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Cryo-Save Opens new Stem Cell lab in Cape Town

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ZUTPHEN, Netherlands, September 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --


Cryo-Save South Africa is pleased to announce the opening of its state-of-the-art stem cell processing and storage laboratory in Cape Town, South Africa.

The new laboratory is the result of the joint venture between Cryo-Save Group N.V. (Euronext: CRYO; "Cryo-Save Group"), the leading international family stem cell bank and JSE listed John Daniel Holdings Limited (JDH). JDH, through its subsidiary Lazaron Biotechnologies was the first company to successfully store cord blood stem cells in South Africa. The new joint venture company, which trades under the Cryo-Save brand, offers clients local and international storage options of umbilical cord tissue and stem cells from umbilical cord blood.

The new laboratory is equipped with technology and protocols on a par with best international practice. The involvement of Cryo-Save Group has already realised substantial foreign investment in the company.

"South Africa has always been an important market for Cryo-Save and our joint venture with JDH allows both parties to leverage their core competencies providing best practice medical services with sound governance and commercial practice. In addition the new company will provide the base to penetrate the untapped sub-Saharan market." says Arnoud van Tulder, Cryo-Save Group's CEO.

"This exciting development provides a sound and sustainable base for our valued clients represented by both the medical profession as well as expectant parents. It also displays the confidence which the directors of both Cryo-Save Group and JDH have in this high technology healthcare service." says Terence Gregory, CEO of JDH.  

Cryo-Save South Africa has employed professional, dedicated and highly-skilled staff to operate the new laboratory. Key personnel have already undergone further specialised training at Cryo-Save's state-of-the-art facility in Belgium.

The new laboratory will immediately process and store cord tissue as well as stem cells from cord blood. The service to store the stem cells in Belgium will continue should a client prefer this option. As another first in South Africa, clients will also have the option of dual storage of a sample in South Africa as well as offshore in Europe.

 "We have a specific objective to develop a local stem cell processing and storage 'centre of excellence' to support both the medical fraternity as well as the family. Internationally, trends reflect the importance of stem cell banking. In the USA, transplants performed on patients younger than 18 years of age show more than 50% of the stem cell transplantations has cord blood as cell source," concludes Louis Rehrl, managing director of the new company.

The previous Cryo-Save South Africa's efficient export of cord blood and tissue to Belgium, will be integrated into the new company.

About Cryo-Save (http://www.cryo-save.com/group)

Cryo-Save, the leading international family stem cell bank, already stores 185,000 samples from cord blood and umbilical cord tissue for newborns and adipose tissue for adults. These stem cells can mean the difference between life and death in the case of future threats to the health of the donors. There are already several diseases that can be cured by the use of stem cells, and the number of treatments will only increase. Driven by its international business strategy, Cryo-Save is now represented in 40 countries on four continents, with ultra-modern processing and storage facilities in Belgium, Germany, Dubai, India, North America, South Africa and in France (validation is in progress).

About JDH (http://www.john-daniel.com)

JDH is a South African venture capital investment holding company established in 1998 and listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE). JDH has four operational subsidiaries:

  • Lazaron Biotechnologies (SA) Ltd, Africa's first private cord blood stem cell bank
  • Cryo-Save South Africa (Pty) Ltd, the subject of this release
  • Vinguard Ltd, the manufacturer of monolithic, polymeric, slow release SO2 table grape protection sheets for optimum post-harvest protection of table grapes
  • Viscacom (Pty) Ltd a credit provider which operates in niche markets.

The main business of JDH is that of an investment holding company focused on early stage strategic investments in advanced technologies, in South Africa, which have global applications and offer more cost effective products than currently available, if available at all.

SOURCE Cryo-Save Group N.V.



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