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23 May, 2016 - 12:42 By Tony Quested

DefiniGEN raises $2.29m follow-on funding

Cambridge UK stem cell pioneer DefiniGEN has raised £1.5 million ($2.29m) in follow-on funding. 

The round was led by Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialisation arm of the university, and 24 Haymarket, with key investors Dr Jonathan Milner (Chairman), Hermann Hauser’s Providence Investment Company, Parkwalk, and Cambridge Capital Group also participating. This funding follows the closing of £2.28m ($3.83m) Series A funding in 2014.

Aleading provider of stem cell life science products, DefiniGEN is focused on serving the growing need in the pharmaceutical industry for more accurate predictions of efficacy and toxicity in drug candidates ahead of clinical trials. Its platform technology OptiDIFF is a revolutionary stem cell production platform for the generation of high-functionality cell types including, liver, pancreatic and lung cells.

These cells can be used as predictive in vitro models to support the development of safer and more effective treatments for diseases. The new funding will help drive DefiniGEN to profitability and enable the company to achieve the following objectives:-

• Delivery of groundbreaking cryopreserved pancreatic beta cell products to the global diabetes drug development market
• Development of lung and intestinal cell products to assist the development of treatments for major genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis
• Expansion of business development in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific with dedicated local marketing presence
• Recruitment of high-quality production staff and invest in up-scaled production at the company’s enlarged laboratory facilities
• Strengthening of the company’s intellectual property portfolio

CEO Dr Marcus Yeo (pictured), said: “In a short space of time, DefiniGEN has undergone rapid development, securing growing sales with global pharma companies. We are delighted to have raised the funds that will allow us to deliver new market-leading products to our customers and assist them in developing therapies for the global healthcare challenges we face today such as diabetes and liver disease.”

Chairman Dr Jonathan Milner added: “DefiniGEN is harnessing the power of stem cell technology to develop products that are transformational for drug discovery, enabling the accelerated development of therapies that can beneficially transform the lives of afflicted people.”

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