Private equity firm Calculus Capital, a leading EIS and VCT investor, has further expanded its life science portfolio, by investing £2.5m in Cambridge-based Axol Bioscience (Axol), a provider of stem cells produced from reprogrammed human blood and tissue cells.
Axol supplies the world’s top pharma companies, biotechs and research institutions with sustainable, physiologically relevant human derived cell culture models for pioneering research and drug discovery applications. By harnessing advances in stem cell biology, Axol is able to generate self-renewing cell-lines specific to any part of the human body from healthy and unhealthy tissue.
Importantly, Axol’s unique and innovative approach to this process ensures that each cell line is identical to its previous production batch, maintaining the high quality and the consistency required for the development of novel therapeutics. Once a new cell line is developed from a healthy or unhealthy tissue source, it is added to Axol’s suite of ‘off the shelf’ products available via their website. The combination of these properties means that the reprogrammed stem cells developed by Axol are an essential research tool for the development of new treatments for serious illnesses and diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s.
“Axol Bioscience is doing very important work; its products and services – stem cells and the culture systems required to maintain them – are essential to gene-based medical research,” said Alexandra Lindsay of Calculus Capital. “Our investment will enable Axol to grow and develop more product lines that are able to make a real and effective contribution to medical research efforts to combat killer diseases.”
“The market for our products is growing rapidly from all around the world,” said Dr Yichen Shi, CEO of Axol. “The funding from Calculus will help us make the most of that opportunity through new product development and increasing our sales and marketing capabilities.”