Axol Bioscience listed on SyndicateRoom, which alone accounts for more than 40 per cent of Europe’s total number of life science raises
Massive investor interest in Axol Bioscience led to the campaign, originally seeking £600,000, to reach a revised overfunding limit of £1 million.
The Cambridge based stem cell technology company listed on SyndicateRoom exceeded is funding target by 162 per cent, adding to the crowdfunding platform’s long list of bioscience campaigns. SyndicateRoom alone accounts for more than 40 per cent of Europe’s total number of life science raises.
According to Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, CEO and co-founder of SyndicateRoom, many people contacted the platform after the round closed to ask if they could still contribute. “This is a tremendous endorsement of both the team and its technology, and another sign that investors have an increasing appetite for more sophisticated opportunities, most notably in the life sciences industry,” he said.
A question of ethics
Stem cell research has evolved through the years in light of activists and researchers pushing for a replacement to animal testing. Beyond ethics, animal testing is widely viewed as expensive, unreliable and immoral. Using a Nobel Prize-winning IP, Axol Biosciences has found a way to produce stem cells from human blood and skin cells which can then be turned into heart cells, brain cells and blood vessel cells and used for scientific research. These cells are created in Axol’s labs, and have been used by many pharmaceutical companies and research institutes. Customers include Janssen Pharmaceutica, Pfizer, Nestle, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Kings College London, Harvard University and Aston University.
A growing market
The global cell-based market is projected to be worth over $1.8 billion by 2020. The rapid evolution of cell biology research means that researchers require a constant supply of cell types and genetic backgrounds. Immediate access to human cell types of specific genetic background is increasingly essential for R&D.
Most biotechnology companies are slow to achieve revenue and profit, yeta statement issued today confirms that Axol has already totalled revenues exceeding $1 million from a roster of blue chip clients.
Axol’s CEO and co-founder, Dr Yichen Shi identified the need for a high-quality supplier of human cells during his doctorate in neuroscience and stem cell biology at the University of Cambridge. Since the company’s humble beginnings just over two year ago, Axol’s leadership team has grown to include a Chief Scientific Officer, Professor Xianmin Zeng, and Dr Paul Bello as Director of Operations .
In line with SyndicateRoom’s ‘investor-led’ model, members invested in Axol on the same economic terms as the lead investors. These were Dr Darrin Disley, CEO of Horizon Discovery Group plc, and super angel Dr Jonathan Milner. According to Dr Milner, Axol’s co-founder, Dr Shi is ‘a very exciting young entrepreneur who can walk through walls’- glowing endorsement for this fast-growing business.