04 September 2019

Entrepreneurial support for Stem Cell-Spinout from UCPH

Innovation

The startup company PanCryos, which is a spinout from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology at University of Copenhagen, receives a convertible loan of DKK 10 M. as well as entrepreneurial support from BioInnovation Institute, as they are enrolled in the Creation House-programme.


Developing new treatment strategies for people with type 1 diabetes is a challenge as it can be said to be an autoimmune disease. However, recent discoveries within stem cell biology indicate that scientists could be coming closer to potential treatments. It was on the basis of these discoveries that the company PanCryos was founded in 2014 as a spinout from the University of Copenhagen.

Now, PanCryos is enrolled in the Creation House-programme at the BioInnovation Institute, which is an entrepreneurial support initiative under the Novo Nordisk Foundation. With the enrollment follows access advanced labs, guidance and a convertible loan of DKK 10M.

Jacqueline Ameri is the CEO and co-founder of the spinout-company and she has been working on strategies for using human pluripotent stem cells in type 1 diabetes at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Biology, DanStem, from where she founded the company with executive director and professor, Henrik Semb.

“We are working on developing a stem cell-based cell therapy to replace the damaged insulin-producing beta cells that are mistakenly destroyed during the autoimmune disease type 1 diabetes. Having type 1 diabetes not only creates a mental burden for the patients as they must constantly monitor their disease but also for the parents of young children who suffer from it. Through stem cell therapy patients will in the future be able to live normal lives free of insulin for a best-case of up two to five years after one treatment,” says Jacqueline Ameri.

High complexity-project
The startup has already received grants from both The Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Horizon 2020 SME instrument programme of the European Union and is part of the Nordic mentor network for entrepreneurship (NOME).

Scientific Advisor at BII, Hervør Lykke Olsen, will be working with PanCryos in the Creation House programme to catalyze the startup that she believes has the potential to put Denmark on the map.

“We are very proud to have a prestigious startup like PanCryos in the portfolio. Generating insulin-producing cells to implement in patients with type 1 diabetes is highly challenging and demands scientific excellence and creativity of the research team. Many before them have tried to reach this ambitious goal and have failed for several reasons due to the high complexity of a project like this, she says.

 

Read more about PanCryos and the BioInnovation Institute