Stem Cell Firm Selects Newcastle for European Base
News Feb 08, 2008
A Korean biotechnology company has opened its European division at Newcastle University to develop its stem cell research programme.
RNL Bio was established in Korea in 1961 and specializes in stem cell research as well as developing therapeutic products and regenerative medicine. The firm currently employs around 85 members of staff and has been brought to the North East following a joint venture between One NorthEast, the North East Stem England Cell Institute (NESCI) and Cels, the organization driving the growth of the North East’s healthcare economy.
RNL Bio has signed an initial 12 month tenancy agreement for a unit at the ‘Cels at Newcastle’ bio-incubator at Newcastle University's Medical School. The move is set to create three jobs in the sector in the coming weeks and aims to create around 14 new roles in the future.
The firm will use its Newcastle base to develop stem cell therapy products for diseases by isolating and culturing stem cells derived from a range of sources. They are also funding research projects in the laboratories of the North-East England Stem Cell Institute (NESCI).
RNL Bio is also currently conducting research at its site in Korea to develop a new product developed from a herb for the treatment of diabetes.
Professor Michael Whitaker, Dean of Development in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University and co-Director of NESCI, said: “This is an important inward investment opportunity for the North-East – we hope the first of many in stem cells. We are very pleased to welcome RNL Bio to the incubator space operated by CELS at the Medical School. Scientists and clinicians in NESCI will be working closely with RNL Bio to help them realize their ambitions in Europe.”
Ben Fisher, Investment & Aftercare Specialist Advisor at One NorthEast said: “We are delighted that RNL Bio has decided to open its European hub in the North East as this is testament to the incredible work in stem cell technology that is already taking place in the region.
“The inward investment team at One NorthEast visited the company at its headquarters in Korea to sell the benefits of the region and then worked closely in coordinating regional bodies to secure the commitment of RNL Bio. This investment is of international importance and is fantastic news for the region.”
The spatial and temporal dynamics of proteins or organelles plays a crucial role in controlling various cellular processes and in development of diseases. However, acute control of activity at distinct locations within a cell cannot be achieved. A new chemo-optogenetic method enables tunable, reversible, and rapid control of activity at multiple subcellular compartments within a living cell.