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Fluicell partners with big pharma for 3-D bioprinting project

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Fluicell partners with big pharma for 3-D bioprinting project

29 September, 2021

Single-cell technology developers Fluicell have a good reputation in the biomedical research field for its cutting-edge products aimed at maximising R&D capabilities. Fluicell’s 3-D bioprinter Biopixlar has been the main driver for growth thanks to its increased popularity in the industry, and the company announced last week that it has partnered with a big pharma player to use Biopixlar to create bioprinted heart tissue for safety pharmacological studies. 

Fluicell is a multidisciplinary biotech company that develops tools for life science and regenerative medicine research. The company was one of the first to set foot in the single-cell technology space when it was founded in 2012 (read more about this here), and has since then grown its portfolio to include four innovative products: BioPenDynaflow Resolve, Biozone 6 and Biopixlar.

Biopixlar – Fluicell’s 3-D bioprinter

Fluicell’s products have a broad application potential, which includes oncology, pharmaceutical R&D, and clinical drug development. Out of Fluicell’s product portfolio, the company’s 3-D bioprinter Biopixlar deserves particular attention, as it, on its own, addresses a mass market of about 1.3 BUSD with an expected annual growth between 17 and 26 per cent.

When Biopixlar was first announced towards the end of 2019, the product helped open up a series of business opportunities thanks to a strong demand for a 3-D bioprinter able to replicate complex tissue-like structures by controlling the positioning of individual cells. Fluicell made its first sale in March of 2020 to the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Driving growth for the company

Since then, Biopixlar has contributed to most of the the company’s revenue. In addition, Fluicell has kicked off its own contract research organisation (CRO) services, which are mainly run through Biopixlar. Fluicell received its first CRO assignment with Biopixlar in April 2020 from Oblique Therapeutics, a company designing a cell-printed microchip based on Biopixlar’s ability to place cells in exact patterns.

Then, earlier this year, Fluicell announced that it was entering the regenerative medicine market using Biopixlar’s unique high-resolution bioprinting capabilities. The company will focus on developing advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP) based on transplantable biocomposites. The goal of this new initiative is to develop therapeutic products targeting important disease areas, like the ones mentioned above, that today lack adequate treatment options and where Biopixlar’s bioprinting capabilities could add great value. Read more here. On September 16, Fluicell announced that the company had made promising early progress creating insulin-producing biocomposites and that they were intensifying development with the goal to produce an engineered tissue product for treating type 1 diabetes.

Partnership with Big Pharma

News of Biopixlar’s exciting potential has also reached Big Pharma. Last week, the company announced a six-months research partnership with a big pharma company to investigate how Biopixlar can be used to create in vitro cardiac tissue constructs to evaluate the safety of new drug candidates. Preclinical research can benefit greatly from laboratory-designed heart tissues with a composition that mimics the heart’s natural microstructure. This would provide more detailed knowledge earlier in the research and development process, so Biopixlar is a perfect match for this use-case.

Fluicell’s CTO Gavin Jeffries commented on the news in a recent press release:

»We are enthusiastic about continuing to build on the relationship by collaborating on another project and look forward to new successes together as we now have the opportunity to use Biopixlar as a key factor in a research project together. We have already carried out preliminary tests in advance with cells from Roche that have given promising results and that motivated us to take the step further and initiate this new project.«

Directed share issue to finance continued growth

As the company continues to grow  and to intensify its regenerative medicine development program, Fluicell’s Board of Directors decided last week to carry out a new share issue of 23.2 million SEK directed at a group of investors consisting of, among others, Henrik Nilsson, Johan Stein and Dariush Hosseinian.

All in all, Fluicell continues to increase its presence as an important player in the biomedical R&D space, and the new partnership with Big Pharma is a clear demonstration of the company’s strengths.

The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.

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