EN – Cryo-Save and Lazaron Biotechnologies establish stem cell bank joint venture in South Africa
Cryo-Save Group N.V. (Euronext: CRYO, ‘Cryo-Save’), the leading international family stem cell bank, and John Daniel Holdings Ltd (Johannesburg Stock Exchange VCM: JDH), a venture capital company and the controlling shareholder of Lazaron Biotechnologies (SA) Ltd, Africa’s first private cord blood stem cell bank, announced today that the companies signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a new stem cell bank joint venture in South Africa.
This joint venture will contain the sales and marketing operations of both companies and the Cape Town processing and storage facility of Lazaron Biotechnologies (“Lazaron”) in South Africa, and will immediately expand its operations into several African countries. The joint venture combines Cryo-Save’s leading expertise in stem cell processing and storage with JDH’s local and African market expertise. The joint venture will offer customers the option of storing cord tissue and stem cells from cord blood in South Africa or off shore in Belgium.
The use of stem cell technology in the treatment of life threatening diseases has increased significantly over the past decade resulting in therapies for over 70 diseases now being applied. More recently the use of stem cells for cosmetic and post injury healing therapies have been established. A rich source of stem cells is from the umbilical cord of new born infants. The added benefit of this source is the fact that the procedure is non-invasive as the stem cells are derived from the cord blood and cord tissue. The new joint venture provides for the harvesting and banking of stem cells from both cord blood (hematopoietic) as well as cord tissue (mesenchymal) locally or alternatively off shore in Belgium. The Lazaron laboratory located in Cape Town will be upgraded to cater for the increase in volumes and will meet the highest quality standards applied by Cryo-Save around the world.
The joint venture will trade under the name Cryo-Save South Africa. Subject to the approval of the shareholders of Lazaron, the joint venture is expected to start before the end of July 2011.
Arnoud van Tulder, Chief Executive Officer of Cryo-Save, commented:
We are optimistic about the opportunity to become a major force in stem cell banking in South Africa and into Africa. The growth potential in both territories is substantial and Lazaron’s knowledge of the local markets will ensure that we maintain a strong sales and distribution network.
Terence Gregory, Chief Executive Officer of JDH commented:
The joint venture with an international leader ensures that the new company enhances its position at the cutting edge of stem cell harvesting and storage both in respect of technology as well as protocols. We are proud of the achievements of Lazaron in South Africa and the joint venture will allow us to take the business to a new level.
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Arnoud van Tulder, Chief Executive Officer
John Daniel Holdings Ltd
+ 27 (0) 12 809 3599
Terence Gregory, Chief Executive Officer
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