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Plasticell and Progenitor Labs Join Thriving Community at SBC Companies Seed Cell Therapy Activities at Open Innovation Campus


6/10/2013 6:33:40 AM

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Stevenage, UK, June 10 2013 – Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), the UK’s first open innovation bioscience campus, is pleased to welcome regenerative medicine companies Plasticell Ltd and Progenitor Labs as tenants. Progenitor Labs is a drug discovery spin-off from Plasticell and recently received £4m in funding from SR One, the corporate venture arm of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Cell therapy and regenerative medicine is a focus of SBC's open innovation activities, and these two new tenants are expected to play a major role in the incubator's growing network in this area.

Plasticell, a leading UK biotech company in the stem cell field, specialises in the differentiation of stem cells to obtain cell types for a range of biomedical applications. It uses CombiCult, its proprietary bead-based combinatorial screening platform, to differentiate induced pluripotent stem cells, embryonic and adult stem cells into a variety of somatic lineages for use by biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Its sister company Progenitor Labs uses CombiCult to produce ‘synthetic’ adult progenitor cells for drug screening, for discovery of small molecules that regenerate specific tissues, potentially restoring organ function in disease and ageing.

Dr Yen Choo, founder and CEO of Progenitor Labs, commented: ‘Open innovation is at the core of Progenitor’s model, with our shareholders and partners contributing finance, technology and expertise to enable drug discovery in the context of regenerative medicine.’

Dennis Saw, CEO of Plasticell Ltd, added: ‘The attraction of co-locating Plasticell and Progenitor at SBC has been to group complementary stem cell technologies in a creative environment, obtaining access to expertise from GSK and SBC's other stakeholders, allowing us to deploy capital more efficiently towards discovering regenerative medicines.’

Dr Martino Picardo, CEO of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, said 'SBC recognises the patient benefits inherent in cell therapy, and is working to develop a network to catalyse innovation in this area. We are delighted to welcome Plasticell and Progenitor as our first stem cell tenants, and look forward to working with them, our stakeholders and other players in the UK sector to develop exciting new projects.'

For more information, please contact:

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Martino Picardo, CEO +44 (0)1438 906906

Emma Palmer Foster, Strategic Communications Consultant +44 (0)7880 787185

comms@stevenagecatalyst.com

Progenitor Labs

Dr Yen Choo, CEO +44 (0) 203 598 2256

Tristan Jervis, De Facto Communications +44 (0) 207 203 6740

Plasticell Ltd

Dennis Saw, CEO +44 (0) 203 384 0244

About Plasticell Ltd

Plasticell specialises in using massively parallel screens to differentiate stem cells. The company’s award winning technology, Combinatorial Cell Culture™ (CombiCultTM), allows testing of cell culture variables in combination to discover optimal laboratory protocols for the differentiation of pluripotent or adult stem cells. Plasticell forms strategic alliances with industry partners to produce high value cell lines for drug discovery and cell therapy applications. For more information visit: www.plasticell.co.uk

About Progenitor Labs

Progenitor is a pioneering regenerative medicine company that develops drugs to regenerate specific tissues of the human body in response to injury, disease or aging. Progenitor uses Plasticell’s CombiCult technology to develop sophisticated regenerative drug screens using stem cells. The company is focusing initially on three therapeutic programmes, to address serious diseases that affect millions of patients worldwide. For more information, visit www.progenitorlabs.com

About Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is the UK’s first open innovation bioscience campus, pioneering a unique culture to drive early stage bioscience technology and company development, and building a thriving community. It is backed by £38m of funding from its founding partners – GlaxoSmithKline, the Wellcome Trust, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Technology Strategy Board and the former East of England Development Agency. Consisting of an Incubator, an Accelerator and a Hub, covering 60,000 sq ft of laboratory, office and networking space, the independent facility houses a range of companies, from virtual and start-up firms to those which are more established, as well as other organisations. Located on the GlaxoSmithKline Stevenage site, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is in the unique position of operating in proximity to the expertise and resources of a major pharmaceutical company, close to both London and Cambridge. For more information, please go to www.stevenagecatalyst.com.

About Open Innovation

Firms using Open Innovation (OI) combine their own R&D with externally sourced ideas and expertise. OI is characterised by highly effective use of connections and networks to exchange knowledge and ideas, external partners being involved at all stages of product development, equitable win-win business relationships, and new business models to maximise the value of intellectual property and other assets. Examples in various sectors have shown that the benefits of OI include reduced time to market for new products and services, access to new markets, improved innovation success rates and increased profits. SBC will promote use of Open Innovation within the life sciences sector, connecting SMEs with an active network consisting of GlaxoSmithKline and its other stakeholders, academia, charities, other businesses and funding bodies. The term ‘Open Innovation’ and related research into its practice have been developed extensively by Professor Henry Chesbrough, Executive Director of the Program in Open Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley (http://openinnovation.berkeley.edu).

About Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst's stakeholders

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst's stakeholders are GlaxoSmithKline (www.gsk.com), the Wellcome Trust (www.wellcome.ac.uk), the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (www.bis.gov.uk), the Technology Strategy Board (www.innovateuk.org) and the former East of England Development Agency (http://www.eeda.org.uk/)

Emma Palmer Foster

Strategic Communications Consultant

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

m: +44 (0) 7880 787185

http://www.stevenagecatalyst.com/

@SteBioCat

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Gunnels Wood Road

Stevenage

Hertfordshire SG1 2FX

Tristan Jervis

Managing Partner

Holborn Gate, 26 Southampton Buildings

London WC2A 1BP

Telephone: +44 (0)207 203 6742

Direct: +44 (0)207 203 6740

E-mail: t.jervis@defacto.com

www.defacto.com

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