Funding will be used to explore scalable methods of human cell preservation, transport, and re-presentation for clinical applications
Cambridge and Newcastle, UK, 03 September 2020: Atelerix Ltd (Atelerix), pioneers in the storage and transport of cells at room temperature, has received a significant award under the UK Innovation and Science Seed Fund (UKI2S) Accelerator Programme from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency. The funding will support the development of room temperature solutions for shipping therapeutic cells, as part of the Company’s “BloodReady” project. This project will explore scalable methods of cell preservation, transport and re-presentation for patient administration to offer cell therapy developers and manufacturers flexibility in workflows, and remove the need for expedited shipments of frozen packages.
Living cells are fragile and short-lived outside of their natural environment. Therapies that are frozen for storage can reduce the viability and potency of the cells when thawed for injection into the patient, and those that cannot be frozen often require complicated and expensive logistics to ensure their delivery to the hospital and the patient. Extending the shelf-life of the cells could help to ensure that hospitals have flexibility to schedule operating theatres to administer these products, and enable many more patients to be treated with novel, potentially curative therapies.
The Atelerix method encapsulates cells in alginate gel, offering an innovative solution for storing cells at room temperature. The technology enables unfrozen human cells to be transported at temperatures between 4°C and 25°C to help preserve and extend their functional viability and potency. Small-scale research projects have shown the technology to be effective with a wide variety of cell types. The new Innovate UK funding will enable the Company to scale these methods, enabling larger volumes of cells to be safely transported while continuing to preserve their viability.
Dr Mick McLean, CEO, Atelerix Ltd, commented: “Cellular therapies offer the possibility of treatments for diseases and conditions that cannot be approached by conventional drugs. New capabilities enabling storage and transport of therapeutic cells are vital if these life-saving treatments are to be made widely available to many more patients.
Atelerix’s ground-breaking technology eliminates the need for complex cryoshipping logistics and potentially harmful freeze-thaw processes, offering greater flexibility, convenience and security as critical samples are shipped around the world. We believe our innovative human cell preservation technology could be paradigm changing for cold supply logistics, and we are proud to have it recognised by such a highly respected grant funding body.”
Dr Andrew Muir, Investment Director, UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund, said: “The application of Atelerix’s core technology to cell therapy is a great example of using additional equity finance from UKI2S, a founding investor in Atelerix, alongside grant funding from Innovate UK to accelerate high growth potential businesses.”
For more information on the Atelerix cell encapsulation technology, visit: https://www.atelerix.co.uk/technology/
Download a copy of this press release here.
Dr Mick McLean,
|Dr Andrew Muir, Investment Director,
UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund
For further information please contact:
Tel: +44 (0)191 580 6181 / +44 (0)7860 892944
About the UK Innovation & Science Seed Fund (UKI2S)
UKI2S is a national seed investment fund that helps the UK to build innovative businesses, leverage private investment and grow jobs. UKI2S achieves this by nurturing new businesses arising from the great science undertaken in the UK; providing the patient, long-term committed capital and strategic advice these companies need. UKI2S is usually a founder investor and often the sole investor in the very earliest stages. Over the past decade and more UKI2S has built a substantial track record with 57 portfolio companies created – with only £15m of capital from UKI2S – that between them have attracted over £500m of later stage investment and now have a combined market value of over £750m. UKI2S works closely with its partners – led by STFC, BBSRC and NERC, which are all part of UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and Dstl – and is aligned with the Catapults and Innovate UK to create the best environment for innovation to flourish and in turn, boost the UK’s competitiveness and productivity by commercialising key technological advances in industrial biotech, ag tech, healthcare, medicine, clean energy, materials, artificial intelligence, software and space. UKI2S is independently managed by specialist venture capital firm Midven www.midven.co.uk
For more information, please visit www.ukinnovationscienceseedfund.co.uk