LIFE sciences firm Pharmacells is set to extend its service into Europe and the Middle East as the stem cell specialist enters what is expected to be a rapid period of expansion.
The Glasgow-based company is currently negotiating a partnership that will see its Oristem services introduced into Spain and Portugal in the coming months.
Launched in June, Oristem is a service that allows adults to store their own stem cells to help treat diseases they may get later in life.
Athol Haas, chief executive and co-founder of Pharmacells, has just returned from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where he was talking to healthcare providers about partnerships similar to its Spanish deal.
The trip followed a hectic week in London for the biotech executive, in which he was locked in discussions to extend Oristem's reach.
"Right now we are in the process of growing that network and growing it in a most prodigious fashion," he said.
Stem cells have the potential to grow into any of the 250 types of cell found in the human body. Scientists are using stem cells to create treatments for injuries and illnesses that are currently incurable.
Oristem takes "young blastomere-like stem cells (BLSCs) from a sample of blood, a much less invasive procedure than more costly techniques to extract stems that have already begun developing".
Formed in 2008, Pharmacells is majority-owned by founders Haas and chief scientific officer Neil Fell, who stumped up their own cash to buy the rights to the Oristem technology.
The business has raised a relatively modest £500,000 in two rounds of funding from Grampian BioPartners, the Scottish Co-investment Fund and small private investors.
The firm, which turns over about £500,000 a year, is set to move to the BioCity Scotland facility at Newhouse in Lanarkshire in March.
Pharmacells will hire two people as a result of the move, taking its headcount to eight.
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Pharmacells in talks to extend reach overseas
24 January 2012