Stem cell engineering start-up moves to Wales to takes business to next level.
Shunxi Stem Cell Engineering, a biotech start-up that is pioneering new technology for use in stem cell therapy research, has spun out of Oxford University and into Swansea University to take the business to the next level.
The move was prompted by the supportive environment for the life sciences in Wales, including high level support from both Swansea University and Welsh Government.
Shunxi has already attracted £400,000 funding from investors in China, and Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) funding from the Welsh Government, through the European Social Fund, which is providing a full scholarship for a MSc student to work on its project.
The company is developing automated bench-top bioreactors for human cell expansion.
The computer programmed device under development will be used to grow cells in normal laboratory conditions for use in R&D labs and hospitals for cell therapy and precision medicine purposes.
Shunxi's core technology was developed at Oxford University and the company has now moved into the Centre for Nanohealth at Swansea's Institute for Life Science with the aim of marketing its first bioreactor and microcarriers for stem cell expansion in 2017.
Economy Minister Edwina Hart said; "The life science sector in Wales is certainly gaining a very strong reputation both nationally and internationally as the place to do business. Wales has considerable academic expertise within stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine as well as a growing cluster of high ranking businesses in this sector and I am delighted Shunxi Stem Cell Engineering plans to grow its business here."
The business was founded by Dr Zhao Xia and Dr Hai Zhang, one his PhD students at Oxford.
Dr Xia, who is now senior lecturer of regenerative medicine at Swansea University and an advisor and academic consultant to Shunxi, said : "Shunxi aims to provide an automatic solution to expand patient own stem cells at bench-top. It will particularly be suitable for personalised, hospital based stem cell therapy in the foreseeable future."
Dr Zhang's work has been recognised recently at both the China and Shenzhen Innovation and Entrepreneurship competitions where he won two championships awards.