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£1m funding for skin care firm could lead to alternatives to animal testing

By Jack Urquhart

AFTER reaching nearly one million pounds in funding, a University of Dundee Spinout company hopes to branch out its skin testing technology.

Dundee based company Ten Bio Ltd will be able to provide a viable alternative for many experiments currently performed on animals by commercialising the human skin culture system. 

The investment of £911,000 from Scottish Enterprise and Tricapital Ltd will enable the company to progress its mission to transform the testing of new pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

Founders of Ten Bio LTD
Ten Bio to establish new skin testing technology in USA

The company which started in The University of Dundee’s school of life sciences department, will launch the company’s brand in the US, where the majority of potential customers are based.  

Moray Martin, CEO of TRICAP, said, “TRICAP is delighted to be supporting the excellent Ten Bio team as they transition from the laboratory into the commercial world.”

Ten Bio Founders Dr Robyn Hickersonand Dr Michael Conneely were initially developing explant skin models to enable their drug discovery programmes.

They are hoping to provide companies with a reliable, tunable skin testing model as all Pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies have to test their products rigorously before they are administered to humans.

Dr David McBeth, Director of Research and Innovation Services at Dundee, said, “Dundee is rightly becoming recognised as a really exciting UK location for life sciences and health-related spin-out companies and this transformational investment in Ten Bio is one of several investments in University spin-outs that we expect to see complete this year.”

The company’s founders have created a patented, human skin culture system that closely mimics intact, living skin. TenSkin™ stretches human skin to an optimal tension to mimic the mechanobiology that exists in skin on our bodies.

This provides a state-of-the-art tool for skin biology research and pharmaceutical and cosmetics testing.

Ten Bio is opening a laboratory in Kannapolis, North Carolina from where it will serve its US-based customers. The near one million pound investment will enable Ten Bio to continue the roll-out of its service business and to develop further product offerings.

The company has already signed research contracts with global companies, and it is anticipated that the first products will soon be available in the US market.

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