WideCells Group PLC (LON:WDC) CEO João Andrade speaks with Alastair Greener about the changes in stem cell technologies and how the industry is growing year on year.
Medical security is one of the big challenges facing us in the 21st century. Preserving our families’ health in the face of often dwindling state health provision can be difficult and expensive.
Part of the answer may come from the growing range of conditions addressable with cord blood stem cell treatments, of which there are currently more than 80, including many blood cancers, like leukemia or lymphoma, and the promising evidence that regenerative medicine may also be fuelled by stem cells in the near future, treating issues like cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis.
These are the areas in which WideCells Group, headed by João Andrade, operates, driving future-facing medicine and bringing it to wider markets.
WideCells itself tackles both stem cell storage (mostly recovered through umbilical cord blood) and research, while CellPlan, another part of the group, aims to make the actual treatment accessible, available and treatable globally with its innovative insurance products and services, which make treatments and the best care affordable for a far greater number of patients.
The third part of the group, Wideacademy, will drive awareness of the possibilities of the growing industry through formal education within the medical and financial industries and through thought leadership amongst a range of interested communities.
For João Andrade, it is a mission-led business – to lead the way in cord blood banking and the treatments it enables; to use insurance products to widen availability and to make more people aware of the processes and potential involved.
It’s a growing industry, projected to be worth $170 billion by 2020, but one driven by a thirst for new knowledge to expand the range of treatments and making their affordability less daunting through insurance (the costs of treatments can currently reach £300,000). The drive to find and educate new consumers while finding new partners on the journey.