The move to the circa 10,000 square foot facility has enabled reinnervate to begin commercial production of its alvetex® 3D cell culture technology in readiness for its planned 4Q 2010 launch. Pictures of the new facility are available upon request.
The Company is also looking to recruit up to 30 new employees over the next 12 months in research, development production, sales and marketing in order to establish the use of alvetex® for routine 3D cell culture in academic and industry laboratories around the world.
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 Stefan Przyborski. alvetex® is a unique and proprietary scaffold that enables routine 3D cell culture in the lab, i.e. 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.
In July 2010, reinnervate announced a further £1.8 million of equity investment from Newcastle-based NorthStar Equity Investment Limited and private investors to support the ongoing development and commercialisation of its alvetex® platform. Commercialisation is now at an advanced stage and reinnervate has begun 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.
The Company’s move into NETPark has been made possible by County Durham Development Company (CDDC), which develops, manages and promotes the North East Technology Park near Sedgefield on behalf of Durham County Council. CDDC project managed the development of reinnervate’s specialist production facility and associated laboratories.
Ashley Cooper, CEO of reinnervate, commented: “We are delighted and proud to be moving to this larger, purpose-built facility at NETPark and we are hugely grateful to CDDC and its staff for their support and assistance in this programme. The capabilities we can now access will allow the Company to advance to the next stage in its development as we prepare for the official commercial launch of alvetex® later this year. Over the next 12 months, we will be looking to recruit up to 30 new employees to rapidly expand our production and sales operations and our new facility gives us the necessary space to meet our ambitious growth targets.”
Stewart Watkins, Managing Director of CDDC added: “This is a really good example of how the public and private sectors can collaborate to exploit new business opportunities and create much needed employment in the area. Reinnervate is a hugely important company to NETPark and County Durham – it has fantastic technology, a highly experienced management team and a great market proposition. It exemplifies the kind of company we want to attract and support, and is a very welcome addition to the NETPark community.”