The world’s biggest stem cell company has raised $1bn from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and is about to start production on the first phase of its factory in China.
Andreessen Horowitz said in a statement on Thursday that the $1.3bn investment in stem cell manufacturing, which is the brainchild of Chinese billionaire Li Fei-Ping, will enable it to “produce the world’s first commercial-scale stem cell factories in the world”.
“This new manufacturing facility is the next phase in our effort to revolutionise the manufacturing and supply chain for stem cells and stem cell-based therapies, as well as enabling other businesses to leverage the power of our product,” Andreessen said in the statement.
Li, who has close ties to the Chinese government, is one of the worlds biggest investors in stem cells.
He and Andreessen have worked together on several projects.
The company is also investing in a UK-based company that has developed a technique that can turn stem cells into living cells and other biological products.
In October, Andreessen had also joined forces with Chinese technology giant Zhejiang Jiaotong Technology Group to form a venture capital fund that will invest in stem research companies and develop products that can be used to treat illnesses, such as Parkinson’s disease.
The company has also made a significant investment in research into the human embryonic stem cell (hESC) field, which could lead to a new generation of cell lines for the treatment of disease.
This story has been updated to include Andreessen’s name.