LONDON, January 19 Excalibur, the internationalinvestment house specialising in medical sciences, said today the UK must'maintain its momentum' to deliver pioneering stem cell treatments if it isto remain at the forefront of medical technology.
Professor Sir Christopher Evans, founder and chairman of Excalibur,welcomed the announcement that ReNeuron plc has received approval from the UKMedicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to commence afirst-in-man clinical trial for the treatment of patients who have been leftdisabled by an ischaemic stroke.
Sir Christopher said: "We founded ReNeuron with Dr John Sinden and haveinvested in the company every step of the way for the last 10 years. We areproud the company has now reached this important milestone in its developmentof cell therapy treatment for stroke. There have been many scientific andfinancial hurdles to overcome during these years but we were determined tosee this through.
"It is absolutely essential that we in the UK maintain our momentum instem cell development and our belief in our ability to deliver thesepotentially revolutionary treatments. Too often in this country there is atendency to focus on potentially negative outcomes but today's announcementis extremely important news for victims of stroke. At the end of the daylives - and the future of medicine in this area -- could be transformed bythis science."
NOTES TO EDITORS
Excalibur was launched in April 2008 following the acquisition of MVIL byMerlin Biosciences. Excalibur, which has a team of ten professionals,provides a wide range of investment and advisory services to the medicalsciences sector. Its latest fund, Merlin Fund III, has successfully investedin a wide range of healthcare and medical sciences companies includingPIramed which was sold for $185m in May 2008. Excalibur intends to replicatethis successful investment strategy in the new funds that it is proposing tolaunch over the next 12 months.
Merlin originally founded ReNeuron in 1998 and has provided funding forthe company over the last 10 years through Merlin 's Fund l and ll and hascontinued to invest in and support the company.
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