PRESS RELEASE: ReproCELL Group Establishes European Headquarters through Merger of Biopta and Reinnervate


Merger forms ReproCELL Europe Ltd, led by Dr David Bunton

Yokohama, Japan and Glasgow, UK. 5th July 2016: The Japanese regenerative medicine company ReproCELL Inc., has announced that two of its Group companies, Biopta and Reinnervate, will merge to form a new company, ReproCELL Europe Ltd. The merger is aimed at strengthening ReproCELL’s pharmaceutical industry-targeted drug discovery services and products through the integration of Biopta’s human tissue services with Reinnervate’s stem cell and 3D cell culture expertise. ReproCELL Europe will operate from new headquarters in Glasgow, UK, with an established production and distribution site in Sedgefield, UK.

ReproCELL Europe aims to grow the workforce significantly over the next three years and plans to move to larger premises in Glasgow within the next nine months. ReproCELL Europe’s management team views the synergies within the ReproCELL Group companies as key to its growth ambitions.

Dr David Bunton, Biopta’s co-founder and now CEO of ReproCELL Europe, said: “The merger of the two UK companies is a great opportunity to build on the solid platform Biopta has in outsourced drug discovery services and combine this with Reinnervate’s expertise in 3D cell culture and stem cell technology. As the drug market moves towards a personalised medicine approach, this will allow our company to increase our market share by expanding our range of human tissue drug discovery assays aimed at the pharmaceutical industry, and also accelerate the development of ReproCELL’s new iPSC products and services.”

ReproCELL, a leader in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine, was established in 2003 with the goal of contributing to people’s health and welfare through the development of stem cell technologies. Many of ReproCELL’s technologies were developed by the stem cell pioneers, Prof. Norio Nakatsuji from the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University, and Prof. Hiromitsu Nakauchi from The Institute of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokyo.

ReproCELL’s CEO, Dr. Chikafumi Yokoyama, said of the merger: “This is an exciting development for ReproCELL and crucial for our expansion into the European market. Scotland is one of Europe’s top locations for stem cell research and we feel our European headquarters will be ideally placed for expansion of our stem cell products and services”

Julia Brown, Director of Life and Chemical Sciences at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We are delighted to see international investors enable two UK companies to grow within a larger global organisation. The companies have clear synergies and complementary offerings and we’re sure as ReproCELL Europe, they will continue to serve the needs of both the academic and pharmaceutical development community. We are equally delighted at the new company’s decision to establish its European headquarters in Scotland which will create new jobs and reinforce Scotland’s reputation as an attractive and competitive location for global life science companies.”

ENDS


Notes to Editors:

Photo: Dr David Bunton, CEO of ReproCELL Europe.

Dr David Bunton

For a high resolution image please contact lorna.cuddon@zymecommunications.com

Media Contacts:

Dr. David Bunton, CEO ReproCELL Europe Ltd
davidbunton@biopta.com
+44 141 330 3831

Lorna Cuddon, Zyme Communications
Lorna.cuddon@zymecommunications.com
+44 (0)7811996942


About ReproCELL Europe
www.reprocell-europe.com

ReproCELL Europe was created on the 1st of July 2016 from the merger of Biopta Ltd and Reinnervate Ltd. ReproCELL Europe offers the full range of life sciences research products and contract research services of the ReproCELL Group Brands (ReproCELL, Biopta, Reinnervate, Stemgent and BioServe) to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Through the ongoing research and development synergies within the Group, ReproCELL Europe aims to bring to market further unique products and services to accelerate research in stem cells, drug discovery, human tissues and 3D cell culture.

About ReproCELL Group
www.reprocell.com

ReproCELL Inc. was established in 2003 with the goal of contributing to people’s health and welfare through the development of stem cell technologies. Many of ReproCELL’s technologies were developed by stem cell pioneers, Prof. Norio Nakatsuji from the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences, Kyoto University, and Prof. Hiromitsu Nakauchi from The Institute of Medical Sciences, The University of Tokyo.

About Biopta Ltd

Biopta was spun out of Glasgow Caledonian University in 2002 by its co-founders, Dr David Bunton, and Professor Chris Hillier, with the aim of addressing the high failure rate of drugs during clinical trials through the use of ethically-sourced human tissues. The use of human tissues is considered more predictive of human responses to medicines than animal experiments and is part of a growing move by the pharmaceutical industry towards “non-animal alternatives”. Moreover, the advent of “precision medicine”, which aims to deliver the “right drug, at the right dose, to the right patient”, necessitates the use of human tissue-based experiments of the type offered by Biopta, which reflect the diversity of the patient population. Biopta has developed a network of clinical partners in the UK and USA which provide human tissue samples for its research into diseases such as asthma, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis. Biopta counts eight of the top ten pharmaceutical companies among its clients and has worked on over 500 potential new medicines.

About Reinnervate Ltd

Reinnervate was founded in 2002 by Professor Stefan Przyborski as a spinout from Durham University, UK. Reinnervate was acquired by ReproCELL in 2014. The core strength of Reinnervate lies in its Alvetex® family of 3D cell culture products, providing a flexible platform that allows scientists in any life science laboratory to easily establish improved in vitro assays and tissue models that better mimic the in vivo growth of cells. Alvetex 3D cell culture systems have many applications in basic research, drug discovery and product development in the academic, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. Wherever scientists need to better understand the growth, function and disease mechanisms of cells in vivo, Alvetex can provide more predictive and physiologically relevant cell culture models that more closely mimic real tissue structure and function. Alvetex enables the creation of tissue-like structures containing single or multiple cell-types in vitro – in traditional multi-well culture plastic ware. Cell morphology, gene and protein expression, and cell function are enhanced and greater cell-cell communication is established in both primary cells, established cell lines, and stem cell derivatives. Moreover, 3D cell cultures grown in Alvetex can be processed and imaged in the same manner as tissue biopsy samples and a wide range of downstream assays and applications can be performed, providing more translational results over conventional 2D cell culture systems.