboratory at UMIC, just outside Manchester city centre.

After securing the HTA licence CEO João Andrade said clients of BabyCells will be offered one year’s stem cell insurance cover, provided by the Group’s complementary CellPlan division.

BabyCells will be charged at a cost of circa £2,000 per sample for one year’s storage (including collection and processing), with recurring storage revenues of £50-£75 per annum thereafter and alternative multi-year pre-paid storage plans.