WideCells Group PLC (LON:WDC), the healthcare services company focused on providing stem cell services and ground-breaking insurance for stem cell treatment, has today announced that its 100% owned subsidiary CellPlan Limited is set to launch its first-of-its-kind stem cell healthcare insurance plan and medical concierge service in Spain, marking the Company’s landmark expansion into a new geographic region. Alongside this, the Group is pleased to confirm that its CellPlan e-commerce platform is now fully live in the UK, meaning that CellPlan is now available to buy nationally.
CEO João Andrade talks to DirectorsTalk about its CellPlan expansion into Spain and e-commerce platform launched to all families in the UK. João explains how this will be achieved, the impact this expansion will have on revenue, why Spain was chosen, what the platform offers, the wider global expansion and other geographies under consideration.
· CellPlan to be launched in Spain by the end of 2017
· Commercial roll-out and sales to commence via commercial agreement with storage facility and launch of e-commerce platform enabling maximum market penetration
· Definitive Agreement signed to roll-out CellPlan to clients of Stem Cell Banco Celulas Madre, S.A. (‘Stem Cell’), an established provider of stem cell storage services, which has been in operation for over ten years
o Stem Cell has leading storage facilities in Spain and is also a member of the Regenera Swiss AG group, which provides exposure to and affiliation with other European facilities, particularly in Germany
o Approximately 2,000 stem cells are currently stored by Stem Cell – both new and existing clients will be able to purchase CellPlan with product launch targeted by the end of the year
o Agreement marks CellPlan’s third commercial agreement with a cord blood storage facility, building upon current agreements secured in the UK and Brazil
· E-commerce platform to be launched in Spain by the end of 2017 enabling families / prospective clients to purchase CellPlan directly
o Spain is one of the most established cord blood and stem cell storage markets in Europe – launch of platform enables CellPlan to rapidly target this significant market
o Platform facilitates mass market penetration and global roll out with limited cost
· E-commerce platform now fully live in the UK, enabling families that have stored stem cells in facilities the UK to purchase CellPlan directly from the company, creating greater sales opportunities
· The reference price of the CellPlan product is £170 per annum
o Under its reseller model CellPlan will generate an average of £50 balance from each sale, after disbursements, commissions and reinsurance costs
o Greater margins are available from sales generated via the e-commerce platform
o The gross premium will be adjusted to the Spanish market ahead of product launch
· Additional agreements in the pipeline to further build global reach
WideCells Group CEO, João Andrade, said, “The Spanish cord blood and stem cell storage market is one of the most established in Europe and accordingly is a highly prospective region for us. Having successfully launched our CellPlan product in the UK, and with sales due to commence in Brazil in the near term, we now have an established framework and roll-out model which enables us to target new geographies quickly and with relatively low cost.
“Our e-commerce platform has been built for global roll-out and with many people in the UK and Spain already opting to store cord blood, we believe there will be strong demand for our CellPlan product, which our platform will help us capitalise on, regardless of whether we currently have a commercial agreement with the facility in which they choose to store their cord blood. We are accordingly delighted that the platform is now fully live in the UK and look forward to launching it in Spain later this year. Alongside this, we are delighted to have secured a strategic agreement with Stem Cell; having been in operation for over ten years Stem Cell is arguably at the fore of the Spanish stem cell storage market and provides us with a strategic growth opportunity through which we can build our presence in-country. We look forward to driving sales of our innovative stem cell insurance product, and believe that our two-pronged partner and platform roll out approach will help us achieve maximum global market penetration.”
Stem Cell Director, Gabriela Villalba, said, “CellPlan is especially important and of great value for clients in Spain, since the current treatments available are mainly concentrated outside of Spain. We are pleased to be the first company in Spain to offer this great benefit to our customers.”
CellPlan is a completely unique and a first of its kind insurance product that aims to transform the stem cell industry by making stem cell treatment affordable and accessible globally. Through an average cost of £170 per annum, families that have stored their stem cells are able to protect themselves from the often-unforeseen costs of treatment, which can be as much as £300,000.
This product offering comprises four primary services:
· “Your Expert Consultation” service, which comprises a panel of experts in stem cell transplantation who are able to review a patient’s case regardless of where he is in the world and provide the right diagnosis and the right treatment plan;
· “Your Medical Certainty”, which provides a comprehensive summary of the patient’s case and identifies a selection of treatment centres where the patient can access treatment globally;
· “Your Global Resource”, which is a medical concierge service, whereby CellPlan handles the full treatment process, including any travel requirements, hospital admission and transportation of the stem cell sample, allowing patients to concentrate on getting well; and
· “Your Family protection”, where CellPlan provides cover of £/$/€1m (sterling, dollars or euros) – depending on the location – of medical, travel and accommodation bills.
Marketing Plans for CellPlan to Stem Cell Customers
CellPlan and Stem Cell have worked together to design a multi-faceted marketing strategy focused on driving sales of CellPlan to both parents that have stored their baby’s stem cells at Stem Cell’s facility, as well as expectant parents. The proposed plan includes a mix of marketing channels and tools, and focuses on engaging with a Stem Cell customer at strategic points throughout their customer journey, as well as commercial activities such as sponsorships, training, social media and trade fairs participation.
Existing Stem Cell customers will be contacted to purchase CellPlan. New customers that enquire through Stem Cell’s website will be targeted through digital mailings that will range from a mix of standard and special campaigns. For each mailing strategy Stem Cell will suggest the target segmentation variables and Stem Cell will send key performance indicator reports that will enable CellPlan to determine the success of each campaign. The marketing strategy will be implemented by Stem Cell customer relationship management and CellPlan will be promoted on both companies’ websites and via Call Centre functions.
CellPlan’s role is to support and further develop Stem Cell marketing efforts through its cord blood storage facility and to provide them with strategies, assets and necessary training for the sale of CellPlan non-insurance component products, and endorsement of CellPlan insurance products. To achieve this, CellPlan’s marketing department will, in collaboration with Stem Cell, build on existing frameworks, always respecting regulatory laws and brand guidelines where applicable, and address sales objectives to maximise market penetration and revenues.
The teams are now implementing the final details ahead of product launch in November 2017.