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Start-up biotechnology company TC BioPharm Ltd (TCB) is collaborating with MEDINET, a Tokyo-listed immuno-cell therapy company, to develop a novel treatment for various different types of cancer.

MEDINET will exclusively license its innovative cell therapy technology to TC Biopharm for clinical development in the UK and Europe. 

TCB’s technology uses patients’ own immune cells grown in culture to target cancer, and has a safe history based on the treatment of numerous patients in Japan. Under expert guidance from Principal Investigator, Professor Jeff Evans of the University of Glasgow, TCB plans to treat the first cohort of patients early in 2015, working alongside established cancer clinics in Glasgow and Southampton. 

Combining grant support with equity finance from MEDINET and Scottish investors, TCB has an initial funding commitment of £1.3 million, with additional major venture investment anticipated to support further clinical studies.  

Scotland is at the cutting edge of technological advances in a whole range of different fields and I welcome the collaboration between TC BioPharm Ltd with MEDINET in what is a hugely important area of research.

Today’s announcement reinforces our position of outperforming the UK for securing inward investment and is testament to the confidence international companies have in Scotland as a country to invest in.

Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland

Growth support from SE and SDI

TCB is working with Scottish Enterprise (SE) through its account management approach to assist with the company’s strategic business planning, investment strategy and international growth opportunities through SDI. A £500,000 Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) award from SE will allow TCB to create 35 new highly skilled jobs over the next three years as the company grows. Glasgow City Council has provided additional funding for academic collaborations.

Mr Kunihiko Suzuki, chief executive officer of MEDINET (Japan), said, “It is encouraging to have an excellent business partner in the UK, headed by Dr Michael Leek, who has a well established reputation in the biotechnology and regenerative medicine industry. Over the next few years I believe our partnership with TC BioPharm will successfully obtain marketing approval of this exciting immuno-cell therapy for cancer patients in the UK and Europe.”

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, added, “Commercialisation of this groundbreaking cancer therapy in Scotland further cements our global reputation for regenerative medicine and stratified medicine. Over the last decade, Scotland has established the regulatory, manufacturing and clinical expertise to lead the world in developing new cell therapies to treat unmet medical needs.

“The partnership between these two companies is great news for Scotland. This new inward investment combines established cell therapy from Medinet with industry expertise and leadership from TC BioPharm’s management team, and is supported by the private and public sector to enable this company to flourish and grow in the global market place.  

“There is a clear and growing demand for improved cancer treatments, with the worldwide market for cell and tissue products forecast to almost $10 billion by 2017. Scotland is well placed to maximise this opportunity through companies, such as TC BioPharm, with international growth ambitions."

Chief executive of TC BioPharm, Dr Michael Leek, stated, “We are one important step closer to Phase II clinical studies and our goal of treating cancer patients with this novel cell therapy. The therapeutic approach being developed by TCB connects both regenerative and stratified medicine, placing Scotland at the forefront of these innovative therapeutic sectors.”

How we support regenerative medicine in Scotland