London, UK, 9 June 2004. Plasticell Ltd, a seed stage biotechnology company developing high throughput technology for stem cell research, today announced it has closed its first equity financing round after securing over £0.5m from angel investors including a syndicate comprising private clients of the financial services group Williams de Broë.
The company will lease dedicated laboratories in the Medical Research Council Technology Incubator in Mill Hill, London, and will increase its headcount.
‘Advances in stem cell research will revolutionise developmental biology and medicine, but will undoubtedly require innovative technologies to address new challenges such as the fundamental problem of directed stem cell differentiation’, said Dr Yen Choo, Plasticell’s CEO. ‘Plasticell is the first biotech company to develop high throughput technologies specifically for stem cell research, and I am extremely pleased it has attracted the financing to enter a field with such enormous potential.’
Stem cells can be differentiated in vitro to yield more than 200 types of somatic cells for use in biomedical applications such as cell therapy. However, methods of directing the differentiation of stem cells towards a given lineage are discovered by trial and error: their development is therefore extremely complex, costly and time consuming. Plasticell’s Combinatorial Cell Culture™ technology assays large numbers of protocols concurrently and therefore promises to accelerate stem cell research.