Kerecis, an emerging tissue-regeneration company and ValaMed, a chemo-sensitivity-testing company, have signed a research collaboration contract for cell growth in various matrices.

Under the terms of the agreement, ValaMed will be involved in the development of chemo-sensitivity assays of cancerous tissues. The company is developing assessment methodologies that will allow the determination of possible drugs to treat cancerous cells on an individualized basis.

ValaMed collaborates with a number of oncologists, surgeons and other scientists worldwide on its development-stage chemo-sensitivity tests.

Kerecis is involved in the research, development and production of tissue-regeneration products that can be used in reconstructive, soft- and hard-tissue surgical procedures.

For regulatory purposes, the company’s technology is classified as a medical device. The patent-pending Kerecis technology is currently in the development stage.

Kerecis had completed its start-up financing round in December 2009 and expects to close up to $4.8m in round A financing in the first quarter of 2011. The money will facilitate the completion of clinical trials of the company’s patent-pending, marine-derived, tissue-regeneration product, which has applications across multiple medical-device sectors including wound care and abdominal wall reconstruction.

Gudmundur Gudmundsson, VP of Science and Technology at Kerecis, said: “The Kerecis science program focuses on the development of fish-protein-derived matrices that attract cells and enable them to proliferate in a sustainable manner. ValaMed possesses skills and technology that can help us evaluate the efficacy of the materials we are developing.”

Finnbogi Rutur Thormodsson, chief science officer of ValaMed, said: “Through the collaboration with Kerecis we will be able to enhance our understanding of cell proliferation in different tissues as well as to improve our assessment technology for cell response.”