The specialist developer and manufacturer of proteins for stem cell, organoid and regenerative medicine applications announced the successful closure of a £1.5 million (US$1.9 million) series A investment round to accelerate the global scale-up of its commercial operations.
According to Cambridge based Qkine, the funding round attracted support from a range of leading life science funds and angel investors, including Parkwalk, which backs world-changing technologies emerging from the UK’s leading universities; Martlet Capital, an investor with a growing portfolio of innovative life science companies; as well as o2h ventures Human Health EIS fund. To complete the round, Qkine said it has also secured investment from its existing supporters, including Cambridge Enterprise and other angel investors.
Qkine develops and manufactures highly pure, recombinant growth factors, cytokines and other bioactive proteins using proprietary protein engineering and refolding technology. The company’s portfolio of products helps to strengthen the supply chain for stem cell research, biotechnology and drug discovery assays. In parallel, the company said it is applying its innovative protein engineering techniques to develop highly optimised forms of key proteins, helping to overcome core industry challenges such as protein stability and reproducibility of cell culture, hence, enabling the scaling of innovative stem cell and organoid systems for applications including, precision medicine, toxicology screening and tissue engineering. “There is a clear market need for high-quality protein reagents, especially for applications in stem cell biology and organoid research. Qkine has both a compelling technology to meet this need and a highly experienced management team to drive the growth of the business”, said Alastair Kilgour, Chief Investment Officer, Parkwalk.
Qkine said its protein expertise and products have already attracted a loyal customer following from both leading biotech and pharmaceutical organisations, as well as world-class academic institutions. The successful completion of this series A investment round is expected to enable the next phase of Qkine’s growth, including the roll out of full commercial operations across East Asia, the US and Europe, as well as its expansion into new markets, such as Scandinavia. In addition, the funding will be used to make key appointments to strengthen Qkine’s leadership team and accelerate the company’s scale-up and expansion of its product portfolio.