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Yorkshire showcases innovation for minister's visit

Yorkshire showcased a centre of innovation at the forefront of healthcare technology today as Lord Drayson visited Leeds as part of a region-wide tour.

During the visit Lord Drayson, Minister for Science and Innovation in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), witnessed the product development, preclinical and manufacturing validation and regulatory work being carried out at Tissue Regenix Ltd, based at the EPSRC and funded University of Leeds Innovation and Knowledge Centre. 

Tissue Regenix is dedicated to developing clinical solutions to address the chronic shortfalls in donor tissue availability in areas such as vascular and orthopaedic medicine. Taking part in a tour of the onsite laboratories, Lord Drayson observed Tissue Regenix's work in developing developing its world-leading suite of dCell™ regenerative tissue repair products.

The Minister also learned about further pioneering physical and biological treatments to help patients deal with a variety of ailments that will affect an active, but ageing population.

Founded in May 2006, Tissue Regenix was spun out from research led by Professors John Fisher and Eileen Ingham and funded by UK research councils (EPSRC, BBSRC) and the Children's Heart Surgery Fund. The company has since raised in excess of £4 million private capital funding to date, to allow the company to accelerate its lead products into clinical trials and onto the market.

Supported by Yorkshire Forward through its Strategic Investment Fund, the Centre for Innovation and Knowledge mixes business knowledge with up to the minute research to realise the full potential of emerging technologies, focusing on healthcare innovation, in particular the emerging field of regenerative therapies.

Lord Drayson commented: "It's vital that this kind of groundbreaking research is successfully translated from the laboratory to the real world where it can have a positive impact on healthcare in this country.

"Recently I announced £5m in public funding for the University of Leeds to host an Innovation and Knowledge Centre. This promises to build on the exciting new research the University, and its spin out companies, have already produced in the field of regenerative therapies."

Eileen Ingham, Professor of Medical Immunology at the University of Leeds, said: "We are delighted that the Minister has found time to visit our laboratories.

"This is an ideal opportunity to demonstrate how EPSRC-funded research in the University of Leeds is being exploited by Tissue Regenix to deliver novel regenerative solutions to an aging population".

Jim Farmery, Assistant Director of Business for Yorkshire Forward adds: "We are very pleased to have the opportunity to welcome Lord Drayson to the region and showcase a great example of the innovative work being done here.

This initiative is an important one for the region and for the university, and builds on Leeds' reputation as a world leader in the area, its extensive links with industry and excellent track record in the commercialisation of world class research and in a facility that we have funded."

Notes to editors:

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Leona Thompson, Press Manager on 0113 3949589 or email Leona.thompson@yorkshire-forward.com

Yorkshire Forward

  • Yorkshire Forward is the Regional Development Agency behind the economic regeneration of Yorkshire and Humber. It aims to make a positive difference by investing in jobs, improving towns and cities, and in supporting businesses throughout the region.
  • Over the past year, Yorkshire Forward has created and safeguarded more than 22,254 jobs, assisted 60,005 people in skills, created 1,067 businesses and attracted £467m in investment.
  • Yorkshire Forward's investment across the region is maximised by attracting European Regional Development Funding from the Objectives One and Two programmes and the 2007-2013 Regional Competitiveness and Employment Programmes.

Tissue Regenex Ltd

The company's proprietary dCell™ products, which are produced from human or animal tissues, function and behave almost identically to the native tissue they are designed to replace, and are compatible with all blood and cell types. They have similar biomechanical properties and, most importantly, will regenerate once implanted. dCell™ products are not perceived as foreign bodies by the host tissue and this lack of rejection allows dCell™ products to work by promoting the patient's own cells, so that it gradually becomes incorporated into the surrounding tissue, repairing, replacing or providing strength and support to the repair site.

Tissue Regenix Limited was formed in May 2006, on the back of many years of research by Professors John Fisher and Eileen Ingham, two of the world's leading experts in biocompatibility, immunocompatibility and functional tissue re-engineering.

The company is currently engaged in pre-clinical benchmarking and quality/regulatory work in support of preparation for clinical trials.

For further information: 

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email pressoffice@leeds.ac.uk

For more information, visit the website at www.tissueregenix.com

University of Leeds

  • The University of Leeds Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering has received in excess of £4 million grant funding to date from UK research councils (EPSRC, BBSRC) and the Children's Heart Surgery Fund.
  • In 2006, BBSRC funding of basic research supplemented by targeted BBSRC follow-on funding enabled the University to secure £685k funding to help establish Tissue Regenix Ltd.
  • On 19 November 2008 the University of Leeds was awarded over £5M from BBSRC, EPSRC and TSB for an Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) that will focus on healthcare innovation, in particular the emerging field of regenerative therapies. The centre will pioneer physical and biological treatments to help patients deal with a variety of ailments that will affect an active, but ageing population.

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