Improving recovery rates one regenerative tissue at a time
Based at the Harwell campus near Didcot is the Electrospinning Company, a UK start up that develops, designs, and manufactures Nano fibrous biomaterials for tissue regenerative devices.
This technology can be used to great effect in shoulder joint operations that involve reconnecting bone to tendon, which often do not heal as intended. By implanting a biomaterial alongside traditional surgical devices, the time taken to heal is much shorter and the chances of success significantly improved. The Company’s biomaterials are sold to medical device companies who sell products into health care providers.
Heading the company is Ann Kramer, a graduate from Cambridge University, having studied natural science.
Ann first came across the Electrospinning Company when Mark White, from the Rainbow Seed Fund persuaded Ann to become CEO in November 2011. Ann instantly accepted and has since been tasked with building the Electrospinning Company from the ground up. It has been the type of challenge that Ann has been relishing.
“When I first arrived there, I was the only employee who with a background in product development. There was very little traction or infrastructure to start the process of driving towards commercialisation. Grants from Innovate UK and the EU were key turning points as they allowed us to collaborate with cell biologists to improve product development and set us on a path to commercialisation. We built the competencies to design and manufacture materials that can be implanted into people, including the ISO13485 quality certification. Electrospinning’s materials are included in a product with FDA certification, enabling it to be sold in America.”
Growth – how we helped
Ann and her team are now working with a range of partners on products that will aid patients with wound healing in different indications such as corneal transplantation and brain surgery.
This extra time spent on product development has meant that the Electrospinning Company’s team has grown to 14.
“The US is obviously a major part of the plan, not only because of the size of the market, but also the ease in which you can do business. There is this perception that negotiating the 50 states in America is complicated, however, we have found the reality to be different, which is in part due to the influence and credibility that FDA certification carries in America. The culture is also tailor made to do business and we intend to continue to expand our footprint in America, where currently 60% of our revenue is generated. We will look to consolidate our position in the European market and then look to expand to Japan and China. These markets will give us a balance between two established markets in the form of Europe and America, and potentially high growth markets in Asia, where the developing middle class, and increasing accessibility to markets is very exciting!”
Alexander Sleigh, Investment Director is confident about the future prospects of Ann and her team. “We see a growing market for companies to create synthetic, bio compatible products with superior properties to that of more mainstream materials still used in surgery today. The Electrospinning Company sits at the centre of this market, a position we are confident they will maintain with the assured management team, and product development being managed and monitored by Ann’s excellent leadership”.