About Newcells

Newcells Biotech is based at the world-renowned Centre for Life in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK.

The company was founded in 2014 as a spin out biotechnology company from Newcastle University.

The company is founded on the technology and expertise of one of the UK’s leading centres for stem cell biology and located alongside one of the largest research-intensive medical university and hospital complexes in the UK.

Meet the team

Our team was among the first to use iPSC technology in the UK and are at the core of one of the main centres of reprogramming in Europe.

Dr Mike Nicholds

Chief Executive Officer

Prof Lyle Armstrong

Chief Scientific Officer

Prof Majlinda Lako

Scientific Founder

Dr Colin Brown

Scientific Advisor

Dr Mike Nicholds

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Mike Nicholds, Chief Executive Officer – Mike is Chief Executive Officer of Newcells Biotech and has an extensive commercial track record working in the biotechnology industry.

A microbiologist by training, he started his career working for ICI looking at a range of biotechnology approaches to making chemicals, polymers and food products. He worked for Zeneca (now AstraZeneca) in a range of commercial roles, leading business groups and providing contract manufacturing and development services to pharmaceutical and agrochemical companies around the world.

His experience includes senior executive and board level positions with Avecia and Chirex, including VP sales and marketing, and strategy & acquisitions director. He has been involved with several start-up companies in biotechnology over many years and has an in-depth expertise of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.

Prof Lyle Armstrong

Chief Scientific Officer

Prof Lyle Armstrong, Chief Scientific Officer – Professor Armstrong studied chemistry at the Universities of Sheffield and Northumbria and was awarded a PhD in physical organic chemistry in 1992.

As an outcome of his PhD research into the chemistry of fluorescent molecules, he founded a contract research organisation developing and licensing diagnostic systems to identify and enumerate bacteria in biological fluids. This organisation was successful in generating a range of products that were subsequently licensed to industry and marketed as microbial diagnostic tools.

Prof Armstrong’s highly respected research group is focussed on reprogramming cells to hiPSCs and developing organoid and other complex models of human tissues. A key aspect of this investigation is researching the possible reversal of ageing during the reprogramming process and how this might be valuable for repairing organ damage or treating human diseases using induced pluripotent stem cells.

Prof Majlinda Lako

Scientific Founder

Prof Majlinda Lako, Scientific Founder – Professor Majlinda Lako studied Biochemistry at the University of Tirana and on receipt of a scholarship from the George Soros foundation, she studied environmental engineering at Manchester University (MSc). This was followed by a PhD in human genetics at Newcastle University where she was responsible for the discovery of several new genes involved in the development of the human brain.

Following her move to Durham University to carry out research on blood development using embryonic stem cells, she returned to a faculty position at Newcastle University where she became a key contributor to the embryonic stem cell derivation program.

She established an internationally renowned research group, which she runs in close collaboration with Prof Armstrong, developing methods to generate blood cells and transplantable retinas from patient specific induced pluripotent stem cells. One of her most recent successes is the establishment of corneal stem cell culture, which is under development to treat blindness resulting from mechanical and chemical injuries to the surface of the eye.

Dr Colin Brown

Scientific Advisor

Dr Colin Brown, Scientific Advisor – Dr Colin Brown is a leading expert in kidney transport, with research interests in renal, hepatic and GI drug transporters.  He has developed and commercialised (through Newcells Biotech Ltd) a primary cell based assay for measuring kidney transport and toxicity.  The assay has been used in a range of study protocols globally with Pharma and other industries to investigate drug transport, drug-drug interaction and nephrotoxicity.