Updated on 11 January 2013
AseaCyte licensed the know-how of natural product chemistry from CARIF and cell-based technology from AvantiCell Science. The technology assets provided by the founding investors helped built the foundations for the company. AseaCyte decided to provide cell-based services for applications in drug discovery, natural therapeutics, agri-bio R&D, environmental screening, bioactivity and biosafety testing and other customised applications.
Dr Hwang and Dr Wilde realized the significant synergy in the technologies available between the two organizations, where CARIF had know-how on chemical evaluation of natural products and AvantiCell had high-value cell-based technologies for evaluating these same materials. They put their brains together to bring a highly applicable commercial offering to the vibrant herbal industry in Malaysia.
Discussions on possible ways to combine the strengths of the organizations started during early 2009 and eventually led to the incorporation of a joint venture (JV) called AseaCyte in February 2010. AseaCyte started developing testing services based on cells and enabled technologies to generate and maintain cells taken from humans and animals, such that the cells still retain a biological memory of the tissue they came from.
In the subsequent 20 months, AseaCyte focused on securing the coveted BioNexus status from Malaysian Ministry of Finance and fund-raising in order to kick-start its business operations. AseaCyte is funded by initial capital investment from its founding shareholders including CARIF, AvantiCell Science and Sime Darby Allied Products, and has also received a CIP500 Commercialization Grant from investment firm Cradle. The company is now planning to include sourcing of further funding to sustain the business and establishing an in-house R&D unit in order to build its own intellectual property (IP) portfolio.