Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 15.27.37A North East based pre-clinical service provider has secured funding worth £117,000 from Innovate UK’s Process Industries North East Launchpad competition for R&D funding.

Alcyomics – headquartered in Newcastle University – has been awarded the funding to develop a novel proof of concept human skin model to be utilised in early stage pre-clinical testing that will allow their clients to make financial savings, whilst decreasing testing times.

The innovative model to be developed with the funding is an expansion of the company’s existing technologies based around unique patented and trademarked human skin explant assays (Skimune™). These assays form the basis of the Skimune™ technologies which can be used as diagnostic tools to test drugs and compounds for potential allergic or hypersensitivity reaction.

Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, invested up to £1m in innovative research and development projects – including Alcyomics – through the Launchpad competition aimed at businesses in the process industries.

Speaking about the secured funding, Anne Dickinson, Founder and Director at Alcyomics said: “We are delighted to be recognised as one of the North East’s most innovative companies. The funding will allow us to develop our technologies even further whilst commercialising our unique concept which will be the first of its type in the industry.

“Reacting to our clients growing needs, the new model will allow our testing to be more scalable and efficient which, as such, will allow our clients to save time and money, an increasingly important factor in our industry.”

“Competitions such as this provide a great opportunity for companies like ours to gain a faster route to market, and as such, it is extremely rewarding to secure funding from Process Industries North East Launchpad and to know they recognise the potential and commercial opportunity of the Alcyomics model.   

Alcyomics Skimune™ technology safely mimics the human immune response in the lab. The company’s unique technology is the only non-animal safety test available on the market which can predict whether or not a drug or chemical will cause an adverse immune response in man. 

The current technology relies on utilising human skin and blood donated from healthy volunteers. The new model can carry out a greater number of tests meaning less volunteers are required to participate and which enables costs to be significantly reduced.

Anne added: “The funding will further enable Alcyomics to optimise manufacturing whilst ensuring quality and regulatory compliance. We strongly believe our new model will strengthen our core offering and provide a distinctive approach to pre-clinical testing which will significantly appeal to our existing and future clients.”

The company plan to work with its existing North East process sector cluster clients to trial the new model. To help support the development, Alcyomics is looking to recruit up to two new members of staff.

Building on 30 years’ research experience, Alcyomics was founded in 2007 providing pre-clinical testing to the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The company has successfully secured a host of funding from Enterprise Development North East Limited (EDNE), UKTI right through to Eurostars to assist with the development of its unique patented and trademarked human skin explant assays.