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Stem cell model firm expands into the US

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Newcells will be using the investment to launch new projects and further their stem cell technology

A North East biotech firm is expanding its growth in 3D tissue modelling for drug research.

Newcells, which uses stem cell technology and cell biology to build human tissue models, has won significant investment to develop plans in the international life sciences market.

The investment will be used grow existing commercial operations and launching new products.

Newcells technology allows data on the safety, efficacy, and pharmacology of drugs prior to human trials to be assessed.

The investment will develop models for liver and lung conditions. It will include the research into SARS-CoV-2 and treatments. There will be further research into kidney and retina treatment models in the US.

It secured £5.2m from two backers – Mercia has invested from its Northern Venture Capital Trust, Enterprise Investment Scheme funds and the North East Venture Fund, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund; while NorthStar Ventures invested from the North East Innovation Fund, which is also supported by the ERDF. The company has received a total of £10m of non-dilutive and equity funding over the last 5 years.

Dr Mike Nicholds said: “Over the last two years Newcells has made great progress in bringing innovative products and services to markets that have delivered value to our global pharmaceutical customers.

“The input and support of Mercia and NorthStar has been invaluable in driving forward the business. Our vision is to bring the best in vitro biology to market, improving the productivity of drug discovery and development”.

Tim Levett, Mercia Asset Management, said: “Our substantial investment will fund the resources that will enable Newcells to accelerate growth and become a global market leader in four high growth areas. “

Alex Buchan of NorthStar Ventures, said, “We’re delighted to continue to support Newcells with developing their cutting-edge products and services. We’ve been impressed with the vision and drive of the team and look forward to the continuing expansion and scale up of this vital work.”

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