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BioTissue Technologies buys Cell-Lining

BioTissue Technologies has acquired a majority stake in Cell-Lining. BioTissue is exercising an option, concluded in June 2001, to purchase 51 per cent of the company from shareholders including Berlin-based venture capital fund, IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft.

The two German biotech companies specialise in tissue engineering, one of the largest growth markets in healthcare. Cell-Lining was founded in 1996 by former employees of Humboldt University and was initially funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). In 2000 IBB, a subsidiary of the Investitionsbank Berlin, invested in the company for a minority stake. The funding was used to finance pre-clinical trials. IBB has now sold its stake in the company as it feels it has fulfilled its aim in funding the development of the product to a point where it is marketable.

Cell-Lining currently markets primary cell cultures, perfusion chambers and perfusion culture systems. It is also developing bypass grafts coated with autologous cells. Following the partnership agreed with BioTissue last year, the company has helped advance this prosthesis product and created preconditions for its manufacturing. First clinical use of the vessel prosthesis is scheduled for this year. An unnamed investor is in place to fund the remaining development work.

BioTissue has developed treatments for defective skin, oral mucosa, bone and cartilage. The acquisition of Cell-Lining allows BioTissue to expand its portfolio, which currently includes BioSeed-S (skin replacement), MelanoSeed (pigment cell replacement), BioSeed-M (oral mucosa replacement), BioSeed-Oral Bone (3D bone replacement) and BioSeed-C (3D cartilage replacement).