Reinnervate Ltd wins Corporate Vision’s 2015 Technology Innovator Award for Alvetex
22 March 2016
We are pleased to announce that Reinnervate Ltd has been awarded Corporate Vision’s 2015 Technology Innovator Award for Alvetex 3D cell culture. Alvetex has been awarded the title, “Most Advanced 3D Cell Technology.”
REPROCELL Europe Ltd., NETPark, Sedgefield TS21 2FD, UK. Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
Award for Innovation in Cell Technology 2015 & Most Advanced 3D Cell Technology “Alvetex”
Reinnervate (a REPROCELL group company) specialises in the development of innovative technologies to build human tissues from stem cells for the benefit of research and discovery and ultimately therapeutic applications. We spoke about the history of their company, and their constant innovations since their inception.
Professor Przyborski at Durham University in the United Kingdom originally founded Reinnervate. He is an expert in advanced cell technologies, specifically the development of three dimensional (3D) cell culture models and the formation of tissue-like constructs in vitro that more closely mimic the anatomical structure and function of real human tissues.
Professor Przyborski developed the Alvetex series of products based on underpinning research at Durham University. Alvetex is a porous polystyrene membrane that enables cultured cells to retain their natural 3D architecture and prevent cells from flattening and forming two dimensional (2D) monolayers as experienced in conventional cell culture flasks and Petri dishes. This is a distinct advantage, since maintenance of the natural 3D cell shape is essential for normal cell function and the spatial arrangement of cells as found in real tissues. Alvetex is sold to cell biologists and researchers using cell culture methods in academic, government and industry laboratories throughout the world. Coupled to REPROCELL’s stem cell technology, the group is now developing a ‘one stop shop’ solution for human stem cells and technology to use cells to construct 3D functional tissues in vitro.
We are continually developing Alvetex technology and demonstrating its use for the construction of a range of different 3D culture models and new applications. Earlier this year, a rocket carrying its Alvetex Scaffold technology was blasted into outer space. Alvetex will be used in experiments on board the International Space Station (ISS) to investigate bone development in zero gravity conditions.
We are a high tech business, developing and selling high tech products into a high tech space. Scientists use our technology, and we support our products through interaction with scientists, hence why our company has a strong scientific culture and maintains a highly skilled and qualified scientific team. This is important in developing new applications for our technologies and providing support for our clients when using the Alvetex product.
Whilst we do a lot of such work in-house, our customers are also applying the use of Alvetex to a range of other new applications. We collect evidence of how our customers are using our products and we are very pleased to see further innovation in the use of Alvetex within the scientific community and how it is being adopted to help the research and discovery process.
The areas we have focused on were developed initially when the concept was conceived and Alvetex was invented. The innovation involves a combination of multiple aspects in the design of the product, including developing porous membrane technology to support 3D cell growth and the development of a reproducible and robust manufacturing process. This creates a technology that can be used routinely in the laboratory alongside existing methods, and develops a product without shelf-life issues, that can be shipped and stored conveniently like existing cell culture consumables. The format of Alvetex also needed to satisfy industrial formats and be made available to customers in formats that are compatible with analytical and robotics platforms.
Our clients are cell biologists who are working in biomedical research laboratories either within the academic, government or industrial sectors. Our philosophy is to provide in-depth technical support to help customers adopt Alvetex technology and overcome any teething issues when first using the product. We have also constructed a website with comprehensive evidence and instruction for users, showing a broad range of applications for Alvetex technology. We also provide direct technical support either by email or telephone to assist customers if required.
Over the past few years, we have invested significantly in demonstrating the application and use of our products in multiple areas of cell culture, including cancer, neuroscience, skin biology, stem cells and tissue development, and epithelial cell biology. This information is actively promoted to our customer base through our website, exhibitions and presentations, and published materials. This wealth of information has proven to be successful in the acquisition of customers from many different disciplines in cell biology. This sets us apart from our competitors who provide significantly less instruction and demonstration of the utility of their products.
In our industry, scientists are beginning to realise that existing 2D cell culture techniques are limited and do not provide accurate predictive data of value. More advanced cell culture models are needed, including the application of 3D cell culture to produce human tissue-like models in vitro. As a consequence, there has been significant growth of the 3D cell culture market in general during recent years. Our sales are increasing alongside this growth in the sector.
The Technology Innovator Award reflects the many years dedicated work and investment to develop and bring an innovative solution for building 3D tissues in the laboratory to market. This has be driven from the beginning by Professor Przyborski at Durham University, who originally invented Alvetex technology in his academic research laboratory and subsequently commercialised the product through his University spin-out company, Reinnervate. More recently, Reinnervate was recognised by REPROCELL who acquired the business, to become a member of the ReproCELL group. Continued investment and development of Alvetex products and applications will maintain its sustainability and success for the future.
Note:Reinnervate Ltd (County Durham, England) was acquired by REPROCELL Inc (Yokohama, Japan) in August 2014. Biopta Ltd (Glasgow, Scotland) was acquired by REPROCELL in November 2015. REPROCELL Europe Ltd was established by merging Reinnervate and Biopta in June 2016.