Cryosite poised for listing

By Daniella Goldberg
Monday, 04 March, 2002

Cryosite, a Sydney-based biotechnology service company that stores frozen biological material, is going public.

Cryosite, which was founded in 1999 but opened for business last September, stores cryogenic material and collects and stores cord blood stem cells that are used in leukaemia research and treatment.

"In the next four weeks we will list on the ASX to coincide with our plans to expand on our cord blood collection process and storage nationally, so we will be setting up a cord blood collection service in each state," said Dr Peter French, the company's director and founder.

"We will maintain a storage facility in Sydney and transfer the samples there."

Obstetricians collect the blood cord samples and Cryosite does the processing and long-term storage. Each sample could provide enough stem cells to treat a child that developed leukaemia or blood disorders. The technology is limited to treating children, as there are not enough stem cells available in the cord blood collection to treat adults. "It was always an intention of this company to become a public company, but we needed to get to the stage where we had sufficient diversity of services and sufficient customers to warrant it," French told Australian Biotechnology News.

"Being a start-up company it's preferable to offer it as a public company than try to get funding in other ways."

Cryosite is also a distributor of microbiological cell lines, and recently announced that it had become the Australian and New Zealand distributor for the massive American Type Culture Collection.

Sydney company Proteome Systems recently signed an agreement with Cryosite for storage of valuable biological samples for proteomic research.

"They have built something highly professional for storing samples," said Proteome Systems CEO Dr Keith Williams.

"It's part of the business that you outsource what you don't do well yourself," he said.

"Clinical samples are very precious. Cryosite is storing the samples we haven't done any work on yet. With our ovarian cancer programs we've got people at various stages of ovarian cancer, we've got blood samples, urine and tissue samples from clinical trials."

Over half of the samples stored by Cryosite are from biotechnology companies and a growing percentage of storage is for cord blood as a supply for stem cells. Biological samples are locked away and stored in freezers at ultra-low temperatures at Cryosite's facilities.

The company said its prospectus would be available next week.

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