Progenitor Labs secures £4 million financing to progress potentially game-changing regenerative medicine platform

Posted: 11 March 2013

Investment from SR One, GlaxoSmithKline’s Corporate Venture Fund, will fund company’s programme to discover small molecule drugs that regenerate specific tissues of the body.

Progenitor Labs Ltd (Progenitor) has announced that it has raised £4 million ($5.8million) in seed financing from SR One’s UK Fund.

Progenitor is a pioneering regenerative medicine company that develops drugs to regenerate specific tissues of the human body in response to injury, disease or ageing. Development of small molecules in regenerative medicine has potential technical, commercial and regulatory advantages over cell therapies. The financing will enable the company to discover small molecule drugs for a number of serious diseases.

Progenitor uses CombiCult® combinatorial stem cell technology to produce synthetic adult progenitor cells that resemble those lying dormant in a patient’s target tissue. Pharmaceutical drug screens can then be performed to discover compounds that instruct the progenitor cells to generate terminally differentiated cells, thereby restoring organ function. Whereas most currently available drugs treat the symptoms of illness, drugs that regenerate diseased organs will address the root cause of disease.

Progenitor will be based at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), the UK’ s first open innovation bioscience campus. Concurrent with the financing, Progenitor has also entered into an agreement with Scinovo™, GSK’s scientific consultancy and technical support model, which includes access to GSK scientists with a proven track record of bringing compounds from discovery through to launch.

Dr Yen Choo, founder and CEO of Progenitor Labs commented, “We are delighted to have attracted top tier venture financing and to have put in place an R&D infrastructure capable of delivering drugs that have the potential to transform regenerative medicine and future healthcare”.

David Phillips and Matthew Foy, Partners at SR One, will join Progenitor’s Board of Directors. David Phillips commented “We believe that Progenitor’s ground-breaking technology, combined with SBC’s open innovation model and drug discovery and development expertise of GSK’s Scinovo™, is a paradigm for future UK biotech success stories”.

Dr Martino Picardo, CEO of SBC, said, “We are delighted that Progenitor will be based at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, to seed the network of regenerative medicine activity we are developing here.”