London, UK, 1 October 2008. Plasticell, the biotechnology company developing regenerative drugs using high throughput stem cell technologies, has announced it has received further funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB; formerly part of DTI) to apply its technologies towards developing a novel cell therapy designed to stimulate and sustain tissue regeneration.
Plasticell is part of a consortium, additionally comprising Bioceramic Therapeutics Ltd, Finsbury Development Ltd and Imperial College London which will perform a project entitled ‘Cell Therapy Using Stem Cells and Biomimetic Biodegradeable Nanostructured Materials’. The TSB have invested over £872,000 towards the £1.3 million project.
The partners will combine nanotechnology materials with cell types differentiated from human stem cells to develop a graft for osteochondral defects such as knee injury. If successful, the same approach could be applied to any tissue amenable to regeneration. Plasticell will use its CombiCult™ technology to develop protocols for the differentiation of human embryonic and adult stem cells to phenotypes which can support engraftment of nanomaterials and regeneration. The company will own all intellectual property arising from its research.
Commenting on the decision to invest in the field of cell therapy, the Technology Strategy Board’s Chief Executive, Iain Gray, said: “The Technology Strategy Board supports the research, development and exploitation of technology for the benefit of the UK economy and to improve quality of life. The worldwide market for regenerative medicine is estimated to reach $500 billion by 2010. The UK has a significant presence in this field [..] we are therefore very enthusiastic about these cell therapy research and development projects and are delighted to invest in them.”
Plasticell is a privately held, London-based biotechnology company using innovative, high throughput stem cell technologies and novel drug discovery platforms to dissect the mechanisms leading to differentiation of stem cells, the master cells responsible for tissue development and repair. Plasticell’s research focus is to discover regenerative small molecule drugs. The company also forms industry alliances by partnering its Combinatorial Cell Culture™ technology for high throughput stem cell differentiation to derive cell lines and reagents for research and therapy applications. For more information please visit the company’s website: www.plasticell.co.uk