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Stem cell firm ReNeuron sets up in Wales after £13m government investment

29 July 2013

By Lanay Tierney

Appeared in BioNews 715

UK biotech company ReNeuron is to relocate to Wales after securing £7.8m in grants and £5m equity investment from the Welsh government.

ReNeuron is the only company in the world that has been granted permission to run clinical trials of stem cell technology on stroke patients, a technique that has shown promising preliminary results in the early trials.

Their lead candidate, ReN001, is currently in development for the treatment of patients that have been disabled as a result of a stroke, one of the leading causes of death and adult disability in Wales. ReNeuron has raised a further £25m from selling new shares and is in the process of selecting a site near Cardiff or Swansea.

Professor Sir Chris Evans, chairman of Arthurian Life Sciences, which manages the Welsh Government's Life Sciences Investment Fund, told the BBC: 'This transaction represents the sort of exciting and innovative deal and investment that will become the hallmark of this Arthurian investment strategy for Wales'.

The Welsh government estimates that the life science industry currently employs 15,000 people in Wales and is worth £1.3b to the economy. ReNeuron's move is expected to bring between 25 and 70 jobs within the next few years. However, it is anticipated to help the life sciences sector of Wales as a whole to expand by attracting other companies.

Michael Hunt, CEO of ReNeuron, said: 'The overall funding package will transform the financial position of our business and its future prospects, and should allow us to take all of our therapeutic programmes through a Phase II proof-of-concept clinical study and to value inflection through commercial deals over the next three years'.

ReNeuron will move its principal operations from Surrey to the new facility, which is expected to be operational within the next two years.

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