Cellesce receives further funding to commercialise its Organoid Expansion technology

Cellesce receives further funding

The Cellesce Team – Julian Chaudhuri, Nicholas Duggan, Marianne Ellis, Phil Barnes (Finance Wales) and Trevor Dale

Cardiff-based life sciences company Cellesce is continuing to develop its organoid research thanks to a recent six-figure funding round led by Finance Wales. This injection of new capital will enable Cellesce to continue development of its organoid expansion technology and establish its growing team in the GE Innovation Village in Cardiff.

Cellesce Founder and CTO, Marianne Ellis said: “I am very proud of what Cellesce has achieved to date. We have taken an idea, which emanated from the University of Bath, and together with our colleagues at Cardiff University have built this new technology.

“The initial funding we received from Innovate UK and NC3Rs helped us to make great progress. This significant additional investment will enable both further development of the Cellesce cell expansion process and further our ambition to become a significant player in the emerging organoid sector.”


What are organoids?

 Organoids are the future of medical research. They allow researchers the opportunity to test new forms of treatment on groups of cells, which more closely resemble the target cells in a person.

“Organoids are derived from stem cells and grown in a lab. They are clusters of cells that grow into minute versions of organs. They display the three-dimensional characteristics and physiology of real organs, offering unique possibilities for medical research focused on drug discovery and personalised medicine,” added Marianne.

Cellesce’s technology focuses on expansion, ensuring that there are enough organoids of sufficient quality to enable their application by the pharmaceutical industry. It forms a valuable building block that promises to enable widespread adoption of organoids.

“Cellesce is an exciting start up, which is poised to take advantage of fast evolving organoid technology,” explained Finance Wales Investment Executive Philip Barnes. “The company has high growth potential and is making exciting progress in an important area of medical research.”

CEO Nicholas Duggan added: “Cellesce is delighted to have secured the investment and support of Finance Wales. We are now in an exciting phase of our development, as we come out of academia and begin to commercialise a technology that promises to revolutionise several areas of medical research. We will be working closely with our partners to take our expansion technology to the next stage, which we hope will see Cellesce becoming the leading provider of organoid expansion services across the sector.”

Successful Completion of Organoid Technology project

Cellesce Logo ® for Enfold

Cellesce is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed its organoid technology development project. Funded by InnovateUK (the UK’s innovation agency) and NC3Rs (leading the discovery and application of new technologies and approaches to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals for scientific purposes), the project ran from September 2014 to February 2016. Cellesce now has a process for the production of organoids at commercial grade and scale.

Organoids are a powerful new enabling technology in drug discovery and personalised medicine. An organoid is a miniature organ in a gel matrix, grown from stem cells and cultured with tailored growth factors. Because organoids are closer to tissue structure than other available tools, they give more accurate test results. However, up to now, growing organoids has been a labour-intensive manual process, subject to human error, volume constraints, and with significant process variability.

Cellesce has built and validated a scalable process for the expansion of organoids, free from these constraints – and is currently using this process to expand colorectal cancer organoids.

We are currently exploring opportunities to deploy this technology across a range of applications.

Successful seed fundraising round and appointment of non-executive directors

Cellesce has successfully raised funds which will be used to complete the development of an innovative process for the expansion of organoids.

Organoid models are a powerful new enabling technology in cancer drug discovery. Because organoids are closer to in vivo tissue structure than other available models, they give more accurate responses to drug candidates. Using organoids in drug discovery assays, pharmaceutical companies can pick ‘winners’ earlier and weed out ‘losers’ before incurring high development costs.


We are pleased to welcome four non-executive directors to the board. John Allbrook will join as the board as Chairman. Francis Bealin Kelly, Mark Cole and Chris Thompson bring a wealth of experience in building and running new technology businesses.

Cellesce and Cardiff University Collaborate on Organoid Project for Drug Screening


Cellesce is partnering with world-leading researchers at Cardiff University in an Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency and NC3Rs funded project to test the use of bioreactor and bioprocessing in the culture of organoids to enable market-wide drug screening. Cellesce, led by Dr Marianne Ellis, will be using its biochemical engineering expertise to develop a […]