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London - The drug research field of cell therapy received a boost on Friday when British biotech company ReNeuron raised 68.4 million pounds ($106 million) to help fund its work into stroke, blindness and cancer.
ReNeuron, which has been toiling away at developing stem cell treatments since being founded in 1997, said it was the largest funding round in the cell therapy sector globally this year.
The company uses stem cells from a tissue bank that were originally derived from an aborted foetus, rather than embryos, to produce “off-the-shelf” treatments for patients.
Its over-subscribed share placing, priced at 5 pence a share, or a 2.5 percent premium to the July 9 closing level, underscores investor interest in a technology that could upend care for several serious diseases.
Fund manager Neil Woodford is among those backing the company and his Woodford Investment Management group is raising its stake in ReNeuron through the placing to an estimated 35.5 percent.
ReNeuron's CE, Olav Hellebo, said the cell therapy field had been lagging somewhat behind gene therapy in the past two years but was catching up.
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