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CellularREvolution Ltd: Growing the cells of the future

CellularREvolution Ltd: Growing the cells of the future

CellulaREvolution aims to revolutionise the way cells are grown in lab. It is developing ground-breaking technologies to make the culturing of cells more efficient and affordable. The process is based on the novel concept of a continuous cell culturing system which has a higher yield, smaller footprint and lower input requirements than traditional batch technologies. Its technologies can be used for various cell types and applications, making it suitable for any companies active in the culturing of cells regardless of whether they are active in the field of cultured meat, cell therapy or biologics.

CellularREvolution Ltd: Growing the cells of the future

FACT FILE

Start date: 2018

Website: Visit website

Location: Newcastle

Employees: 8

Innovation to Commercialisation of University Research (ICURe)

Funding: Grants: £390k; Equity: £1m

KEY MILESTONES

April 2018

Started on ICURe programme

December 2018

Company formed

May 2019

Innovate UK grant: £166k

July 2019

Spin out completed

July 2019

Pre-seed investment raised

November 2019

North East Innovation R&D funding: £140k

2020

COVID-19 Continuity grant awarded: £90k

Jan 2021

£1m investment raised

“Whilst completing my PhD in tissue engineering at Newcastle University, I also investigated another use of these molecules with a biotech application. As a result, we were contacted by someone in the science team at the Good Food Institute – an American non-profit organisation that is promoting alternative proteins – who was interested in our technology for not only plant-based foods, but also cultured meat, which means growing cells in the lab to create meat and meat alternatives.”

“Growing meat cells in this way enables you to create the cells outside of the animal, so you should have exactly the same product, but you have the added advantage of being able to enrich the product with additional health benefits, such as adding vitamins or protein to tune the nutritional content. We realised then there was a commercialisation opportunity for our technology, but we didn’t know how to make that leap from the lab.”

“We joined the ICURe programme in early 2018 in order to address the challenges in the market and to start speaking to people to make sure what we were developing was really going to be useful to them – would they actually purchase it? I also wanted to make some connections and start to build relationships, it’s always more powerful to do that in person.”

“I thought the ICURe programme was fantastic. The biggest thing I got out of it was the confirmation that our technology was important and that the markets were very interested in it. It gave us the starting point that we needed to prioritise what we were working on and where our focus should be. The cultured meat market was just taking off during the period we started on ICURe and it was so important for us to be in the right place at the right time to capitalise on that.”

“Since the programme, we have added to the team by bringing on board an experienced CEO, Leo Groenewegen. We met through the Northern Accelerator, which is a scheme to encourage the spin out of companies from Universities. Leo has been crucial in helping us develop the business and financial plans that we needed to complete the spin out, which requires all sorts of documentation.”

“With Leo’s help, in 2019 the company raised pre-seed funds through a mixture of non-dilutive grants and direct investments, which really helped us push the company forwards. We have been able to hire more team members, including technicians and field researchers. Having more people in the company has been great to give us the brain power to do more things. When we started, we had a proof of concept on the technology, but it’s not the same as having the real thing.”

“Our goal for 2020 was to develop a working prototype and validate the technology, which we managed to achieve, despite the challenges brought by the pandemic and having restricted access to the lab. At the start of 2021 we raised £1m from a set of strategic investors and with that behind us we are now ready and equipped to accelerate the development of our products and make a true innovative impact on the way cells are grown.”

 

Martina Miotto

Martina Miotto, Co-Founder and CSO
CellulaREvolution Ltd

SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey