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15 September, 2006 - 13:08 By Staff Reporter

Stem Cell Sciences puts date back for launch of Cambridge facility

Stem Cell Sciences (SCS) has revealed that the automated cell production facility it is building at the Babraham Biocampus has been hit by delays, resulting in setbacks to some of the revenues it forecast for the end of this year.The Edinburgh-based cell engineer plans to sell stem cells direct to customers from the Cambridge facility through its SC Services business unit.

Reporting in the company’s interim results for the half year ended June 2006, SCS stated that the specialist nature of the fit out had required more time to complete than originally expected, though technology transfer from bench scale to trial systems had run smoothly with no unforeseen problems.

SCS added that the effect of the slightly delayed commissioning would mean that some revenues forecast for the second half of 2006 will be delayed into early 2007. In the six months ended June 30 pre-tax losses came in at £1.12 million compared to 1.08m in the same period last year. Revenues slipped to £494K from £681K.

Founded in 1994, SCS has exclusive licensing rights to University of Edinburgh intellectual property. It was Australian-owned before raising substantial private equity, at which point a new holding company was launched.

The company’s cultures of cells provide substantial additional data about toxicity and interactions with a cell’s basic biochemistry in a single test. SCS already has licensing deals with Big Pharma players such as Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, and GlaxoSmithKline.

Its people credentials are also highly impressive: Dr Mountford sits on Chancellor Gordon Brown’s elite stem cell research think tank. And Stem Cell Sciences’ chairman is Michael Dexter, formerly director of The Wellcome Trust.

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