News 2012

Incubators in Marbella

Incubators in MarbellaIn Spain there are around 600,000 couples of reproductive age who are subfertile and according to the European Institute of Fertility 16,000 of these have trouble getting pregnant each year. They need specialised help form centres such as a new clinic in Marbella, Spain which has just opened. It is some five kilometres from the centre in a  medical complex  - it is state of the art technology there and they have just installed three new Planer precision incubators.

Director, Enrique Criado Scholz, says " The IVF lab is the "engine" of our centre so that we haven't skimped on anything. We use the latest scientific techniques and equipment. Our work specialises in growing blastocysts -  the embryonic stage that occurs around the fifth day of development - and which has several advantages over other early embryonic stages. Blastocyst cultivation facilitates selection of good quality embryos and hopefully increases implantation rates while decreasing multiple gestation rates. It also promotes synchronisation with the receptive endometrium as the implementation in a natural cycle occurs in this early stage. For us it is very important not to alter, as far as is possible, the environment of the embryo which could diminish its potential and increases cellular stress and fragmentation. It's for these reasons we bought the new BT37 incubators. They are ideal for the cultivation of embryos until this stage because, as well as other advantages relating to temperature, moisture and gas, they give low oxygen concentrations which more faithfully reproduce the conditions found in the uterus. This improves the quality of Blastocyst development resulting in an increase in implantation rates, and so finally of pregnancy."

Enrique is backed up by Dr Manel Elbaile, Medical Director and Cristina Gonzalez, embryologist. Their team brings together specialists with careers in Spain, Italy and the United States and they are backed up by a specialised nursing team used to international work. On offer are treatments for sterility, induction of ovulation, artificial insemination, IVF and ICSI, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and semen analysis. Enrique's last comment: "I feel sure that FIV Marbella is up there with the most advanced clinics for ART in Spain".

New Sales Director

Planer Supporting PhD Student to Test Cryo Preservation of Larger Volume CellsPlaner, the leading manufacturer of environmental control solutions for life science, today announces the appointment of David Morris to the position of Sales Director. Building on one of the most successful years since the formation of the company in 1973, this strategic role aims to focus the company's attention on meeting the increasing demand for product and services across the globe.

Before joining Planer, David worked with  IDBS, a dynamic enterprise IT solutions and analytics vendor serving leading pharma and biotech companies such as Pfizer, Abbott, and BMS where he was manager of Global Sales Operations and Marketing. He previously worked for major biotech companies including manufacturer of life science instrumentation and diagnostic products, Bio-Rad Laboratories and Leica Microsystems as applications specialist.

David brings extensive experience in the pharmaceutical and CRO community where he has worked for twenty years starting off in cell culture laboratories where he obtained  his degree in Biological Sciences.

David commented "I am delighted to be joining an organisation with such a successful track record in providing innovative solutions to life science users. Many believe that successful manufacturing is almost extinct in the UK but Planer's continued evolution and adaptation to a dynamic market place proves that Britain remains at the forefront of specialist production".

Geoffrey Planer, Chairman commented, " We are delighted to have David join us and in doing so he further supports our efforts to provide excellent value to our thousands of users around the world. Despite the turbulent financial conditions that face all manufacturing entities we here take great satisfaction from the hard work the team has put in over the past 12 months, which resulted in an excellent performance. Adding David to this team will enable future success and an improved experience for our customers ".

Planer have recently introduced a high precision incubator -  the latest in a long line of scientific innovations which support the storage and culturing of high value biological materials.  Its controlled rate cryogenic freezer helped pioneer the storage of viable cells and tissue and the more recently launched remote alarm systems ensure the viability of cryogenically preserved assets. The photo shows David with the recently released BT-37 - a bench-top incubator which provides unrivalled environment control for high value biological samples.

Visit of local MP to Planer

MP Visits PlanerWe were very pleased to host a visit from local Member of Parliament Dr Kwasi Kwarteng in May. Kwasi and his assistant Marc Morrison, were interested in seeing a smaller company which manufactured high tech products and was able to market worldwide. The picture shows him with MD Paul Lakra in our incubator manufacturing unit.

Kwasi Kwarteng, a Conservative politician, was elected as MP for Spelthorne in 2010, winning with a majority of 10,000. His parents had migrated to the UK as students in the 1960s from Ghana where his father was an economist and his mother a barrister. Kwasi, born in 1975, was educated at Eton and Cambridge. He was a member of the winning University Challenge team on television in 1995, then attended Harvard University and completed his PhD in History at Cambridge.

Before becoming an MP, he worked as a financial analyst and wrote occasionally for the Daily Telegraph but politics were the main attraction. He has also written one book, Ghosts of Empire, about the legacy of the British Empire as well as co-authoring others: one on the causes and solutions to traffic congestion in Britain - the problem of which staff and visitors to Planer are well aware. Kwasi is a member of the transport select committee and believes in market rather than integrated planning and suggests that road pricing may be the only way to cope with upkeep on currently tax-funded free roads.

The Guardian quotes “ .. his reputation was as a rather personable swot, enjoying arguments over the dinner table, combining charm with the impression of being better read than everybody else.”

Stem cell banking in South Africa

Stem Cell BankingNick Pattenden from Planer recently returned from a South African visit where he inspected our 560 controlled rate freezer recently installed in CryoSave's Capetown branch.

CryoSave are a big player in the cord blood market starting in 2000 in the Netherlands. They now have facilities in the USA, Dubai, Benelux, Germany, France, India, Italy and more around the globe, claiming to store more than 200,000 samples from cord blood and umbilical cord tissue for newborns and adipose tissue for adults. In 2009, they offered a new validated mesenchymal stem cell storage service.

Cord blood banking has increased greatly in the last decade or so and Planer equipments are found in many of these bio banks. Results are beginning to be published from autologous and sibling donations with procedures undertaken relating to Cerebral Palsy, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, Congenital Immunodeficiency, Haemorrhagia and Aplastic Anaemia amongst others. Controlled rate freezing is an integral part of cord blood storage where post thaw integrity of a comparatively small stored sample is vital. Similarly the alarming and monitoring of liquid nitrogen vessels and processes is key in this important process.

The photo shows the new Capetown branch lab with its CRF.

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