Sheffield’s Electronic “Rat”: Kind to Animals and a Real Source of Prosperity
Kirkstall Ltd is a biotechnology company developing a "rat analogue" that can be used to test the safety and toxicity of chemicals, drug candidates and cosmetic ingredients using in-vitro techniques that will reduce the use of animals.
The “electronic rat” has the potential to provide huge cost savings in the pharmaceutical industry by allowing companies to screen out unsuitable drug candidates at a much earlier stage of development.
Malcom Wilkinson, MD of Kirkstall explained, "We have an exclusive world-wide licence to a patented multi-chamber bioreactor (MCB) technology which combines leading edge research from bioscience, microelectronics, microfluidics and optics to create cell based assays that will accurately mimic human metabolism"
Malcolm added: "The support I have received from the Sheffield Bioincubator team has been outstanding. Within a few months of moving the business from Cambridge, we had collaborations in place with two University Departments. Sheffield really is a great place to start a biotech business."
Kirkstall relocated to Sheffield in 2007 from the Cambridge area to take advantage of the world-leading expertise at University of Sheffield in areas such as Tissue Engineering and Toxicity.