Jellagen secures £329,087 grant

MediWales have reported that Jellagen has been awarded £329,087 in grant funding from Innovate UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Competition.

Funding from Innovate UK will be used to support the optimisation of a proprietary method of functionalising collagen with the aim of tackling the two main clinical issues associated with chronic wounds; sepsis and maintaining healthy blood flow to the site of injury. The project will seek to develop a prototype device composed of next generation jellyfish collagen and evaluate its biological activity in models of wound healing targeting chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers.

To help support the development of this nineteen month project, Jellagen is working with the University of Highlands and Islands and Neem Biotech, with the aim of developing new IP and wound care products.

Jellagen extracts collagen from jellyfish harvested off the West Wales coast and, following receipt of significant second round funding in 2016, opened a new 7,500 square foot manufacturing facility in Cardiff. The first of its kind facility will allow the extraction of high purity collagen from jellyfish. Market drivers for collagen wound products are the ageing population and increasing numbers of obese and diabetic patients. Diabetes is an escalating global problem, and as a result the market for the treatment of diabetes related complications is growing rapidly. In 2014 the global market for wound care, for which diabetic foot ulcer is a major driver, was worth $15.6bn, and is expected to reach $18.3bn in 2019.

The cost of failure to treat diabetic foot ulcer is often amputation, a decreased quality of life and over $46,000 in medical costs. In the UK 80% of non-traumatic limb lose is due to diabetes, this has a significant social impact. People with a diabetic foot ulcer can spend three to six months off work which is a significant loss of workforce that currently impacts and will continue to impact future economies and societies. There is a clinical need for improvements on current technologies and the introduction of novel solutions to tackle this ever increasing global problem.

Collagen used in wound care products is traditionally produced from mammalian sources. These sources are often associated with religious, ethnic and quality assurance issues, driving the market to search for alternative collagen sources. Jellyfish collagen offers the unique selling position of providing a non-mammalian, BSE and disease vector free product.

Andrew Mearns Spragg, the Company’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer, said “We’re delighted to have been awarded this grant from Innovate UK. Funding will allow continued development of an innovative technology that will incorporate our next generation collagen for chronic wound applications. Wound care represents an exciting market opportunity for the business where the treatment of chronic ulcers remains a serious unmet clinical need. We look forward to working with our research partners on this project to help develop novel innovations in collagen chemistry that could positively impact the healing process of chronic wounds.”

Welcoming Jellagen’s funding announcement, Dr Carmine Circelli, Investment Executive in Finance Wales’ technology ventures investment team, said “This is an exciting step for Jellagen. The company are providing innovative collagen products, with applications in both the research laboratory and clinic. I look forward to seeing their products have a positive impact on the market.”

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