Tissue Regenix, a medical technology company spun-out of the University of Leeds, has announced the proposed reverse takeover of AIMlisted Oxeco plc and that it is seeking admission to AIM.
The group is focused on the development and commercialisation of acellular tissue replacement products to address the chronic global shortfalls in donor tissue availability.
Key points of the announcement -
· £4.5 million (gross) new funds raised by way of placing
· New board takes control of enlarged group
· Application made for admission to AIM, new shares to commence trading on AIM on 29th June 2010
Tissue Regenix uses its proprietary technology platform, dCELL®, to remove cells and other components from human and animal tissue allowing them to be used without anti-rejection drugs to replace worn out or diseased body parts. Tissue Regenix was incorporated in May 2006 as a spin-out company from the University of Leeds to commercialise the academic research of Professor Eileen Ingham and Professor John Fisher in the field of tissue decellularisation.
The proceeds of the listing will be used to advance Tissue Regenix's strategy of using its core dCELL® Technology as a platform to develop a range of products to deliver solutions to unmet clinical needs, using the established medical device regulatory pathway. The three priority markets for the application of the technology are Vascular, Cardiac and Orthopaedics.
Tissue Regenix's lead product is the dCELL® Vascular Patch, intended to be permanently implanted into the human body for vascular repair. The company intends to start marketing the dCELL®
Vascular Patch in Europe during the second half of 2010. The next product on which Tissue Regenix intends to focus is the dCELL® Meniscus, for the repair of damaged knee meniscus. Tissue Regenix will commit a significant proportion of the new funds towards the further development of the dCELL® Meniscus and the securing of regulatory approval for marketing.
John Samuel, Tissue Regenix's Chairman, said: "The new Board looks forward to completing this listing which will give us access to the capital required to use our dCELL® platform to capitalise on the growing global demand for regenerative medical devices."
Antony Odell, Tissue Regenix's Managing Director, said: "The successful completion of the listing in difficult market conditions will highlight the strength of our technology and the size of the market opportunity."
The University of Leeds has 45 active spin-out companies in areas such as oil exploration, cancer drug development, geological research, embryology and foetal development.
Professor John Fisher said: "This technology originated from research undertaken at the University of Leeds, carried out by Professor Eileen Ingham and myself over the last ten years. Our novel research has the potential to be used to create tissue-specific biological scaffolds for a wide range of clinical applications. Currently the focus of our research is on biological scaffolds for tissue repair in the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system. This forms part of our wider research portfolio which is aimed at addressing the expectations of the ageing population for 'fifty active years after the age of fifty'."
John Samuel, Antony Odell, Alan Miller, Alex Stevenson and Alan Aubrey will join the Board as Executive Chairman, Managing Director and Non-Executive Directors respectively. Michael
Bretherton, former Oxeco Executive Chairman, remains on the board and will assume the role of Finance Director.
Notes to editors
About Tissue Regenix Ltd
Tissue Regenix was incorporated in May 2006 as a spin-out company from the University of Leeds to commercialise the academic research of Professor Eileen Ingham and Professor John Fisher in the field of tissue decellularisation. Its dCELL® Technology comprises a patented process which removes cells and other components from human and animal tissue allowing it to be used without anti-rejection drugs to replace worn out or diseased body parts.
About dCELL® Technology
The process comprised within the dCELL® Technology involves the production of biological scaffolds created by taking a piece of human or animal tissue that is equivalent to the diseased or damaged body part which is being replaced, treating such tissue with a series of gentle chemical washes and then sterilising it. The end product is a scaffold which can be stored under normal conditions at room temperature like any synthetic medical device and, when it is implanted into the body, it repopulates with the patient's own cells using natural biological repair mechanisms. The key benefits of the scaffold include the following: it provides strength and support to the repair site within the body; it is biocompatible, meaning that is compatible with living cells, tissues, organs or systems and posing no risk of injury toxicity or rejection by the immune system; it incorporates into the patient's tissue allowing it to regenerate and is cell friendly; and unlike bovine derived implants, there is no risk of BSE. Tissue Regenix's strategy is to continue to use its core dCELL® Technology as a platform to develop a range of products using the established medical device regulatory pathway to deliver solutions to unmet clinical needs. The three priority markets for the application of the technology are: Vascular (e.g. Vascular Patches); Cardiac (e.g. Heart Valves); and Orthopaedics (e.g. Meniscus).
About dCELL® Vascular Patch
Tissue Regenix's lead product is the dCELL® Vascular Patch, a sterile, non-cellular biological scaffold which is intended to be permanently implanted into the human body for vascular repair. An example of its use is as a patchto close a blood vessel after the surgical removal of plaque in an artery that has become narrow or blocked 19 due to peripheral vascular disease.
About dCELL® Meniscus
Tissue Regenix is also pursuing the development of dCELL® Meniscus, is a device made from porcine meniscus which possesses the biomechanics and structure of human meniscus which the Continuing Board believes will assist in restoring normal function. Key benefits of the dCELL® Meniscus include that it is acellular and biocompatible and the dCELL® process results in a cell friendly scaffold encouraging regeneration in the patient's own cells and remaining tissue. The complex organisation of collagen in meniscal tissue means the structure is virtually impossible to replicate with synthetic materials, a problem that is overcome by using meniscus as the starting material to manufacture the implantable scaffold. The dCELL® Meniscus product has already been the subject of more than 3 years of background research at the IMBE.
About the University of Leeds
The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise showed the University of Leeds to be the UK's eighth biggest research powerhouse. The University is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The University's vision is to secure a place among the world's top 50 by 2015.
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