Home Interviews PHI grows its network of collaborations

PHI grows its network of collaborations

PHI grows its network of collaborations

PHI grows its network of collaborations

19 June, 2024

Phase Holographic Imaging has entered into a partnership with the University College London, the first partnership in a hospital setting to explore the clinical applications of its technology. In the last few days, PHI also announced two new sales partnerships between its global distribution partner Altium and Kem-En-Tech for the whole Nordic market and Paralab in Spain and Portugal. BioStock caught up with PHI’s CEO to ask about his outlook for the growing number of academic collaborations and sales partnerships.

The HoloMonitor system is an advanced instrument for non-invasive cell culture analysis developed by Phase Holographic Imaging (PHI). It combines time-lapse imaging with 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 potential game-changer in the development of cell therapies. To learn more about the benefits of QPI, watch this presentation by PHI’s CSO, Dr. Kersti Alm.

Compared to conventional imaging methods, PHI’s solution is cell-friendly and suitable for biomedical research and regenerative medicine. This has caught the attention of several distinguished partners around the globe.

Focusing on regenerative medicine

One great example is the North Carolina-based research institute, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), with whom PHI has been collaborating for several years.

The WFIRM alliance stems from companies associated with RegeneratOR, a key component of the Regenerative Medicine Hub (RegenMed Hub). The hub brings together the resources and talent, offering expansive resources for entrepreneurs and life science professionals to translate scientific discovery into clinical therapies. There, PHI also collaborates with the RegenMed Development Organization (ReMDO), BioSpherix, analytics leader SAS and QIAGEN. The overarching goal of this Smart Manufacturing Alliance is to set new standards for cell therapy quality control. For a brief introduction to these alliance partners, read more here.

New Partnership with University College London

Recently, PHI entered into a collaboration with University College London (UCL). PHI’s HoloMonitor M4FL system will be used in an ongoing research project at UCL, which runs alongside a clinical trial. This is PHI’s first partnership in a hospital setting to explore the clinical applications of its technology. It also allows PHI to explore the possibilities of the company’s QPI technology for the clinical market and how it could make advanced regenerative treatments more accessible and cost-effective.

In a press release, PHI’s CEO Patrik Eschricht stated that:

“Our HoloMonitor system provides detailed cell information to assess the quality of individual cell samples. Imagine a future where researchers can take a patient’s cell sample at the bedside in the hospital and instantly determine its suitability for a clinical trial or cell therapy manufacturing. I believe this is the potential that our cell analysis technology holds.”

Patrik Eschricht, CEO PHI
Patrik Eschricht, CEO PHI

Comments from the CEO

BioStock talked to Patrik Eschricht to learn more about PHI’s new and ongoing collaborations and partnerships.

Regarding the partnership with UCL, what market possibilities do you see for this project in the long run?

– This partnership is a telling first step for us to explore the long-term clinical market possibilities for PHI in a hospital setting. By integrating our HoloMonitor system into UCL’s ongoing research alongside a clinical trial, we are taking our first steps into a hospital setting. This collaboration allows us to explore the potential of our QPI technology to provide real-time, detailed cell information already at the patient’s bedside.

– Our technology could optimize the efficiency of clinical trials and cell therapy manufacturing processes. This would reduce costs and, therefore, make regenerative treatments more accessible and affordable. If successful, our HoloMonitor technology could become a standard tool in hospitals for assessing cell sample quality. However, we acknowledge that understanding the full possibilities for our technology is still at a very early stage.

Looking at product development, why do you focus on collaborating with universities and academic partners?

– Our partnerships with leading global research institutions are crucial for enhancing our product development. These partnerships enable us to deepen our understanding of QPI technology’s potential, gain immediate product feedback from our users, and swiftly identify new market demands through engagement with key opinion leaders. By maintaining multiple partnerships across diverse research disciplines, we effectively probe various sectors within the expansive clinical market and the rapidly evolving field of regenerative medicine to match our product development with those markets’ needs.

What is the current status of your collaboration with ReMDO and the ongoing Smart Manufacturing Project?

– In the Smart Manufacturing Project, we are setting up a mesenchymal stem cell manufacturing chain suitable for point-of-care production, including data collection, analysis, and storage. Together with our collaborators BioSpherix, SAS and QIAGEN at WFIRM, our biomedical engineer has been collecting and analyzing live cell data and is now discussing the project’s next steps.

PHI recently expanded its sales presence in Spain and Portugal, facilitated by a sub-contract between Altium and Paralab. What is your motivation for this step, and when do you expect to see results?

– Together with Altium, we are strategically broadening HoloMonitor’s global presence, focusing on key markets like Europe. We aim to increase the HoloMonitor system’s market reach and boost PHI’s sales and cash flow. By partnering with Altium, we will train the Paralab team to effectively promote HoloMonitor to researchers across the Iberian Peninsula. We look forward to incoming orders and new HoloMonitor users, considering our experience with the typical duration of academic sales cycles, which is 6 to 12 months.

This week, Altium also signed a sub-distribution agreement with Kem-En-Tech Nordic. Until now, you have been selling directly in the Nordic market. Why have you decided to change that?

– Indeed, we have been selling and supporting our customers directly across Scandinavia. However, given the Nordic countries’ strong emphasis on innovation and research, partnering with the Kem-En-Tec team will enhance our reach and ensure more researchers can access our HoloMonitor technology across Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

– With our headquarters in Lund, at Sweden’s southern tip, and as a small company with limited resources, we are very pleased to have partners in Altium and the Kem-En-tech team to penetrate the Nordic market further and best support our growing community of current and future customers.

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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