Dr Emma Sceats of organ-on-a-chip firm CN Bio Innovations wins Innovate UK’s infocus Women in Innovation award

Welwyn Garden City, UK- 15th November 2016:

Following a nationwide competition, CEO of London bioengineering firm CN Bio Innovations Dr Emma Sceats has been named as a winner of Innovate UK’s infocus Women in Innovation award. The awards will be celebrated as part of the Lloyds National Business Awards in London tonight.

Innovate UK’s infocus awards aim to celebrate, support and enable women in innovation through a tailored package of support as well as a grant of £50,000 given for further development of each winner’s project.

At CN Bio Innovations Dr Sceats has impressed collaborators, investors and clients with her vision for developing organ-on-a-chip technologies. The company’s smart-phone sized devices enable human cells to reform tissues and organ-like structures which can then be linked together on the chip to form connected multi-organ systems.  CN Bio’s devices have been used extensively by pharmaceutical researchers to test and predict how a new medicine might act on real human organs – replacing and improving on animal testing.

“Our aim is to provide pharma and biotech companies with better tools to speed up the process of finding and assessing medicines,” said Dr Sceats.

“It is both possible and necessary to replace the process of testing new medicines on animals such as mice – the current standard process for assessing whether a drug is safe and well tolerated – with earlier, more precise testing on actual human cells. We’ve already worked with over 25 companies providing services to do this using our technology.

“This award from Innovate UK gives both me and my team an enormous boost. I’d like to thank them and to encourage other women to pursue their business ideas, particularly if what they’re proposing could be a game-changer for their industry.”

Over the last four years, Dr Sceats has assembled an expert team of scientists and engineers and a panel of clinicians and senior industry advisors. She has negotiated rights to intellectual property from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other academic institutions.

CN Bio Innovations is the commercial partner on a $26M US Government contract to develop a human body-on-a-chip technology. In June, the company and its collaborators gave the first public demonstration of a 7-organ platform at the Organ-on-Chip World Congress in Boston.

High resolution images of Dr Emma Sceats and the organ-on-a-chip technology are available.

Enquiries:   Dr Roumteen Keshe          E: Roumteen.Keshe@cn-bio.com
.                    Business Development    W: www.cn-bio.com
.                                                                    T: +44-1707358739

.                         Renate Krelle                      E: renate.krelle@oxfordtechmarketing.com

About Dr Emma Sceats

Dr Emma Sceats is CEO of CN Bio Innovations, an Oxford University spin-out company that uses human organ-on-a-chip technology to advance drug discovery and drug safety research. Formerly responsible for managing technology transfer at Oxford University, and with over a decade of experience in licensing and university spin-outs, Emma joined CN Bio Innovations in 2010 as a commercial manager working on sales, marketing and business development. She was appointed CEO in January 2016. Emma has developed sales and partnering initiatives with major pharmaceutical organisations and overseen academic research and licensing programs, including with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that have led to the development of CN Bio Innovations’ leading technologies and IP. Emma obtained a DPhil in Chemistry from Oxford University after graduating from MIT in 2004 (M.S. Chemistry).

About CN Bio Innovations

CN Bio Innovations is part of Hong Kong-based CN Innovations Holdings Limited. CN Bio develops human organ-on-a-chip technologies: devices that enable the formation of miniature models of organs in the lab using living human cells.  The company provides products and services to the pharmaceutical industry and in the past 3 years CN Bio has used its proprietary organ-on-chip models in drug discovery and drug safety programs with more than 25 pharmaceutical companies.  The company has also pursued research to develop diseased organ-on-chip models with successful programmes resulting in novel models of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and Hepatitis B virus infection.

Working closely with academic pioneers in the bio-engineering field, and backed by prestigious grant awards from sponsors including the United States Government and UK Technology Strategy Board, CN Bio continues to develop next generation human organs-on-chips which will improve the quality of life for millions of people around the world by fast tracking breakthrough therapies to market.

About Innovate UK:

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. We are business focused and drive disruptive innovation. We fund and connect pioneering businesses so they can create the products, processes and industries of the future. We boost productivity, increase exports and help the UK economy grow. For further information and to stay updated on our latest news visit www.gov.uk/innovateuk, follow us on Twitter at @innovateuk or subscribe to our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/InnovateUK.

About the infocus campaign:

The infocus campaign is intended to be an umbrella communications campaign, designed to be flexible enough to underpin our chosen areas of focus in support of our diversity agenda.  We are committed to improving our diversity and inclusion work as an investor, partner and employer. Our first focus area is addressing the disproportionately low numbers of women entrepreneurs engaging with Innovate UK.

  • The proportion of UK women in entrepreneurial activity is around half the level of men[1]
  • Boosting female entrepreneurship could deliver approximately £180bn to the UK economy[1]
  • Innovate UK challenges the gender imbalance with the Women in Innovation infocus awards

[1]Deloitte, Women entrepreneurs report, April 2016, comparison between working age men and women engaged in early stage entrepreneur activity.

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