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WideCells Group PLC (ICON)


Monday 19 February, 2018

WideCells Group PLC

Board Changes and Launch of Wideacademy Platform

RNS Number : 1991F
WideCells Group PLC
19 February 2018

19 February 2018

WideCells Group PLC ('WideCells Group' or 'the Group')


Board Changes, Launch of Wideacademy Platform

and Strategy Update


WideCells Group PLC, the healthcare services group focused on providing stem cell services and ground-breaking insurance for stem cell treatment, is pleased to announce a number of corporate developments.



·     David Henriques has been appointed to the board as a Non-Executive Director:

o  Mr Henriques has significant asset management and corporate finance experience, and is involved with the digitalisation of insurance products

As part of this appointment, Mr. Zakaria Aziz will be stepping down from his Non-Executive position.


·     Wideacademy, the Group's 100% owned education and training division, has successfully launched the first stage of

Provides educational content for both the public and medical professionals to raise the profile of stem cell technologies and support the development of the industry.

Platform combines free-to-access educational areas with paid for premium digital tools and resources for doctors/medical professionals


·     With a strengthened board and three active divisions, the Group's primary focus is now on building its global profile, increasing client reach and driving sales of its stem cell services:

Identified new opportunities within Asia-Pacific region

E-commerce site now live for INDUS and product development continues with minimal additional capital outlay and management resources


WideCells Group CEO, João Andrade, said, "We are delighted to welcome David Henriques to the Board.  His extensive corporate finance experience and knowledge of digitalisation in the insurance industry will be invaluable to us as we continue to build the profile of our company.  WideCells Group was founded to provide an end-to-end stem cell service having early identified a number of market opportunities.


"Our sights are now on growth and commercial roll-out.  In support of this, we have identified significant development opportunities in the Asia-Pacific territories, where the stem cell industry is gaining increasing profile.  Furthermore, we are delighted to have launched our Wideacademy platform, which we believe will support both stem cell storage and treatment uptake, and the development of the industry as a whole.  Wideacademy, together with our stem cell insurance product, CellPlan, are the first products of their kind, and it is our ability to recognise industry limitations and find solutions to overcome them, which I believe sets us apart and puts us on the path for significant growth."


Further Information


Board Changes

Mr. David Henriques has been appointed to the Board as Non-Executive Director.  His appointment will enable the Group to separate the functions of Group Chairman from that of Chairman of the Audit & Risk Committee. Mr Henriques will act as Chairman of the Group's Audit & Risk Committee, while Mr. Peter Presland will continue as Group Chairman.  


As an experienced corporate financier who is involved with the digitalisation of insurance products, Mr. Henriques brings a unique skill set to support the continued growth of WideCells Group.   He is a co-Founder and Director of Cairn Capital Ltd , a full-service credit asset management firm, and was formerly co-Global Head of Structured Credit Products with the Royal Bank of Scotland.  Prior to this, he held various senior positions in corporate finance and insurance companies.  He is currently a Non-Executive Director of Azur Group Holdings Limited, an Insurance Managing Digital Agency, which partners with carriers and brokers to build, underwrite and distribute digital insurance products.


As part of Mr. Henriques' appointment, Mr. Zakaria Azis will be stepping down from the Board. 


Mr Henriques, who is 53 years old, has held the following directorships or partnerships in the past 5 years:




Azur Group Holdings Limited


The Cruwys Morchard Sporting Society Limited


Sard Limited


Cairn Capital Investments Limited


Cairn Capital Limited


Cairn Investment Managers Limited


Cairn Financial Guarantee limited


Cairn Capital Group Limited



Except as disclosed in this announcement, neither the Company nor Mr Henriques are aware of any further disclosures that are required in respect of the appointment of Mr Henriques under Listing Rules 9.6.11 and 9.6.13.



Led by the former director of Apple Education, Alan Greenberg, Wideacademy has created an innovative Software as a Service ('Saas') platform - the first stage of which is now live.


With a digital library of educational articles, research papers and the beginning of a podcast series, together with real life success stories, Wideacademy has created an educational resource to provide users with everything they need to know about stem cell innovation, insights and treatments and their role in the future of healthcare and regenerative medicine.  Content is populated and verified by reputable medical professionals and key innovators within the stem cell industry and the platform is updated daily.  Alongside this, the platform includes a 'Frequently Asked Questions' section and tagged key search words, such as "leukaemia" or "immunotherapy" to help users find content most of interest to them.   Accordingly, an individual can contextually search the articles and references in a meaningful way and be confident they are receiving trusted and authentic updates and resources in stem cell innovations that are relevant today.


The platform will combine free-to-access educational areas with paid for premium digital tools and resources for doctors/medical professionals, including annual membership packages for doctors/medical professionals and the accreditation of educational modular courses that can support Continual Professional Development ('CPD').  The Group is currently in discussions with a number of universities / educational organisations to refine its planned course / CPD offering, with plans to add this functionality later this year.  Wideacademy also intends to launch a "Diseases & Treatment" section in H1 2018, to provide more detailed information on specific illnesses.


Other Developments

WideCells Group has an active growth strategy and is focussed on the global roll-out of its stem cell services.  Bolstering the Group's current presence in Europe and Brazil, new commercial opportunities have been identified globally, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region where the stem cell industry is rapidly growing, and stem cell regulation is well advanced meaning there is a clear framework to work in/with.  Discussions are underway with a number of stem cell banks and insurance companies with a view to securing commercial agreements in the Asia-Pacific region, and in light of this focus WideCells Group is in re-negotiation with White Apex regarding its Wideacademy agreements.  Further updates will be made in due course.


Whilst the Group's stem cell services remain WideCells Group's primary focus, the Company's storage and research division, WideCells, is also a licensed provider of INDUS, a novel synthetic bone graft that promotes new bone formation, which is primarily used in the dental industry.  To facilitate the sale and promotion of this product, which has a retail price of ~£420, the Group has launched, which has full e-commerce capability.  The creation of this site will support sales whilst the Group focusses on the global roll-out of its core stem cell services.




For further information, please visit the Company's website, 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 both accessible and affordable.  This is delivered through 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: developing an education and training division to promote awareness of the benefits of stem cell storage across the global general practice community.


Stem Cell Fast Facts:

·     Cord blood (which is taken from the umbilical cord) provides the most effective source of stem cells for families, because it is 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 collection and storage often costing no more than a few £thousands, actual treatment can cost in the £hundreds of thousands - before the development of an insurance product such as CellPlan, the treatment remained largely available only to Higher Net Worth individuals.


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
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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