Investment helps establish animal alternative skin testing technology

A near-£1 million investment will help University of Dundee spinout company Ten Bio to commercialise the human skin culture system it developed to provide a viable alternative for many experiments currently performed on animals.

The investment will enable the company to progress its mission to transform the testing of new pharmaceutical products. The initial launch of the company’s brand will be in the US.

Additionally, Ten Bio’s research and product development programmes benefit from grant funding provided by Innovate UK.

Ten Bio spun out from the University’s School of Life Sciences, where founders Dr Robyn Hickerson and Dr Michael Conneely were initially developing explant skin models to enable drug discovery programmes.

Pharmaceutical companies test their products rigorously before they are administered to humans. There is a presently unmet need for technologies that will generate reliable safety and efficacy data on their effects on human skin.

Building on years of research, the company’s founders have successfully created a patented, human skin culture system that closely mimics intact, living skin. TenSkin stretches human skin to an optimal tension to mimic the mechanobiology that exists in skin on our bodies. This provides a tool for skin biology research and pharmaceutical and cosmetics testing.

Ten Bio has already signed research contracts with global companies, and it is anticipated that its first products will soon be available in the US market.

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