Life Science Group secures grant funding for CellShip

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Life Science Group (LSG), one of the UK’s leading suppliers of life science manufacturing and research solutions, has secured financial support from Medilink Midlands to help develop its CellShip® product.

CellShip® is a unique medium that allows cells to be transported without the need for dry ice, or for the cells to be fully frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen with all the issues for transport that this produces.

Innovation advisors from Medilink Midlands worked with Life Science Group to obtain an SNG grant for the company to attend an online cell culture conference (Best-of Biotherapeutics Analytical Summit: Cell & Gene Therapy Analytics) and have recently had approval for a £57,000 ACTIS ISG grant supported project towards development of a GMP/GLP cleanroom to enable the company to further investigate and develop their innovative CellShip® product. The ISG and SNG grant funding was provided as part of the Medilink Midlands ACTIS programme, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Jenny Murray, Managing Director, Life Science Group Ltd, said: “We are thankful to Medilink Midlands for helping us secure grant funding, without it we could not complete our development to make use of an opportunity for CellShip® in Spring 2022.”

Jenny explained “The conventional method of sending cells from A to B globally has been as frozen samples dispatched by courier in several kilograms of dry ice. From storage to delivery, the cost is high and the procedure hazardous, with many couriers refusing to take cargo on dry ice. Delay in transit is common (e.g., slow customs inspection), and when this occurs the dry ice often evaporates, leaving the cells at risk of damage.  Also, cells are typically bathed in cryoprotectant (10% DMSO), which is cytotoxic.   While cell culture facilities will most likely continue to use this mode of shipping because their collections are held in liquid nitrogen, other methods are being investigated that minimise these frustrations and maximise cell recovery post transit. There is, therefore, a need for a simple, inexpensive, and non-hazardous method of transporting cell cultures between collaborators, researchers, and medical professionals, particularly where bespoke cell lines are becoming essential to supporting health. CellShip® allows cells to be transported without the need for dry ice or for the cells to be fully frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen with all the issues for transport that this produces.” 

LSG is now at the end stage of the development of their innovative cell support medium, but still needs to conduct final testing as well as looking at the regulatory landscape to manufacture this product. During COVID, LSG experienced severe issues with access to laboratories able to provide end stage testing support for regulatory approval of cell line and carrier solution products. The research funding will help to develop this unique product for market using its own laboratories.

As members of Medilink Midlands, the company has also benefited from 15% discounts for marketing support through Agora Marketing Communications Ltd. This has enabled the Life Science Group to proactively plan for the future and begin to implement a number of marketing initiatives to raise awareness of CellShip®, its other products and services, and the company itself.

Life Science Group Ltd offer technical expertise and experience to provide traceable, customisable solutions through its three divisions of: Life Science Production, Antibody Production Services and Diagnostic Kit Services.

LSG will be exhibiting at the 10th Annual Cell Culture & Bioprocessing Congress at the Novotel London West Hotel in London on the 28th and 29th October 2021.