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20 November 2017

Elpis Biomed extracts funding

The Cambridge spinout is commercialising research into better techniques for extracting quality stem cells, having raised a reported $464,000 in seed funding.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Elpis Biomed, a UK-based stem cell spinout from University of Cambridge, raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding on Thursday, reported by Business Weekly as being worth £350,000 ($464,000).

The money was provided by a group of angel investors, led by Jonathan Milner, with co-investments from Darrin Disley, Weslie Janeway and Nikolaus Starzacher.

The spinout was incorporated in November 2016 as Cambridge Cell Technologie before being rebranded in January 2017. Elpis Biomed is commercialising the Opti-Ox platform, developed at Cambridge and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

The platform seeks to perfect how genes are activated within stem cells, an undifferentiated biological cell used to synthesise purposeful cells during medical research.

Conventional stem cell processes often extract underdeveloped specimens with varying properties. However, Elpis claims its technique can generate stratified human cells with predictable attributes for research, toxicology and drug development.

Elpis will additionally look to develop next-generation stem cell platforms such as an organ-on-chip technology, which seeks to contain multiple cell types within a single culture to better imitate the physiology of a human organ.

Elpis was co-founded by Mark Kotter, a clinician scientist at University of Cambridge who serves as chief executive, and Gordana Apic, who also acts as director at UK-based biotech developer Cambridge Cells Networks.

Kotter said: “Elpis’ near-term goal is to allow every scientist to base their work on human cells, without the need of having particular expertise in stem cell biology. In the long term, we would like to develop our technology for clinical application.”

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