Plasticell Spins Out Regenerative Drug Discovery Venture
News Apr 14, 2011
Plasticell Ltd, has announced that following its recent £3.5m financing, it has undergone a strategic re-structuring to enable the Company to focus on its award winning CombiCult™ technology for stem cell differentiation. Consequently, Plasticell Ltd has demerged its regenerative drug discovery unit into a newly established company, Progenitor Labs Limited.
Progenitor Labs has been assigned all rights to Plasticell’s proprietary ProScreen™ (formerly CombiScreen™) technology for the discovery of small molecule drugs capable of regenerating tissues of the human body, and has acquired an exclusive license to CombiCult™ technology solely for the purpose of creating high quality, physiologically relevant progenitor cells for use in ProScreen™.
Dr Yen Choo, the founder behind Plasticell and Progenitor Labs, commented: “Regenerative drugs are an attractive alternative to the use of cells in regenerative medicine. Drugs are relatively easier to develop, manufacture, package, distribute and administer, and have clearer regulatory and reimbursement processes. Crucially, this business model is aligned with that of the pharmaceutical companies that specialize in discovering and marketing small molecule therapeutics.”
As part of the re-organisation, Dr Choo will transfer to Progenitor Labs to lead development of the spin-out, while Mr Dennis Saw and Dr Lilian Hook will be promoted to the posts of CEO and Research Director of Plasticell, respectively. Dr Choo will continue to direct the company’s scientific and business strategy as the Executive Chairman.
“At this point in Plasticell’s development, the Technology and Therapeutics units of the Company have very different business models and capital requirements. Segregating the two businesses will allow Plasticell to focus on growing revenue, while Progenitor Labs can more aggressively progress the development of its regenerative drug discovery platform,” commented Dr Choo. “My scientific colleagues at Plasticell have developed one of the world’s key stem cell technologies, and I am confident that together with Dennis and Lilian they will continue to build on that success.”
A new experimental system has been designed that can rapidly assess the pathogenic effects of a drug on a baby's developing brain. The system uses embryonic stem cells reprogrammed into neurons, and offers a powerful tool for probing genetic and molecular underpinnings of drug-induced neurodevelopmental disorders.READ MORE