Jellagen secures £97,477 to support the development of a functionalised collagen product for wound care
Jellagen Pty Ltd, a new medical-tech company is pleased to
announce the award of £97,477 SMART grant funding from Innovate UK
(formally the Technology Strategy Board).
Funding from Innovate UK will support R&D focused on a novel
method of functionalising jellyfish collagen with the aim of
tackling the two main clinical issues associated with chronic
wounds, namely sepsis and maintaining healthy blood flow to the
site of injury. The project will evaluate biological activity
in models of wound healing targeting chronic wounds e.g. Diabetic
Foot Ulcer (DFU).
To help support the development of this 12 month project,
Jellagen is working with world class research support at the
University of Highlands and Islands (UHI), Neem Biotech Ltd,
Syncura Ltd, the Welsh Wound Innovation Centre and University
College London (UCL) with the aim of developing new intellectual
property and wound care products.
Jellagen was founded in May 2013 and secured its first round
funding of £550,000 in April 2014 from Finance Wales and Angel
investors (xénos and SWAIN). The Company is now producing and
selling the world’s first highly pure collagen derived from
jellyfish for cell culture [2D & 3D] research applications. The
company also aims to manufacture a GMP certified jellyfish collagen
product as a raw material for use in medical devices in
collaboration with its strategic partner Collagen Solutions
Market drivers for collagen wound products are the ageing
population and increasing numbers of obese and diabetic patients.
The “wound healing” market offers significant sales opportunities
and the global market is worth $15.6Billion. For example, 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 DFU is a major
driver) was worth $15.6billion, and is expected to reach
$18.3Billion in 2019.
The cost of failure to treat DFU 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
significant social impacts. Patients with a DFU can spend 3-6
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 & quality assurance issues driving the market
to search for alternative collagen sources. Jellyfish collagen
offers the unique selling position (USP) of providing a
non-mammalian, BSE and disease vector free product.
Jellagen operates from a processing facility at the
Pembrokeshire Science and Technology Park in Pembrokeshire, Wales
with its GMP product being developed by its strategic partner
Collagen Solutions Plc, Glasgow.
Andrew Mearns Spragg, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer said
“We’re delighted to have been awarded this grant from Innovate UK.
The grant will help support key research & product development
activities within Jellagen and crucially offers the ability to
widen our product and IP portfolio. Wound care represents an
exciting market opportunity for the business and chronic ulcer
treatments remain an unmet clinical need when it comes to effective
treatments. We very much look forward to working with our research
partners to develop novel innovations in collagen chemistry that
could positively impact the healing process of chronic
Welcoming Jellagen’s announcement, Dr Melanie Goward, Deputy
Fund Manager in Finance Wales’ technology ventures investment team
said: “Jellagen is successfully selling products based on jellyfish
collagen and securing this SMART grant is excellent news. Andrew
and his team can now expand Jellagen’s product range by developing
new wound treatments using jellyfish collagen. Jellagen has
attracted financial backing from a range of funders and we welcome
Innovate UK’s support. We’re pleased to join forces with these
funders to back Jellagen’s continued expansion.”