Happy 9th Birthday Solentim – and what a year this one has been!
Solentim is nine years old, and what better way to mark this landmark than to take a look back over the events of the past few years – it has been an exciting time for the Company.
Almost exactly a year ago, in June 2018, we visited Buckingham Palace following our success in winning two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, the first for Innovation and the second for International Trade. The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are regarded as the UK’s most prestigious business awards, given only to companies or individuals exceptional in their field. The Awards were presented to the Company in October by HM Lord-lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell at Solentim’s headquarters in Wimborne, followed by a keynote speech given by Dr Mark Stockdale from Horizon Discovery.
Joining the top 50
2018 was a year of awards – November saw Solentim named as one of the top 50 fastest growing UK technology companies of 2018 in the Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 list, following a 1,106% revenue growth over the previous 4 years. The Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 is one of the UK’s foremost technology award programmes, celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship. This growth has been accompanied by an ongoing increase in sales, with worldwide order values increasing by over 80% year-on-year in 2016, and nine out of the Top Ten Pharma purchasing our first product, Cell Metric, for their biotherapeutic cell line development. We have also continued to grow our team, including the appointment of Claire Richards (formerly from Horizon)as Head of Biological Science.
Helping our customers innovate
One of the milestones of the past couple of years came in 2017 with the launch of our third major product, the single cell dispensing system for cell line development – the VIPS™ (‘Validated In-situ Plate Seeding’). This unique, all-in-one instrument performs single cell seeding into 96 well plates, verifies the success of this process by imaging the nanolitre (nL) volume droplets, and performs whole well imaging of the single cell for the assurance of clonality requirements. VIPS has now become established in the single cell printer market as the second generation platform for isolating single cells.
The past 6months have marked the start of a new and exciting phase for Solentim, as we embarked upon multiple collaborative, strategic partnerships:
- January 2019: Technology collaboration with the bioengineering company ATUMto promote the use of transposases to enrich the cloning pool for high producers and eliminate the need for fluorescence screening of single cells.
- February 2019: Collaboration with Valitacellto accelerate discovery and development of biologic drugs and advanced cell therapies. The announcement of this collaboration was followed by €3.5m funding for the companies to optimise the development of new biologics and cell therapies;€2.5million of this investment came under the highly competitive H2020 Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) initiative.
- April 2019: Partnership with SAL Scientific, a leading provider of growth enhancing animal component free supplements for CHO and HEK in cell line development. Under this agreement, Solentim is the exclusive worldwide distributor of the InstiGRO reagents.
With all this activity, Solentim has grown into a truly global company, with several hundred customer installations worldwide, multiple global partnerships, an expanding product base and a growing international team. We are unique in our sector, working together with our collaborators, to provide our customers with a complete eco-system for cell line development. We look forward to seeing what the next few years have in store.
Dr Ian Taylor, Chief Commercial Officer, summed this up by saying, “It has been a remarkable journey over the past 9 years and I am proud to have been there right from the start. An appropriate anecdote to our story so far is that I was humbled and gratified at the Cell Line Development Conference in San Francisco last week, where a customer came to the Conference especially to thank us for the contribution that we had made to their company with the VIPS and the Cell Metric.” Dr Taylor added, “No better words sum up where we have got to.”
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