STEM cell storage business Pharmacells is planning further overseas expansion after securing £100,000 of funding from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE).

The company, based at Biocity Scotland in Lanarkshire, is already working on a partnership with Dubai medical device maker Omni Medical.

That will see Omni market the adult stem cell banking service offered by Pharmacells.

That is part of a strategy to more than double the Pharmacells monthly client base in the United Arab Emirates from 20 to 50.

As well as that, Pharmacells is "making progress" in the US, Serbia, Ukraine, Iran and Switzerland.

Chief executive Athol Haas said: "The most exciting is obviously the US, which has the largest stem cell banking business base in the world.

"It is expected that we will have agreements in place for all of these places by the end of the year."

Pharmacells, which is creating three jobs in Scotland in scientific and business development positions, is also in talks about licensing its technology. It has a method of harvesting, isolating and storing stem cells while also operating a private cell bank to allow easy access for customers.

Mr Haas said: "We are now at the stage of negotiating with key strategic partners in various regions with a view towards those companies actually performing our stem cell isolation and storage techniques locally, under licence.

"This will reduce the cost of the product to the end user and help us to increase market share."

UKSE is a Tata Steel subsidiary which was set up to help companies located in former steel producing areas.

Scott Webb, regional executive of UK Steel Enterprise, said: "It is extremely encouraging to see a home-grown business exporting further afield and we were more than happy to provide the required funding to push the company forward.

"This is the first life sciences company we have supported and we are excited to see where the funding takes Pharmacells."

Law firm HBJ Gateley advised Pharmacells on the deal.