A Cambridge-based company which uses Nobel Prize-winning stem cell technology to produce "quality" human cells for biomedical research has passed the halfway mark to its £600,000 target on equity crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom.
Axol Biosciences is looking to raise the cash in return for an 8.7 per cent equity stake in the business.
The company said its long-term goal is to provide a platform where researchers can pick and choose human cell types derived from healthy or diseased individuals for specific research purposes, revolutionising the drug testing market.
"Pharmaceutical companies are obliged to extensively test new drugs, but due to a lack of human tissue and cells available for testing, animal testing is commonplace, even though it is costly, increasingly controversial and suffers from high failure rates. In essence, this lack of human tissue available for testing drives the famously high pharmaceutical R&D costs," Axol said on its crowdfunding pitch.
"Axol creates stem cells from human blood and skin cells which can then be turned into heart cells, brain cells and blood vessel cells. These human cell types, derived in the labs of Axol, have been used by many pharmaceutical companies and research institutes."
Axol's clients include Janssen, Pfizer, Lilly and Nestle, along with Harvard University, Kings College London, the University of Oxford and Aston University.
The company has already hit revenues of more than $1m and is now looking to raise additional funds to "accelerate revenue growth and begin international expansion". This round is set to be its final fundraise before becoming profitable and exiting, most likely via an IPO, in four to five years.
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