Cryo-Save - New management announces strategy to enter fields of predictive medicine and translational regenerative medicine R&D, the change of the holding company`s name to Esperite, the reorganization of its operations into three separate business units - cord blood and tissue cryo-preservation, proteomics and genomics predictive medicine, and translational regenerative medicine R&D - and the related acquisition of Salveo Biotechnology`s Swiss laboratory and related activities.
Cryo-Save Group N.V. (Euronext: CRYO, `Cryo-Save`, or `the Group`), already the leading international stem cell storage company and the largest family stem cell bank in Europe, announces that it will change the name of its holding company into Esperite. Under the new leadership of Frederic Amar an innovative growth and expansion strategy will be implemented. The Group is entering the fields of predictive medicine and translational regenerative medicine R&D and has decided to create three separate and distinct business units to support the refocus and restructuring of its operations.
The Group bases its growth on an organic development supported by its new marketing plan, new product and synergies and a strong team of more than 170 sales representatives. Furthermore the Group aims at taking a leading role in the consolidation process in the market for umbilical cord blood and cord tissue, which is under major pressure.
The current cord blood and tissue cryo-preservation shall be continued under the name Cryo-Save. Additionally, the Group will start up research and development activities in the field of translational regenerative medicine, via the business unit The Cell Factory. The Group will furthermore enter into proteomics and genomics predictive medicine and to that extent will create the new business unit Genoma. The three business units will operate as separate brands and businesses.
The Cryo-Save business line will continue the Group`s cord blood and tissue cryo-preservation activities and plans to further extend and expand these. Key elements of the expansion strategy will be an increase of sales force coverage in various geographies including Spain and Italy as well as starting operations in new territories. In this context, the Group has entered into a joint venture with CBB Group Sarl, the operator of the Portuguese leading Criobaby stem cell banking activities. Pursuant to the transaction, CBB Group Sarl transfers its Portuguese activities to Cryo-Save Portugal Ltda and acquires a 40% share interest in this company, the remaining 60% of the shares being held by Cryo-Save.
Furthermore, as an element of the overall restructuring, the company has entered into an asset sale and purchase agreement on the basis of which it has acquired the Swiss laboratory-related cord blood and cord tissue processing and storage activities, the regenerative medicine activities, and the central commercial and IT functions of Salveo Biotechnology S.A. (`Salveo`). This transaction, which will provide the Group with additional capacity and facilities in Geneva, will allow the company to reallocate resources and activities, and to increase the level of operational excellence.
The consideration for the transaction with Salveo amounts to €2,1 million consisting of a €700,000 payment in cash and the issue of a €1.4m convertible loan note to Salveo. The loan note pays an annual coupon of 3%. During the conversion period, which starts on 1 January 2015 (or at the earlier occurrence of a limited number of events) and ends on the final maturity date - being 31 December 2019 -, the loan note is convertible into ordinary shares of Cryo-Save at an initial conversion price of €1.70. The conversion price may be adjusted in the case of certain dilutive events. The loan note will not be listed. The transaction with Salveo is supported by a fairness opinion of Duff & Phelps.
The Cell Factory
The Groups shall expand its current research and development activities, especially focusing on regenerative medicine. In addition to managing clinical trials to support applications of umbilical cord blood and cord tissue, e.g. for the treatment of Cerebral Palsy, the initial activities of The Cell Factory will be focused on research and development programs for which a pipeline of advanced projects is already elaborated, covering among others the fields of Central Nervous System, Cardiology, Wound Care and various clinical applications using mesenchymal and hematopoietic stem cells.
The Group will enter into the proteomics and genomics predictive medicine market via the newly created business line Genoma. This market has enormous potential, and the Group`s excellent relationships with clinics, hospitals and doctors are a solid basis to become an important promotor of new applications.
The initial product range will consist of three tests: Tranquility, a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT), Verity, a metabolic disorder test, and Omega Test, an omega-3 test. The launch is expected for Q3 of 2014. The company is working on the development of some other exclusive tests in partnership with leaders on this market.
Walter van Pottelberge, Chairman, stated: "The acquisition of Salveo Biotechnology`s Swiss laboratory-related cord blood and cord tissue processing and storage activities is a logical follow-on to the first transaction we did with Salveo Biotechnology, and it provides us a solid platform to enhance our operational excellence".
Frédéric Amar, CEO, commented: "I have always seen Cryo-Save as the best starting point for the elaboration of Esperite into predictive medicine and translational regenerative medicine R&D, areas in which I expect this company to become an important actor "
|Cryo-Save Group||+ 31 (0) 575 548 998|
|Frederic Amar, CEO|
About Cryo-Save (www.cryo-save.com/group)
Cryo-Save, the leading international family stem cell bank, stores more than 250,000 samples from umbilical cord blood and cord tissue. There are already many diseases treatable by the use of stem cells, and the number of treatments will only increase. Cryo-Save has cryopreserved samples from over 70 countries on six continents, with ultra-modern processing and storage facilities in Belgium, Germany, Dubai, and South Africa.
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Source: Cryo-Save Group N.V. via GlobeNewswire