Our story.

Jellagen, an innovative marine biotechnology company was founded in 2015 by Professor Andrew Mearns Spragg, a Scottish marine biotechnology pioneer. The idea first came to Andrew whilst surfing off the East coast of Scotland in his youth swimming through blooms of jellyfish.

Due to human activity in the oceans, jellyfish populations are now blooming. The resulting explosion in jellyfish along coastal regions is causing increasing incidents of bathers being stung, off shore aquaculture collapse and in some cases power stations to be shut down due to water inlets becoming clogged.

In the early days, Jellagen operated out of a shed in Tenby but soon moved to the Bridge Innovation Centre at Pembroke Dock. The company continued to develop its business focused on new innovative manufacturing processes and developing new products using collagen derived from jellyfish to provide a next generation collagen biomaterial.

From those early days, Jellagen has taken up additional space at Cardiff’s Capital Business Park where it commissioned the build and installation of a bespoke collagen manufacturing facility and Quality Control laboratory which were officially launched in May 2017.

Jellagen has secured considerable investment from both private investors and public sources to develop its business. In 2019, Jellagen  commercialised its jellyfish collagen cell culture products for research.

If populations of jellyfish continue to rise globally we may need to get used to living in a gelatinous world.

Why Jellyfish?

Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals and is found in skin, cartilage, bone, intervertebral discus, blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, cornea and is a key protein component of the Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM). Collagen is therefore regarded as the building block of tissue. Fibrillar collagens in particular are the more abundant extracellular proteins. They form a metazoan-specific family, and are highly conserved from sponge to human.

For many decades, collagen extracted from mammalian (pigs, cows, sheep) have been successfully used in the food, cosmetic, medical device and pharmaceutical industries. However due to rising safety concerns around use of mammalian derived products (viral disease vectors and BSE), safer alternatives are being sought. Jellyfish offer that safer and disease-free alternative.

Jellyfish first evolved on earth some 600 million years ago and are often referred to as Gelatinous Zooplankton. They are abundant in supply and an evolutionary ancient form of collagen. Jellagen is pioneering the manufacture and development of a next generation collagen for the use in medical device.

Jellyfish collagen is an evolutionary ancient chemical template and is where all collagens up the tree of life have been derived. Jellyfish collagen is in essence, the root of all collagens, compatible with a broad range of cell types making it an ideal biomaterial for medical devices.

The value proposition of the company is based on the unique selling features of jellyfish collagen scaffolds which are:

  • Evolutionary ancient chemistry offering a next generation collagen biomaterial able to provide distinctive functional advantages over mammalian collagens.
  • Lower immunogenicity than mammalian sourced materials allowing for the potential of transferring direct in vivo analytical results into in vivo applications, providing a significant opportunity for accuracy in clinical development.
  • Batch to batch product consistency compared to mammalian collagen.
  • A disease vector (BSE) free collagen

Jellagen believes that its next generation jellyfish derived collagen can address all the existing collagen market today with its unique positioning and comparable cost.