A biotech start-up founded in the middle of the pandemic is expanding at Heyford Park Innovation Centre.

Oxford StemTech first moved to the site in September 2020 after being established by Oxford University researchers.

Graduates from Heyford Park Innovation Centre that have already made a significant contribution to the Oxfordshire science bubble include Native Antigen Company, PsiOxus, Absolute Antibody and Oxford Genetics.

Satyan Chintawar, chief operating officer and co-founder of Oxford StemTech, said: “Heyford Park Innovation Centre has successfully facilitated our start-up and will now support our anticipated growth with independent labs and an office totalling 1,000 sq ft as we progress towards offering genome engineering services and the distribution of premade iPSC lines.

“The pandemic has been a challenging time to start-up a company that requires access to patient skin or blood samples to produce stem cells that take two months to culture.

“However, we are now being approached by big pharma as well as academia and envisage more than doubling in size over the next year as we actively recruit cell culture scientists.”

The growth of Oxford StemTech follows DJS Antibodies – a company that started-up at Heyford Park Innovation Centre – recently expanding within the Oxford Innovation network to a new lab at the Wood Centre for Innovation.

Trudy Franklin-Slattery, centre manager at Heyford Park Innovation Centre, added: “We have an established and experienced support team in place that can help with everything from office admin through to raising funds and we also employ a laboratory assistant with a research background to provide high-calibre support to scientists.

“The team is very proud of the companies we have supported over the years and we look forward to helping Oxford StemTech and DJS through our network of centres and welcoming more science and technology start-ups over the coming year.”