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Censo Biotechnology awarded SMART funding to develop new stem cell technology

November 21st 2017

Censo Biotechnologies Ltd. (“Censo”) announced today that it has been awarded a Scottish Enterprise SMART:SCOTLAND grant of just under £100,000 to undertake an innovation project that will develop new methods to create stem cells for medical research.

This funding will support scientists at the company’s Edinburgh research facility to investigate new ways to transform human tissue, such as blood, skin or urine, into induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs). Over the last ten years, iPSCs have become increasingly used in research to understand how diseases develop and find drugs for their treatment.

Censo, already a leader in the production and use of iPSCs for drug research, will use the SMART funding to develop novel methods to create iPSCs from donors with genetic diseases and simultaneously genetically modify a portion of the stem cells created. Integrating these two techniques is expected to make it easier and more efficient to create stem cells from donors with rare genetic diseases. The technology will also be used in Censo’s other research programmes that focus on a broad range of human diseases, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease and different types of cancers.

Aidan Courtney, CEO of Censo Biotechnologies, added:

“Researchers are increasingly using iPSC technology to understand disease and find new drugs. Censo is committed to advancing the use of this technology which we believe will have a profound effect on the way drugs are developed and targeted to specific patients in the coming years. This program will allow us to offer radically new approaches which will be particularly relevant for the development of treatments for rare genetic disorders.”

Jim Watson, Innovation and Enterprise Services Director at Scottish Enterprise added:

“Censo Biotechnologies is creating innovative products that meet strong and defined customer needs in the global marketplace. This award is the latest support we’ve provided to the company to accelerate its growth plans and build competitive advantage, and we wish the team every success with this project.”

The project will be led by Dr. Joe Mee, Scientific and Business Manager at Censo who said:

“This SMART funding will help accelerate our research. We would like to thank Scottish Enterprise for their support of our company and our new research endeavours that will keep Scottish biotechnology at the forefront of this exciting and important field.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About Censo Biotechnologies Ltd
Censo Biotechnologies Ltd is a stem cell technology company providing human cells and contract research services for drug discovery, toxicity testing and cell banking. The company has the capabilities to generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from large cohorts of individuals and use the potential of these cells to create virtually any cell in the human body. By developing cell-based models of disease using cells from a diverse range of tissue donors, the company supports the development of new targeted treatments for disease. Its major focus is the generation of novel data on drug efficacy and drug response variation for a given population. The company was founded in 2016 through the merger of Roslin Cellab and Roslin Cell Sciences and has facilities in both Edinburgh and Cambridge, UK.

About Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)

iPSC technology makes it possible to create stem cells in the laboratory from any person who donates a skin or blood sample. First pioneered in 2006, the stem cells can be transformed into brain, heart and many other types of cell so that, for stem cells created from individuals suffering from a disease, researchers are then able to replicate the disease under laboratory conditions. This “disease in a dish” research is creating the means to study the early stages of many diseases which was previously not possible.

About Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's main economic development agency and aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. Its role is to help identify and exploit the best opportunities for economic growth. It supports ambitious Scottish companies to compete within the global marketplace and helps build Scotland’s globally competitive sectors. It also works with a range of partners in the public and private sectors to attract new investment to Scotland and to help create a world-class business environment.

For more information, please see https://www.scottish-enterprise.com

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