UCL News


UCL signs business agreement with Sewon Cellontech

12 February 2007

UCL Business plc and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust (RNOH) have signed an agreement with Sewon Cellontech (SC) of South Korea to collaborate on new laboratories that will develop clinical cell therapeutic treatments for cartilage repair and bone fracture healing.

Sewon Cellontech signing The techniques use stem cells derived from the patient's own bone marrow and cartilage tissue with the potential to alleviate the need for radical surgery.

The UCL Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science (IOMS) at the RNOH Stanmore will be the location for the new stem cell regenerative medical laboratories. It is the intention that a joint-venture company will be established between SC and UCL Business. SC plan to provide an investment of £1m to establish a fully-equipped state-of-the-art laboratory to develop stem cells for clinical orthopaedic procedures while UCL Business will secure the funding of an equivalent amount for the provision of commercial infrastructure. It is envisaged that, with the IOMS and its world-leading academics, other cell therapies will feed into the new facility for the benefit of future patients. All of these therapies will be clinically trialled at the RNOH Stanmore.

It is anticipated that this new joint-venture company will lead to the creation of a new technologically advanced enterprise that will be of benefit to the UK's knowledge-driven economy, and it is expected that the therapies developed will lead to significant cost savings for the NHS through a reduction in patient recovery times and rehabilitation costs, also giving patients an enhanced quality of life.

To read the full press release, click here.

Image: (l-r) Cengiz Tarhan, Managing Director, UCL Business PLC; Martin Ferguson-Pell, Director of Research & Development, RNOH; Henry Kwon, Vice President, Sewon Cellontech Co. Ltd.; Chang Cheong-Ho, Chairman, Sewon Cellontech Co. Ltd.; Andrew Woodhead, Chief Executive, RNOH; Howard Klevens, International Consultant, Sewon Cellontech Co. Ltd.; Mike Spyer, Vice Provost (Enterprise), UCL; and UCL President and Provost Professor Malcolm Grant