Jellagen Launches Next-Gen Jellyfish Collagen Facility

Fast-growing medtech and biomaterial company, Jellagen, has opened a first-of-its-kind manufacturing facility for the extraction of high purity collagen from jellyfish.

Jellagen pitched to Angels in MedCity, MedCity’s investing programme, in November 2015, and raised £1,533,000 equity investment through our community of investors to expand its processing capacity.

The launch of this new facility in Cardiff makes them the first commercial manufacturer of jellyfish collagen for research, medical, biotech and pharmaceutical markets.

Sarah Haywood, CEO, MedCity, unveiled the commemorative plaque, and said: “I first met Jellagen back in November 2015 when we helped them to raise £1.5m through our Angels in MedCity investing programme. Their innovative idea to exploit jellyfish collagen has always intrigued me as it combines the commerciality of producing next generation biomaterial, with the environmental concerns of increasing jellyfish populations.

“I’m pleased that this funding has helped Jellagen to expand their processing capacity and I can’t wait to see the future take shape for this one-of-a-kind manufacturer.”

Professor Andrew Mearns Spragg, CEO and Founder believes Jellagen can now achieve its exciting potential and has all the foundations in place to build a successful business in Wales. Prof Spragg states, “This is a key milestone in Jellagen’s evolution. To be able to manufacture jellyfish collagen in bulk quantities enables us to supply and meet the needs of world leading medical device, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.”

Jellagen Pty Ltd is a vertical integrated business, conducting sustainable harvesting of Jellyfish off the west coast of Wales in some of Europe’s cleanest blue flag beaches

“Being located in Cardiff provides us with logistical benefits for our business. We are only a short drive away to key coastal regions for Jellyfish harvesting and our depot in Pembroke Dock but also enables us to have good access to support customers in the UK and transport links for global markets” says Professor Andrew Mearns Spragg.

Whilst collagen has been used in medical device and research applications for many years, it is typically sourced from mammalian sources, namely pig, cow, rat and horse. As they carry a risk of disease, Jellagen is pioneering the move away from mammalian sources and have developed a next generation collagen that presents unique functional benefits.

Professor Andrew Mearns Spragg explains “Jellyfish collagen is an evolutionary ancient chemical template as Jellyfish first evolved on earth some 600 million years ago. It is where all collagens up the tree of life have been derived, particularly mammalian sources. Jellyfish collagen is in essence the root of all collagens where it is compatible with a broad range of cell types which means that it represents a more universal type of collagen. This makes jellyfish collagen ideally suited to support the growth of a wide range of human cells enabling it to be an effective biomaterial for applications such as cell culture, wound care and regenerative medicine.”

Following Jellagen’s manufacturing launch, their next key step will be attaining ISO13485 certification which will be in place by the end of 2017. The launch celebrates the successes the company has achieved to date but also highlight the key opportunities that lie ahead for the business.

Huw Neale, Sales and Marketing Manager states “It is exciting to be part of a business that has developed a truly innovative and next generation biomaterial that now has the manufacturing capabilities to deliver on larger scale production. Jellagen collagen has the potential to disrupt major research and medical markets in applications such as cell culture, stem cell, regenerative medicine, cell therapies and wound care. We will implement our strategic plan to capitalise on our robust pipeline of key relationships that will enable our sales to grow and become a key manufacturing partner to our customers but also an exporter of next generation technology made in Wales.”

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