BrainXell seeks to expand in overseas markets
BrainXell products being prepared for shipment
Since its founding in 2015, BrainXell has focused on creating cells and services that drive crucial neuroscience research forward.
The Madison-based biotech firm was started by University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscience and neurology Professor Su-Chun Zhang in conjunction with the university’s Discovery to Product program. It manufactures customized and nervous system cells that are derived from adult stem cell lines used in research and drug discovery.
The company is based on proprietary technology of directed differentiation of human stem cells and provides a range of high-purity neurons. It has 22 employees in a new facility in Madison’s University Research Park.
BrainXell’s cells help neuroscientists around the world, and the company hopes to develop stem cell therapy for neurological injuries and diseases by collaborating with the pharmaceutical and health care industries.
Reaching beyond borders to advance science
Although the firm has a network of distributors in Europe and Japan, it was looking to boost its European exposure by attending a pair of trade shows, one in the United Kingdom and another in Germany.
It applied for and received a $10,000 International Market Access Grant from WEDC, hoping to make connections that would expand BrainXell’s business opportunities overseas. But the COVID-19 pandemic, with its strict limits on travel and personal interaction, disrupted that plan.
So, the company shifted gears and instead used the grant to beef up advertising in Europe.
Connecting with the market
While it is difficult to measure the impact of the advertising campaign, Michael Hendrickson, the firm’s director of operations, said it served as a stepping stone for growth. Additionally, anticipating growth, the company has hired a larger European distributor.
“There’s a significant market opportunity that we are working hard to capture more of, and we are using this grant as part of that,” Hendrickson said. “It allows us to accelerate things that we want to do.”