ReNeuron Group has taken a foothold in the USA after signing a deal to acquire AmCyte Inc, which specialises in cell encapsulation technology and is based in California.

At the forefront of ReNeuron’s intentions is to reel in the ability to create an islet cell therapy for patients with type-1 diabetes by combining its manufactured pancreatic cells with AmCyte's delivery technology. This dual-pronged approach should overcome two main obstacles, it says: the lack of suitable donated pancreatic tissue from which to derive high quality insulin-producing islet cells, and the immune rejection typically seen when transplanting raw islets into diabetes patients.

AmCyte's system has already been shown to maintain cell function in pre-clinical transplantation studies, while initial safety studies in the USA and Canada have thrown up no safety or rejection issues.

The $4 million purchase price will be satisfied by ReNeuron stock, while the firm will also raise a further US$3.1 million through the issuance of new share to provide working capital for the acquired company.

ordinary 1p shares for cash. Completion of the acquisition and admission to Alternative Investment Market will take place on 1 August.

Michael Hunt, Chief Executive Officer of ReNeuron, said: “As well as bringing us a talented research and development team in the US, we believe that the combination of ReNeuron's ReN002 islet cells and AmCyte's encapsulation technology has the potential to place our business among the leaders in the development of a safe and efficacious cell therapy for type 1 diabetes patients."