ImmunONE, a Hatfield, UK-based developer of a 3D human lung model to replace animal testing, raised £2M in funding.
The round was led by MEIF Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund, which is managed by Mercia Ventures and part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), Mercia’s EIS funds and Pioneer Group.
The company intends to use the funds to move into new headquarters in Milton Keynes, new laboratories in Stevenage to meet the growing demand and additionally expand capacity, continue its research and development, grow its team and create six new jobs.
Led by Dr Abigail Martin and Professor Victoria Hutter, ImmunONE has developed a 3D human lung model that can assess the safety of new drugs without the use of animal testing, enabling companies developing new products such as drugs, chemicals or cosmetics to meet legal requirements by showing they are safe for consumption and wider use. Current safety assessments are typically based on animal testing, which is not accurate at predicting the impact on humans, or use human cells taken by lung-scraping, an invasive process that only provides tissue from the upper lung.
ImmuONE’s approach, which involves growing human lower lung tissue and immune cells in a laboratory to create a 3D model, not only enables companies to avoid the use of animals but also allows them to test the impact of their products on the small airways and inflammation in the lung, providing results that are more reliable and reproducible.
The model was developed by Dr Martin during her PhD research at the University of Hertfordshire. She joined forces with Prof. Hutter, her supervisor, to set up the business in 2019. They now have around 20 customers globally including blue-chip chemical and consumer products companies.
Since its launch two years ago, the biotech company has generated over £1m in revenue.
ImmunONE, a Hatfield, UK-based developer of a 3D human lung model to replace animal testing, raised £2M in funding. Best wishes to everyone in the group. This will be a huge accomplishment for them in the future.Shishir Gupta, The Founder & CEO of StartupLanes
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