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Newcells Biotech (“Newcells”), a leading drug discovery partner specializing in the development of in vitro models and bespoke assay services to improve the prediction of in vivo human outcomes, today announced key leadership changes within its executive team, including Dr. Valeria Chichagova’s promotion to the role of Director of Technology. Dr Colin Brown moves to become Chief Scientific Officer and Professor Lyle Armstrong, the Company’s Co-Founder, will take the role of Scientific Advisor. The Company also announced new commercial appointments within its US team to further support its global customer network. Following a year of rapid growth, these appointments demonstrate Newcells’ continued focus on driving expansion and technological innovation in response to increased market demand for new approach methods (NAMs) in drug discovery workflows.

In her new role as Director of Technology, Valeria will drive the development of products and services that align with Newcells’ strategic goals and advance its market position. She will lead the team responsible for new product innovation across all platforms to enhance existing models and develop new capabilities. Previously Associate Director of iPSC Technology and Head of Retina, Valeria established the Company’s ocular platform, having effectively led the first-to-market launch of retinal organoids and the further commercialization of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in vitro models. Building on her expertise, in this new overarching role, she will ensure increased capacity for innovation and boost R&D efficiency by leveraging best practice sharing across Newcells’ platform portfolio.

A renowned expert in kidney research, Colin has overseen the development and commercialization of Newcells’ kidney platform, several primary cell-based assays for measuring kidney transport and toxicity, and authored over 100 publications in the field. He joined in 2018 as Chief Innovation Officer, following nearly 30 years at Newcastle University as an Associate Professor in the Institute of Cell & Molecular Biosciences. Leveraging his deep expertise in the field in developing predictive in vitro models, as CSO, Colin will continue to shape the Company’s technological advances, promote scientific excellence and mentor the growing technology team.

Lyle co-founded Newcells with Dr Mike Nicholds, CEO, in 2015 as a spin-out from Newcastle University. In his new role as Scientific Advisor and as an existing Board member, he will continue to support the Company in delivering the vision that inspired the company’s formation. Alongside this, Lyle continues as a Professor for Cellular Reprogramming at the University, leading a highly-respected research group focussed on using human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to develop new drug discovery tools and therapies.

The commercial roles joining the US team support Newcells’ broader expansion strategy; strengthening its technical expertise within a key international market. The new positions provide US customers with access to expanded local support for the Company’s in vitro models.

Dr Mike Nicholds, CEO and Co-Founder, Newcells Biotech, commented:At Newcells, we have built an industry-leading reputation for developing and applying models of human tissues to accelerate clinical translation in drug discovery. The deep expertise across our company is something we’re incredibly proud of. I’m delighted to congratulate Valeria and Colin on their new roles, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with Lyle to realise the vision we have for the Company. I welcome our new team members in the US as we continue on this exciting growth trajectory and bring more innovative solutions to our customers. In doing so, we push ahead with our mission to de-risk discovery and development and help bring innovative new medicines to market, faster.”

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Assay, Cell, Drug Discovery, in vitro, in vivo, Kidney, Research, Technology

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