The award is the UK’s highest accolade for outstanding commercial success as a result of innovation in recognition of Plasticell’s contribution to the advancement of regenerative medicine, cell and gene therapy as well as other areas of biomedical research. Dr. Choo, Plasticell’s founder and Executive Chairman, will receive the award from HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace on 14 July 2016.
Plasticell’s technology, CombiCult®, performs miniaturised screening of large numbers of variables in combination to determine optimal culture conditions for cells grown in the laboratory. A recent peer-reviewed scientific publication demonstrates how CombiCult® allows scientists to perform and compare 10,000 stem cell experiments in parallel, whereas the individual experiments would require around 200 years performed back-to-back.The technology thus greatly accelerates the process of drug discovery and has widespread applications in biomedical R&D, notably in stem cell research and further in industrial manufacture of antibody therapeutics, immunotherapies, cell therapies, gene therapies and research reagents.
Dennis Saw, Plasticell’s Chief Executive, commented, “We are immensely proud to receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in the fields of medicine and bioscience. It is a tribute to the longstanding effort and dedication that have gone into the continued development and promotion of this innovative technology.”
Plasticell, founded in 2002, develops high throughput methods for the commercialisation of stem cell research and regenerative medicine. The Company currently develops cell therapies, with its lead internal programme in optimizing manufacturing of umbilical cord blood stem cells, which can be used to treat up to 70 different indications including many cancers. Plasticell also forms alliances with industry-leading partners to discover and develop further products, for instance a recently announced collaboration with Pierre Fabre Laboratories to discover plant-based products for the treatment of obesity and diabetes.
In 2010, Plasticell spun out a sister biotechnology venture, Progenitor Therapeutics, focused on the discovery of small molecule drugs that regenerate specific tissues of the body in response to disease or ageing.
Dr Choo commented, ” Our company has developed one of the key technology platforms in the life sciences, made significant progress in developing ground-breaking therapies for serious diseases, enabled multiple partners to advance diverse products towards the market and bolstered the UK biotech industry by spinning out a further biotech venture.”
“This award recognises the exceptionally hard work of our scientists who have made all this possible, alongside the vision of our investors who have supported the company over the past decade. We look forward to continued innovation and further product development as Plasticell progresses its exciting therapeutic programmes.“ added Dr Choo.
Plasticell and Progenitor Therapeutics are co-located at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, the UK’s first open innovation campus located on the site of GlaxoSmithKline’s Medicines Research Centre.