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28/10/2014

Jellagen Pty Ltd secures £99,985 SMART grant from Innovate UK (previously TSB) to support the development of jellyfish collagen medical devices

Jellagen  Pty  Ltd,  a  new  medical-tech  and  healthcare company  is  pleased  to  announce  the  award  of  £99,985  SMART  grant  funding  from  Innovate  UK (formally the Technology Strategy Board).

Funding  from  Innovate  UK  will  help  Jellagen  improve  the efficiency  of  collagen  extraction to  improve upon  product  quality  and  yield.  Funding  will  also  help  the  Company  explore  new  manufacturing processes and nano-technologies utilising jellyfish derived, medical grade, Type II and Type V collagen for the fabrication of medical device applications.   The 12 month project will allow Jellagen to access world class expertise at Swansea University's Centre for NanoHealth (CNH), Collagen Solutions Plc and University College London (UCL), to deliver new processes and products. This funding will also allow for the generation of biological data on the use of jellyfish collagen and its applicability and comparison in bone graft medical applications.

Jellagen was founded in May 2013 by 2 highly experienced entrepreneurs Alex Muhlholzl and Andrew Mearns Spragg and secured its first round funding of £550,000 in April 2014 from Finance Wales and Angel  investors  (xenos  and  SWAIN).  The  Company  aims  to  be  the  world's  first  provider  of  pharma grade, GMP, and ISO certified Type II and Type V jellyfish collagen as a raw material. The company's initial target market for the novel non-mammalian collagen product is  the lucrative cell culture reagent market  valued  globally  at  US$14.7Bn  in  2013  (Markets  &  Markets  2014).  Future  ambitions  and development will be aimed at bone health and wound healing medical applications to further utilise the unique nature of Jellagen's collagen products.

The company offers the full spectrum of jellyfish derived collagen proteins, greatest demand being for Type II - Type V, with others available upon request. Jellagen also offers a range of additional "products in development" for derma care and medical device applications.  Collagen is used in the manufacture of biomaterials due to its ability to form strong fibres and is used in many forms  (such as gels, scaffolds and membranes)  for  a  number of  medical applications  ranging from  wound  care and  cartilage  repair through to bone grafts.

Jellagen  operates  from  a  processing  facility  at  the  Pembrokeshire  Science  and  Technology  Park  in Pembrokeshire, Wales with its medical grade product being produced by its strategic partner Collagen Solutions Plc, Glasgow.

Andrew Mearns Spragg, the Company's Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer said "We're delighted to have been awarded this grant from Innovate UK. The grant will help support continued development of our jellyfish collagen products and expand the company into new markets. The funding provides a great opportunity to work with our strategic partners Collagen Solutions Plc on improving our existing collagen production  processes  but  also  provides  us  access  to  world  class  academic  expertise  providing  us access  to  novel  engineering  solutions  that  will  help  better  define  the  structural  and  mechanical properties of our collagen products geared towards bone health market applications."

Alex  Muhlholzl  the  Company's  Founder  and  Chief  Technology  Officer  added:  "The  funding  from Innovate  UK's  SMART  grant  is  a  great  opportunity  for  the  continued  development  of  our  jellyfish collagen products. We look forward to working with our contract partners at the Centre for NanoHealth and  University  College  London  on  developing  innovative  techniques  to  create  novel  collagen Type  II based  medical-device  products.  These  techniques  will  include  the  use  of  Atomic  Force  Microscopy, rheology and use of electrospinning methodologies  in the development of new bone graft devices but will also increase our understanding of the mechanical properties of collagen at the nano-level."