Home Intervjuer PHI: “It’s the right moment to capitalize on regenerative medicine momentum”

PHI: “It’s the right moment to capitalize on regenerative medicine momentum”

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PHI: “It’s the right moment to capitalize on regenerative medicine momentum”

23 maj, 2024

Medtech company Phase Holographic Imaging recently secured a loan facility of SEK 7 million. The company has decided to draw the first tranche from that loan— SEK 4.5 million. In a press release, CEO Patrik Eschricht stated that this provides an opportunity to act on the company’s current momentum. BioStock talked to Eschricht to learn more.

Phase Holographic Imaging (PHI) has commercialized the HoloMonitor system for non-invasive time-lapse imaging and long-term quantitative analysis of living cell cultures. The system’s key technology, Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI), can evaluate the quality and health of cell samples over time without harming the cells, avoiding the limitations of traditional measurement methods—a game-changer for developing future cell therapies.

Focus on regenerative therapies

In recent years, PHI has concentrated on positioning HoloMonitor’s QPI technology to address the pressing need for standardized cell quality control in regenerative medicine. It is a groundbreaking field focused on developing methods to regenerate, repair, or replace damaged cells, tissues, or organs to be able to cure today’s incurable diseases.

PHI has a major advantage: its QPI technology solution allows for capturing images and quantitative data on cell quality and characteristics without harming the cells. According to PHI, this non-invasive method seamlessly integrates into the manufacturing workflow of cell therapies, unlike other quality control techniques that would require manipulating, removing, or sacrificing valuable cells. Ultimately, PHI’s goal is to make cell-based therapies affordable, accessible, and safe for patients. Read more here: Shift to regenerative medicine increases growth prospects for PHI (March 20th 2024).

Loan facility to act on current momentum

Last week, PHI entered into an agreement with Bizcap AB for a loan facility totalling SEK 7 million. The agreement allows PHI to draw two loan tranches of SEK 4.5 million and SEK 2.5 million, respectively. PHI has opted to draw the first tranche of SEK 4.5 million. In a press release, the company stated that this loan facility will provide PHI with the necessary working capital to capitalize on the company’s current momentum.

Patrik Eschricht, CEO PHI
Patrik Eschricht, CEO PHI

The CEO comments

BioStock reached out to CEO Patrik Eschricht for an update on the company’s progress and to delve deeper into its current trajectory.

Patrik, could you elaborate on the plans to utilize the newly acquired loan facility to propel PHI’s growth further?

– This strategic loan enables us to better lay the groundwork for entering the clinical market. The bridge loan allows us to leverage our current momentum, accelerate our product development and push our efforts and projects further.

– The cost of a loan right now is justifiably low compared with the tremendous gain of accelerating the product-to-market timeline. The sooner we enter the clinical market, the faster we can enhance our cash flow and solidify our leadership in the market.

Can you discuss why you opted for a short-term loan at this juncture?

– The short-term loan is our best option for quickly seizing opportunities. It provides the immediate capital we need to advance our projects without delay. For instance, opting for an external lender like Bizcap AB eliminates the need for an extra shareholders meeting that would be required if we borrowed from our partner, Altium.

What is the current momentum that PHI aims to capitalize on?

– Recent breakthroughs and success stories in regenerative medicine have dramatically increased the relevance of our QPI technology. It’s critical that we capitalize on this surge in interest to advocate for QPI’s integration into standard quality controls and expand our influence in the field rather than watching from the sidelines. We’re actively engaged in our projects and partnerships, seizing these opportunities. Personally, as CEO, guiding PHI through this promising era in regenerative medicine is incredibly rewarding. 

Let’s delve deeper into what is happening. Can you provide an update on the progress of your ongoing collaborations and projects within regenerative medicine?

– We are currently engaged in numerous in-house activities, actively driving our product development for regenerative medicine. I’m proud of the commitment our team shows every day as we work on several projects to develop our QPI technology for clinical applications further and be able to meet the needs of the clinical market.

– Our partnership with the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine keeps us at the innovation forefront in regenerative medicine. WFIRM’s recent USD 160 million NSF grant is a major development that highlights the immense opportunities in regenerative medicine. Even though the allocation specifics are pending, we are optimistic about the benefits for PHI. Either way, the grant has elevated Winston-Salem’s status as a global hub for regenerative medicine – and we are situated at the core of these advancements.

– Additionally, through our partnership with ReMDO, we’re leading a significant project on Smart Manufacturing. In this project, we focus, together with our partners, on establishing new cell therapy quality control standards. A key initiative is the ‘Cell Report Card,’ which contains QPI cell quality data and omics information to accompany a cell sample throughout the lifetime of the cells and the patient. Here, we’re continuously processing HoloMonitor experimental data sets and improving the RegeneratOR test bed setup. 

Last week, the PHI delegation visited Charlotte, North Carolina, to participate in the Regenerative Manufacturing Innovation Consortium (RegMIC) annual meeting. Can you comment on this event and takeaways from your conference activities during the spring?

– The RegMIC meeting was a vital platform for PHI to engage with industry leaders and advocate for QPI as a foundational technology for cell quality control. Our active involvement keeps us at the forefront of regenerative medicine, promoting innovations and collaborations that support our strategic objectives.

– As things are moving quickly in the regenerative medicine field, it’s crucial for us, even as a small company with limited resources, to stay agile and keep up with the pace. We have had a very busy spring schedule; besides Charlotte, PHI presented in Rome at the 2024 Cell & Gene Meeting on the Med, where we could discuss commercialization strategies and regulatory frameworks with Europe’s cell and gene therapy experts. Additionally, we participated in the RMMS webinar series (available online) on Smart Manufacturing—further advocating for QPI as a standard in cell therapy manufacturing.

– Our partnership with Altium, our global sales partner, allows us to concentrate on these in-house activities and effectively extend our market reach by leveraging their extensive sales network.

Your collaboration with Altium has strengthened over the past year. What current activities are underway to enhance your global sales?

– Currently, we are intensely involved in supporting Altium with the training and development of new sales partners and colleagues, which is a demanding period for the entire PHI team.

– We remain optimistic about Altium’s contributions in the latter part of 2024, acknowledging that our sales cycles typically range from 6 to 12 months and the challenges within the academic and pre-clinical research to secure funding or grants for purchasing new equipment.

– Despite these challenges, with Daniel Soor as Altium’s dedicated PHI distributor manager, we are actively engaging with potential new sales partners across our core markets in North America, Europe, Asia, and beyond. Our goal now is to penetrate new markets and expand HoloMonitor’s market reach globally. We look forward to sharing updates on these efforts and new markets for HoloMonitor over the upcoming months.

Finally, as we look ahead, what milestones or developments are you anticipating over the next six months?

– Over the next six months, we plan to deepen our collaborations and seek additional partnerships to address the complex challenges in regenerative medicine. I am particularly excited about our new initiative at ReMDO, the Regulatory NavigatOR, which aims to streamline regulatory processes and enhance interactions with the FDA.

– Also, we are witnessing first-hand the growth of the RegeneratOR test bed, which is rapidly expanding due to the collaborative efforts of over 60 companies, including PHI, striving to lead in regenerative medicine.

– Of course, with Altium’s support, we continue to expand HoloMonitor’s global market presence. We look forward to welcoming new sales partners to our core markets, which will allow us to improve our sales and increase our order intake.

– Internally, we are advancing our initiatives within regenerative medicine, particularly our Smart Manufacturing project, in collaboration with our ReMDO partners. Our goal remains to establish QPI as a gold standard for cell quality control in regenerative medicine.

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