Finance Yorkshire £200k for world first tooth stem cell bank

Finance Yorkshire has backed a business with bite, awarding a £200,000 equity-linked investment package to a tooth stem cell bank.

BioEden, headquartered in Huddersfield, is the world’s first specialist offering banking services for tooth stem cells.

The £200,000 investment from Finance Yorkshire is part of a larger £700,000 investment deal that will enable the company to develop its direct marketing and advertising activities.

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Originally founded in the US in 2006, BioEden expanded into Europe the following year and now operates across 21 countries.

The firm collects and stores baby milk teeth, which contains stem cells from the child. Four membership options are available, starting from £5 a month.

By 2013, BioEden had banked more than 25 billion stem cells from children’s milk teeth.

Tony Veverka, chief executive at BioEden, said stem cell therapy “is not a new concept”.

He said: “It has an established place in medicine and is constantly developing.

“Dental stem cells in particular have immense potential because they can change into other types of cells and may be used to treat conditions such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

“We believe in making this potentially life-saving service accessible for every parent, and this second round of funding from Finance Yorkshire is enabling us to ensure we have the infrastructure in place to implement our new pricing model.”

BioEden plans to expand its management team and strengthen its back office infrastructure as part of the investment. It will also be used for “significant marketing and branding activity”.

The campaign includes the launch of an educational tool called BioKidz, aimed at children aged four to nine.

Finance Yorkshire investment director Paul Gower said BioEden had been “very successful” to date in a number of territories, particularly Latin America.

He said: “The funding from Finance Yorkshire, alongside investment from other investors, will enable the business to further raise its profile in the UK and the US.

“It is committed to engaging with families and children through its new BioKidz app, as well as building relationships with intermediaries such as private health insurers, schools and dental surgeries.”

BioEden holds the patent for the technology that extracts the stem cells from the teeth, putting it in a “very strong position to consolidate its position as the world leader in dental stem cell banking”.

“We anticipate that the new Membership options will go a considerable way towards the ultimate aim of making stem cell therapy an affordable reality for everyone,” he added.

Finance Yorkshire has made 641 investments totalling £80m to date. It provides seedcorn finance, business loans and equity-linked investments from £15,000 to £2m, supported financially by the European Union and UK government.

Last month, The Yorkshire Post revealed marketing agency The Black Hole had taken insolvency measures. The agency was awarded a £250,000 equity-linked funding deal in 2012.

It was the second marketing business to fall into difficulty after receiving Finance Yorkshire investment, after Coolpink closed in 2013.