February 25, 2021 @ 10:49 by Richard Dawson
A North East company specialising in human stem cell modelling has secured £5.25 million in funding to accelerate growth in the international life sciences market.
The funding comes from various sources, including Mercia Asset Management and the North East Innovation Fund, and will help Newcells Biotech expand their growth in 3D tissue models for drug discovery.
The investment will be used to spearhead Newcells Biotech’s expansion in the USA and marks the second major investment the company has received, taking the total to £10 million over the last five years.
Newcells Biotech is a commercial-stage life science company exploiting its trademark technology in stem cells (iPSC) and 3-D tissues to build human tissue models.
This modelling technology improves the ability to generate data on the safety and effectiveness of drugs prior to their first human trials.
The seven-figure investment will accelerate the development of models for liver and lung conditions, the latter of which could advance the research into and treatment available for SARS-Cov-2.
The funding will also be used to fast track the commercialisation and launch of their kidney and retina 3D treatment models across the Atlantic.
Company chief executive Dr Mike Nicholds said: “Over the last two years, Newcells has made great progress in bringing innovative products and services to market that have delivered value to our global pharmaceutical customers.
“Whether it be in understanding how new drugs interact with the kidney or the retina, our scientists have produced data that has helped lower the risk of early drug discovery projects.
“The input and support of Mercia and NorthStar have been invaluable in driving forward the business. Our vision is to bring the best in vitro biology to market, improving the productivity of drug discovery and development.”
Tim Levett from Mercia Asset Management added: “Since our first investment the team at Newcells have made great strides forward both in the development of new organoids and in winning contracts with major global pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
“Our substantial investment will fund the resources that will enable Newcells to accelerate growth and become a global market leader in four high growth areas.”