Cryo-Cell International, Inc. (OTCBB:CCEL) ("the Company"), one of the largest and most established leaders in stem cell innovation today announced that S-Evans Biosciences (SEB), the Company's exclusive Célle menstrual stem cell technology license partner in China has opened a new state-of-the-art laboratory operation and research & development (R&D) facility located in a Hi-Tech park designated to become an epicenter for stem cell and genomics R&D; cellular therapies and stem cell cryopreservation services. The new SEB facility occupies over 25,000 square feet and includes four Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) laboratories and administrative offices.
In August 2009, Cryo-Cell announced that it had signed an exclusive license agreement to allow SEB to market and manufacture proprietary Célle menstrual stem cell technology, including the processing and storage of menstrual stem cells (MenSCs) exclusively throughout mainland China. The agreement also allows SEB to conduct certain scientific research studies using Cryo-Cell's proprietary Célle menstrual stem technology to identify future potential therapeutic applications for targeted diseases that may affect millions of people. Under the terms of this agreement, intellectual property (IP) associated with Célle therapeutic development is jointly assigned to Cryo-Cell and SEB. The exclusive Célle technology license agreement with SEB in China is expected to provide Cryo-Cell with future royalty fees from the processing and annual storage of menstrual stem cells.
SEB is a privately-held company that collaborates with several institutions including Zhejiang University; local hospitals; and Zhejiang-California International Nanosystems Institute (ZCNI), a Sino-US co-founded institute for biomedicine and nanotechnology research located on Zhejiang University campus. In addition to SEB's business plans to market and manufacture Célle menstrual stem cells collected from women across mainland China, the company expects to offer other products and services associated with stem cell therapy; gene testing and disease diagnosis (i.e. gene chips; high throughput sequencings and standard molecular technologies). SEB expects to receive funding from private agencies and the government to support the Company's stem cell research initiatives.
"Since formalizing our strategic technology license partnership with Cryo-Cell in August 2009, SEB has been actively engaged in the comprehensive planning and development of our new state-of-the-art facility," stated Dr. Charlie Xiang, CEO of S-Evans Biosciences. "SEB continues to make significant progress and we are very excited that our planning efforts have culminated with the opening of our new facility. In addition to hosting a broad range of stem cell and genomics R&D initiatives, the new SEB facility will allow us to process approximately 10,000 menstrual stem cell samples a year at the height of operational deployment. SEB anticipates that we may build the world's largest Célle menstrual stem cell bank over the next three to five years."
"The opening of SEB's new technology facility is just the first stage of our expansion in China." Dr. Xiang continued, "During SEB's Phase II, we expect to develop 20 acres of land purchased near the Xixi Wetland National Park for a new stem cell therapeutic facility that will be designed to offer future breakthrough treatments for a variety of diseases utilizing innovative stem cell therapies. Currently, SEB is conducting three pre-clinical studies for heart disease, type I diabetes and liver disease utilizing menstrual stem cells prepared in SEB. Preliminary data are encouraging," Dr. Xiang concluded.
In recent years, China has made significant progress towards their goal of establishing global leadership in the field of stem cell research and therapies. In addition to their substantial investments in regenerative medicine, the Chinese government has also implemented highly effective recruitment strategies to attract the world's top stem cell researchers; established permissive regulations and focused on the rapid development of prospective life-impacting applications that may potentially lower the country's massive healthcare costs by providing future stem cell therapies to possibly treat or cure a wide range of diseases. A developing country with the largest population in the world, China's estimated total population is 1.3 billion of which women account for about half. SEB believes that the future market opportunity for the Célle service in China is potentially significant.
"Cryo-Cell is very proud of and encouraged by the milestone achievement of our distinguished partner Dr. Charlie Xiang and his colleagues at S-Evans Biosciences. The recent opening of their new state-of-the-art stem cell laboratory operation and R&D facility will serve to support SEB's aggressive plans to market Célle in China and to develop future potential therapies based on Cryo-Cell's proprietary menstrual stem cell technology," said Mercedes A. Walton, Cryo-Cell's Chairman and CEO. "In view of the country's growing global prominence in regenerative medicine; their supportive regulatory environment and the substantial investment of resources designated for stem cell R&D from both government and private sectors, Cryo-Cell continues to enthusiastically share SEB's belief that there may possibly be enormous potential for Célle menstrual stem cell technology in China."
The Célle service is based on Cryo-Cell's expansive IP technology portfolio and was introduced in November, 2007 as the first and only service that empowers women to collect and cryopreserve menstrual flow containing undifferentiated adult stem cells for future potential utilization by the donor or possibly first-degree relatives in a manner similar to umbilical cord blood stem cells. Based on the continued success of MenSCs in the research setting, Cryo-Cell continues to actively expand global Célle technology licensing, in addition to building its portfolio of research collaborations with world renowned scientists committed to study this novel stem cell population for a broad range of regenerative therapeutic development.