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Innovative company receives £500,000 backing

Published: 16th October 2006

Pictured from the left is Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of SYIF, and Malgosia Jarmolowicz, CellTran’s Chief Executive Officer.

An innovative Sheffield based life sciences company won £500,000 financial backing from South Yorkshire Investment Fund – and the money will mean it can continue working towards helping patients’ wounds heal more quickly.

Scientists at CellTran have developed a "biological bandage", which capitalises on the healing power of a patient’s own cells.  Cells taken from the patient are cultured on a specially synthesised polymer layer at CellTran’s production facilities in Sheffield before being returned for application to a patient’s wounds.  The use of the patient’s own cells speeds wound repair and recovery. 

Building on the success it has achieved in clinical trials, CellTran is now looking for sales growth and to roll-out a portfolio of products that will both facilitate healing for the patient and offer cost saving benefits to healthcare providers.

CellTran’s Myskin product for burns has already been launched and is winning enthusiastic support from clinical specialists in that sector.  David Best, South Yorkshire Investment Fund’s (SYIF) Investment Director, commented:  “The investment from SYIF will allow the company to address the chronic wounds market.  In particular CellTran is aiming to provide an active healing and wound management service for people suffering from the leg and foot ulcers that are so often associated with vascular disease and diabetes. “

The origins of the CellTran business lie in research carried out in the division of Clinical Sciences and Department of Engineering Materials at the University of Sheffield.  With help from the University’s spin-out arm, Sheffield University Enterprise Limited (SUEL), CellTran was established with first round funding secured from the White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund.

Malgosia Jarmolowicz, CellTran’s Chief Executive Officer,said: "We have the basic building blocks in place - innovative technologies that are protected by worldwide patents, our own bespoke production facilities, excellent results from the clinical trials conducted to date, the necessary regulatory approvals and a strong distribution partner.  The task now is to build sales and to manage carefully what is likely to be a rapid expansion of the business."

Tony Goulbourn, Chief Executive of SYIF, added: "We are so pleased to have invested in such a hi-tech South Yorkshire business. Their products could be beneficial to so many people.  We wish them well for the future."

Editor's Notes

About South Yorkshire Investment Fund

South Yorkshire Investment Fund  provided seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15k to £2.5m, specifically to help small and medium businesses meet the gaps in funding they need for growth and development.

Created as part of the Objective 1 programme, the Fund is a private and public sector business finance provider. The European Regional Development Fund and Yorkshire Forward are investors in the Fund.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provided access to Business Angel investments from the Yorkshire Association of Business Angels and Microloans through BiG Business Loan Fund and Donbac Microloan Fund.

Finance Yorkshire has now taken on responsibility for providing gap finance in Yorkshire and the Humber.

For further details please contact Suzanne Tinkler,  on 0845 649 0000.

South Yorkshire Investment Fund Ltd is a company limited by guarantee (Registered No 3936065). South Yorkshire Investment Fund comprises three sub funds, the South Yorkshire Investment Capital Fund, the South Yorkshire Investment Development Fund, which are each managed by YFM Venture Finance Limited, and the South Yorkshire Investment Small Business Fund, which is managed by Finance South Yorkshire Ltd. YFM Venture Finance Limited (Tel 0113 294 5000) and Finance South Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 01709 386 377) are each authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. South Yorkshire Investment Fund also provides a number of services, which are not regulated by The Financial Services Authority. These include the pilot Seedcorn Fund, BiG Business Loan Fund, Mentorbank and access to the Donbac Microloan Fund. BiG Business Loan Fund is managed by Donbac Ltd (company registration No. 01925556) and Key Fund Yorkshire Ltd (Tel 0114 242 8900).