Avanti Cell Science share their exporting experience

AvantiCell Science specialises in the isolation and culture of human primary cells for use in preclinical drug development and in vitro testing of materials ranging from natural therapeutics to traditional medicines, food components and medical devices. The company offers an alternative to animal testing: human primary cells isolated from ethically-sourced tissue, when cultured under appropriate conditions, deliver analytical predictive value i.e. results likely to indicate how the test material will behave in the human body. The company continually invests in technology development and secured European R&D funding, via SME Instrument Phase II and Fast Track to Innovation Pilot (FTIP), to support development of leading-edge technologies for bio-printing of advanced 3D cell models and “Cryotixä”– cryopreservation of pre-assembled analytical tools. The recent launch of innovative hepatic organoid cultures as novel tools for hepatotoxicity screening is an example of the output from this investment. Colin Wilde (AvantiCell’s CSO) says “These analytical tools, and their preclinical predictive value, offer the prospect of faster, more efficient progress towards better drugs, more effective chemotherapy, and improved healthcare, because of improved early selection (or de-selection) of candidate molecules or materials.”

AvantiCell’s human cell products can be purchased ’off-the-shelf’ to be used in customers’ own labs or companies can take advantage of AvantiCell’s contract research services. Expertise covers major therapeutic areas, with a range of specialised services focused on diabetes, fibrosis, inflammatory responses and skin sensitisation assays. According to Colin “with AvantiCell’s technology being based on physiologically relevant human primary cells, its services complement the wider cluster of Scottish companies offering innovative solutions to support preclinical drug discovery.

AvantiCell’s target customers are pharmaceutical companies and other organisations engaged in therapeutic discovery, research laboratories and academic researchers. They range from conventional pharmaceutical players to SMEs wishing to evaluate the bioactivity and biocompatibility of materials such as natural products, food components or medical biomaterials. Colin says “the common theme across industry sectors is our cell models’ ability to provide our customers, at an early stage, with high-quality, predictive results which inform their further investment (or otherwise) in new molecules or materials.”

The company has successfully built customer bases in several overseas markets, notably in Japan and South-East Asia. To support this international activity, AvantiCell regularly participates in outreach activities at industry international events. These have recently involved an SDI-supported UK-Japan Life Innovation Workshop in Tokyo; the second largest healthcare exhibition, Arab Health, held in Dubai earlier this year; the World Preclinical Congress held in Lisbon, Portugal and an Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) Overseas Trade Fair mission to the Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS) event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Colin reflects “As a small company, opportunities to promote our business at international trade fairs are challenging in terms of resource required, organisational input, staff resource and financial commitment. However, the benefits from such attendance are evident and warrant our strong commitment to following up contacts and new business leads. In this, the support of organisations such as SDI has been valuable and often critical to the establishment or renewal of business connections in remote markets.”

Online marketplaces also give AvantiCell a platform to showcase its products and services to a global market sector. Sisely Parks, AvantiCell’s Sales Manager, noted that “the company has embraced both the established website-based opportunities and those offered by social media, opening access to countries and potential customers we might otherwise not have access to. Although location can sometimes be the difference between a signed contract or not depending on where the customer is based, AvantiCell’s technical competences and customised delivery to our clients have been important factors in securing new business.”

Find out more about AvantiCell here or by contacting sales@avanticell.com.

AvantiCell’sSisely Parks (Sales Manager) and Elfi Töpfer (BioprintingTeam Leader) at Arab Health 2018