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Indian stem cell companies seek UK links

Leading Indian stem cell companies are in the UK this week to seek ways to build links with the UK stem cell sector

Leading Indian stem cell companies are in the UK this week to seek ways to build links with the UK stem cell sector. The visit is arranged by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), which also helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy, and the companies begin their visit in London and then go on to Cambridge and Edinburgh.  

Offering clear explanations of the UK regulatory system and an insight into the way UK companies work, the UKTI trade mission aims to ease the way for Indian firms into the UK stem cell industry. 

Sir Andrew Cahn, chief executive of UKTI, welcomed the visit to the UK, which is ranked as the top location in Europe for attracting R&D investment in life sciences.  

Sir Andrew Cahn said: "Ranging from industry leaders in India to niche firms, UKTI is introducing these potential business partners to our world-leading innovators in stem cells. 

"India is a strong economy with tremendous growth and diversification plans. I want to ensure British business continues to be the global partner of choice - and that British firms seize the chance to be part of India's growth." 

Visitors include: LifeCell, India's largest private stem cell bank and stem cells solutions provider, Manipal Acunova, leaders in stem cell clinical trials in India and winners of 2007 'Partner of Choice' Award by Frost & Sullivan India for BA/BE services, and Reliance Life Sciences, which set up the first cord blood repository in South Asia. 

The UK government supports innovation with schemes such as the Patent Box, which will apply a low corporation tax rate of only 10 per cent after April 2013 to income from UK-derived patents. 

As a recent example, world-leading biotech company RNLBio chose the UK over Germany and Spain for its European research and development headquarters in Newcastle, England. The South Korean firm provides veterinarians with stem cell therapies for kidney failure, spinal cord injury and osteoarthritis, and is exploring Beurger's disease and degenerative arthritis. With help from UKTI, the company chose to partner with Newcastle Medical School.  

"Without UKTI's help, we would have had to spend a huge amount of time and expense trying to obtain all the required information on stem cell therapeutics and possible business partners in the UK. My advice to any other companies considering investing in the UK is to contact UKTI and follow their guide," said Jeong-Chan Ra, chief executive officer of RNLBio.

17th March 2010

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