Technology supported by Dr Jonathan Milner in his ELRIG Plenary Address
Cambridge, UK, October 25, 2018 / B3C newswire / — Elpis Biomed Ltd. (Elpis), a University of Cambridge spin-out developing high quality human cells via its proprietary OPTi-OX platform, is pleased to announce that life science entrepreneur Dr Jonathan Milner, Deputy Chairman and Founder of Abcam, mentioned the Company, stating: “Elpis human cells can fix the broken drug discovery process by replacing animal experiments,” during his plenary lecture at the recent European Laboratory Research & Innovation Group (ELRIG) Drug Discovery Conference.
During his plenary address, on ‘Opportunities in the Golden Age of Biology’, Dr Milner asked whether the drug discovery process is ‘broken’. Dr Milner explained: “Over the past decades, the return on investment on pharmaceutical research and development has suffered exponential decline. A main contributor to the rising costs of drug development are high failure rates, both at the pre-clinical and clinical stage.” He continued: “The causes for drug failure are likely due to the biological differences between the current animal models and cell lines used for drug discovery and human biology. The solution to this problem is to integrate human cell models early into the drug development process.”
Although human cells are better models for drugs screening, few were featured at the ELRIG conference. Dr Milner commented, “The lack of human cell models being utilised boils down to the fact that the current technology for generating patient derived cells does not meet the requirements for drug screening.” Elpis, backed by Milner’s personal investment, “provides the first robust and scalable solution of functional biologically-relevant cells for drug development,” he added.
Further technical details of Elpis’s OPTi-OX platform are described in the peer-reviewed paper by Pawlowski et at, entitled Pluripotent Stem Cells into Neurons, Skeletal Myocytes, and Oligodendrocytes in Stem Cell Reports, 2017, 8 (4):803-812.
Dr Mark Kotter, scientific founder of Elpis BioMed concluded: “Elpis’ mission is to make human cells easy. Our proprietary OPTi-OX technology allows us to produce human cells of unprecedented quality, purity, and consistency. We are developing a wide range of cell products to support the research, drug discovery, and cell therapy communities and are delighted that our technology has been brought to the attention of an audience of drug discovery experts by an industry heavy-weight like Dr Milner.”
Caption: Dr Jonathan Milner
About Elpis Biomed
University of Cambridge spin-out Elpis Biomed Ltd. (Elpis) has the vision to become a defining force in the emerging field of synthetic biology as the leading engineering and manufacturing company of human cells for science, drug discovery, and cell therapy.
The Company’s proprietary cellular reprogramming platform technology, OPTi-OX (optimised, inducible over-expression), allows for unprecedented levels of consistency, purity, and minimal batch-to-batch variability, whilst significantly reducing the culture time taken to generate mature human cell populations from stem cells.
The application of high-quality human cells in the drug discovery process holds the promise to revolutionise translational efficiency and lead to new human disease models with genetic matching of desired populations. This enables target validation in relevant cell types, and drug screening in disease relevant conditions.
The Company’s most recent investment round was led by biotech entrepreneur and investor Dr Jonathan Milner.
About Dr Jonathan Milner
Dr Jonathan Milner, co-Founder and currently Deputy Chairman of Abcam plc, is an entrepreneur and investor passionate about supporting UK life science and high-tech start-ups. He has provided considerable investment and support to over 40 companies and has assisted three technology companies to IPO on the London AIM Stock exchange.
In 2015 Jonathan, together with Professor Tony Kouzarides, co-founded the Milner Therapeutics Institute at the University of Cambridge. Also, in 2015 he co-founded, with Professor Laurence Hurst, the Milner Institute for Evolution at the University of Bath.