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Upside Biotechnologies wins $409k research grant, building closer ties with US Army

Tuesday 30th January 2018

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Upside Biotechnologies, a regenerative tissue developer spun out of Auckland University, has won a $409,000 research grant to prepare its PelliCel product for a clinical trial and deepening its existing relationship with the US Army. 

Auckland-based Upside, which raised $2.3 million last year, won the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) prototype acceleration award, it said in a statement. The biotech firm is developing an advanced skin replacement treatment for burn victims, enabling a small sample of unburnt skin to be grown in a lab and used as skin grafts for patients who don't have enough uninjured skin for a conventional graft. 

"Burns are a major issue for military personnel and Upside’s pioneering technology is designed to improve outcomes in those individuals who suffer from large burns," chief executive Robert Feldman said. "The award will support Upside Biotechnologies to ready its product, PelliCel, for a clinical trial." 

Last year, Upside signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to collaborate on the scientific and regulatory sides of its technology. 

The New Zealand firm's investors include ICE Angels Nominees, which represent investment from both ICE Angels Individuals and Tuhua Ventures, Auckland Uniservices, Cure Kids Ventures, the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, and Stephen Tindall's K One W One. 


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