Reinnervate secures £1.8 million of investment to support commercialisation of Alvetex
27 May 2010
Sedgefield, UK. 27th May 2010. Reinnervate, the life sciences company driving the adoption of routine 3D cell culture, today announced that it had successfully raised £1.8 million in new equity funding to complete the development of and support the commercialisation of its Alvetex® 3D cell culture technology platform. The funds were raised from Newcastle-based NorthStar Ventures, which committed £500,000 with the remaining amount coming from the Business Investment Group (BiG), management and private investors.
The funds will also support the Company’s move to a new purpose-built facility at NETPark near Sedgefield, UK.
Reinnervate, a Durham University spin-out, has spent nearly eight years developing its Alvetex technology based on pioneering research carried out by its founding scientist, Professor Stephen Przyborski. Alvetex is a unique and proprietary scaffold that enables routine 3D cell culture in the lab, i.e. in a manner more akin to the way cells grow in tissues in the human body than conventional 2D cell culture technologies, where cells grow in flat sheets.
The use of Alvetex-derived 3D cell cultures is therefore expected to provide greater insight into how cells behave in the body in response to external factors (such as drug candidates) than is currently possible with existing 2D technologies.
The commercial potential for technology that can enable researchers to generate 3D cell cultures routinely, reproducibly and cost-effectively in the lab is high, with a the market for 3D cell culture scaffolds estimated at approximately US$400 million per year. Ultimately, the use of 3D cell technologies has the potential to reduce the number of scientific tests carried out on animals and humans.
“After many years of rigorous scientific research and commercial exemplification of our Alvetex 3D cell culture technologies, Reinnervate is on the brink of commercial operations; a whole new chapter in the company’s history and a milestone all too rarely achieved by aspiring life science companies,” said Ashley Cooper, CEO of Reinnervate. He added: “Seed and other early stage funding is almost impossible to secure in the current climate and without the early support that we received in the North East region our innovative cell culture technologies would never reach the market.”
Reinnervate is already in discussions with major distributors of cell culture products in the UK and overseas to sell Alvetex in a range of formats for multiple, potential applications in academia and in the pharmaceutical and related sectors.
Reinnervate’s expansion in to its NETPark facility, along with the recruitment of up to 30 new employees over the next 12 months, will significantly increase its manufacturing capacity and should ensure that its first Alvetex products are on the market before the end of the year.
Alex Buchan, Investment Manager of NorthStar, said: “NorthStar has been a longstanding believer in Reinnervate and is delighted to have invested further and led this very successful round which will help to commercialise their technology.”
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.