Che Connon In The Lab

Professor Che Connon in the lab

Northstar-backed technology disruptor CellulaREvolution, which aims to revolutionise the way cells are grown at industrial scale, has secured £380,000 in funding to grow the company - a spin-out from Newcastle University.

CellulaREvolution has identified a significant opportunity to make the culturing of cells more efficient and affordable, which will benefit medical and pharmaceutical industries, and also the fast-increasing interest in cultured meat.

CellulaREvolution is the first company in the region to benefit from the North East Angel R&D programme, an initiative backed by Innovate UK and managed by Northstar, to attract increased angel investment into early-stage tech businesses.

On top of £140,000 from the North East Innovation Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Northstar Ventures, the company has also been awarded a total of £200,000 in grants from InnovateUK and a further £40,000 investment from a private Angel investor.

The company was founded in December 2018 and officially spun-out from Newcastle University in July 2019. The three company founders are Martina Miotto (CSO), Che Connon (CTO) and Leo Groenewegen (CEO).

Co-founder and CTO, Professor Che Connon, said: “Whether it’s for the cultured meat, cell therapy or biologics production the need for new ways to grow large numbers of cells in serum-free culture is critical to the continued success of these markets. Our plans to generate a bioreactor capable of continuous cell production will become a milestone in the industrialisation of adherent cell manufacture.”

Alex Buchan, Northstar Ventures Investment Director, said: “Northstar has been the main investor in North East University spin-outs since 2005, their potential is huge, with the expertise and innovation the teams bring. We are very impressed with the CellulaREvolution team, they have a clearly identified market opportunity and a groundbreaking, scalable solution. We are looking forward to supporting them in their growth and scaling their company globally.

"We are also pleased that they are the first company to benefit from the new North East Angel R&D programme. Working with Angels has always been core to our offering and this programme enables access to a combination of funds to really accelerate the growth of scalable businesses.”

Leo Groenewegen, CEO of CellulaREvolution, said: “We’re delighted to have the backing from Northstar. It will allow us to become the market leader in the field of continuous cell production. The growing demand for cultured meat, for example, is a potentially multi-trillion US dollar market and we aim to get our fair share of this. The investment also lets us accelerate our product and company development which, in turn, leads to an increase in company valuation."

Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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