Cardiff marine biotechnologies business Jellagen is to step up sales of its next-generation jellyfish collagen products after attracting £3.8 million from investors.
The company - which is the first commercial manufacturer of jellyfish collagen for cell culture and medical applications including wound care and regenerative medicine - has attracted funding from Newable Private Investing, Development Bank of Wales and angel investors.
It will use the investment to develop its products and grow sales. As a result it expects to double in size from 6 employees to 12.
Last year it opened a manufacturing plant for extracting high-purity collagen from jellyfish. It also achieved an ISO13485:2016 quality standard for manufacture of medical grade collagen derived from jellyfish.
Strengthen sales and collaborations
Professor Andrew Mearns Spragg, chief executive and founder of Jellagen, said:
The investment is designed to help accelerate sales. It will allow us to take on new sales and marketing staff to help us achieve that.
We are also looking to strengthen existing collaborations for doing some of the more long-term product development in regenerative medicine, including tissue engineering for developing new devices.
A next-generation source of collagen
Collagen is a protein that provides structural support for cells in the body’s tissues and organs. It has been used in medical devices and in research for many years but has traditionally been sourced from mammals such as pigs, cows, rats and horses.
Jellyfish are a sustainable source of collagen and not prone to the same risk of disease as mammals.
To develop this next-generation of collagen, Jellagen has been pioneering technology to extract jellyfish collagen at scale, with support from Innovate UK.
It is currently working on an Innovate UK-funded project to develop a wound-healing device aimed at diabetic foot ulcers.
Product is reaching a global market
Professor Mearns Spragg added:
We are currently building the market for our cell culture products worldwide – UK, Europe, the States and the Far East.
The market for our first cell culture products is scientists working in academia or in the pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical industry that require the material as a substrate to culture cells in the laboratory.