Abcam boss backs stem cell venture

Jonathan Milner, CEO of antibodies hothouse Abcam, has joined other angels in backing an exciting new stem cell company in Cambridge UK.

DefiniGEN is one of the first commercial opportunities to arise in the area of stem cells. The ability to generate stem cells by reprogramming cells from patients skin has revolutionised this area of research.

These cells, known as human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSC), can be differentiated into almost any cell type, allowing the opportunity to have a ready source of human cells for testing new therapies.

DefiniGEN has been formed to supply hIPSC-derived cells to the drug discovery and regenerative medicine sectors. The company is based on the research of Dr Ludovic Vallier, Dr Tamir Rashid and Professor Roger Pedersen of the Anne McLaren Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine.

The hIPSC-derived cells produced by DefiniGEN show many of the functional characteristics of primary cells, are highly reproducible and can be made in large quantities, making them ideal for liver toxicity testing, which is a major cause of drug candidate failure.

The universitys enterprise fund has also invested 50k in Inotec AMD a spin-out from the Department of Materials Science & Metallurgy, specialising in the treatment of chronic wounds.

Growing numbers of people, especially the elderly, suffer painful, debilitating wounds for five years or more. The treatment of these wounds consumes up to five per cent of total healthcare budgets.

The company is based on a combination of fuel cell technology developed by Professor Derek Fray and a novel system for distributing oxygen over a chronic wound.

Inotec has developed a portable, rechargeable battery powered oxygen generator about the size of smartphone which provides pure humidified oxygen using its own consumable oxygen delivery web.

As previously reported in Business Weekly, the enterprise fund made the first of its three investments to date in Cambridge CMOS Sensors (CCS) 125k.

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Abcam boss backs stem cell venture

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