Human cell culture business Axol Bioscience, headquartered in the Cambridge UK science & technology cluster, has raised £1 million crowdfunding capital.

The company set out to raise £600k on Cambridge equity platform SyndicateRoom but it was obvious from early backing that Axol would coast past the target.

Axol CEO, Dr Yichen Shi said the company was raising cash to dramatically accelerate revenue growth and international expansion, as well as to support further product development.

Life science serial entrepreneurs Dr Darrin Disley and Dr Jonathan Milner piled into the round.

Axol provides access to human cells and related materials (critical reagents) in order to help its customers quickly and effectively advance their research. The Nobel Prize winning IP behind the company will help reduce the need for animal testing, by producing highly validated human cells and critical reagents, such as media and growth supplements. Axol is already generating significant revenue, which is highly unusual for such a young biotech company.

Axol’s expertise includes reprogramming donor cells, such as skin or blood cells, into different cell types - including stem cells, nervous system and cardiovascular cell types.

These cell cultures are used to develop human cellular disease models for studying disease and drug mechanisms, such as the role of specific mutations, as well as being used to predict chemical toxicity during drug development.

Axol Bioscience has already secured a roster of clients that includes Janssen, Pfizer, Lilly and Nestle, along with Harvard University, Kings College London, the University of Oxford and Aston University.

Cell biology research is rapidly changing, with researchers requiring a constant supply of cell types and genetic backgrounds. This means that Axol's quick access to human cell types of specific genetic background is increasingly essential for R & D. The global cell-based market is predicted to be worth over $1.8 billion by 2020.

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