The leader of a University of Southampton spin-out company has been awarded a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to support her work in using nanoclay gel technology to transform orthopaedic surgery.
Dr Agnieszka Janeczek, CEO of Renovos, will use the Fellowship to continue this work to provide more evidence that the injectable gels can also deliver therapeutic cells, to improve bone healing and cartilage tissue regeneration. Nanoclays can hold these regenerative cells in place while providing the environment they need to grow, and to gradually replace the gels with healed tissue.
Renovos, based at the Southampton Science Park, is the pioneer of RENOVITE® gel, which allows a 100x lower dose of powerful regenerative therapeutic agent to be precisely delivered and localised to the sites where needed.
The need for long-term tissue regeneration technologies is ever increasing with both an aging population and younger, more active demographics, damaging their tissues through sports.
Dr Janeczek said: “I am extremely thrilled to have been awarded the prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship. This fellowship will allow me to further innovate in the space of nanoclay materials, focussing on cell delivery, and is an amazing opportunity to expand my team and initiate new collaborations.
“This award will help realise my vision towards the use of these industrial materials for medical applications across the wider regenerative medicine field, which has been striving for truly innovative technologies and better understanding of their effectiveness.”
Dr Janeczek’s Fellowship is part of a package of awards totalling £98 million to tackle global issues and commercialise innovations.
UKRI Chief Executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said: “The Future Leaders Fellowships provide researchers and innovators with the freedom and generous long-term support to progress adventurous new ideas, and to move across disciplinary boundaries and between academia and industry.
“The fellows announced today provide shining examples of the talented researchers and innovators across every discipline attracted to pursue their ideas in universities and businesses throughout the UK, with the potential to deliver transformative research that can be felt across society and the economy.”
Professor Oreffo said: “The UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships are extremely prestigious awards and testament to the exciting research vision to harness nanoclays for cell therapy proposed by Dr Janeczek. We are delighted to collaborate on this ground-breaking research programme with the University of Southampton spin out Renovos Biologics Limited in helping to deliver innovative regenerative medicine solutions for an increasing aging population.”
Dr Dawson added: “Renovos was spun out from the University of Southampton in 2017 with the goal of translating to the clinic the exciting potential of nanoclay for regenerative medicine. Agnieszka, now CEO of Renovos, has been the driving force behind our progress towards this goal. This fiercely competitive award recognises Agnieszka’s standing as one of the UK’s most promising leaders in science and enterprise and provides a fantastic opportunity for us to collaborate with Renovos in support of Agnieszka’s vision to harness nanoclay gels for stem cell delivery in bone and cartilage repair.”