A new era for Fluicell
On May 7, we announced the BioRej™ Advance program, an important new step in the evolution of Fluicell. Through the program, we aim to create partnerships for ATMP (advanced therapy medicinal products) development based on bioprinted tissues with the goal to launch therapeutic products that matters to patients. With the new program, we are now transforming Fluicell from being solely a research instrument developer, to also becoming a driving force for therapeutic development.
Since the announcement, we have presented the program on several occasions, first ahead of the AGM this year and later at the event Investerarjakten Live (in Swedish). The program launch has also been covered by several outlets, including BioStock, 3D Printing Media Network and 3D Heals. With the initial announcement underway, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on the development that has led to Fluicell taking this important step and what it means for the future of the company.
Fluicell started in 2012 as a company developing cutting edge technologies enabling scientists from both the academia and the pharmaceutical industry to perform research on the single-cell level in completely new ways. While the company has been growing by adding new products and application, this has remained a core tenet since then.
The launch of our single-cell 3D bioprinting platform Biopixlar® at the end of 2019 marked a critical milestone in the development of Fluicell. While the platform adheres to the core principles that has been guiding Fluicell from the start, we have always seen a larger potential in Biopixlar. We have time and again stated that Biopixlar is more than just a research tool or instrument. For us at Fluicell, it has been very clear from the start that a large part of the platform’s commercial potential comes from the tissues that can be used to generate. Using Biopixlar’s unique capacity for bioprinting detailed biological tissue to create new types of engineered tissue products is an important step in realizing the broader potential of the platform.
The long-term vision that has been associated with bioprinting from the start is the ability to create tissues and even complete organs that could be transplanted into patient. At Fluicell, our approach is to develop small transplantable tissues that could be used to patch a damaged organ in order to facilitate repair and functional recovery. This is a goal which we believe is achievable and an approach that is well suited for Biopixlar’s high-resolution bioprinting technology which is well suited for creating small and detailed tissues.
With the BioRej Advance program, we want to target diseases that have a large impact on human health and that today lack adequate treatments and where engineered tissues have the potential to provide positive benefit. We have highlighted a few selected areas, such as cardiac repair, diabetes type I and age-related macular degeneration, where we see especially high potential for treatments based on transplantable small tissue patches. However, the approach has high general applicability and could be used to target a wide range of other conditions.
The ATMP sector, which engineered tissue products belongs to together with cell and gene therapies, is in a very dynamic phase right now. Much work is being done at right now on both national and international level to establish important building blocks for ATMP commercialization, such as a having a robust regulatory framework and important GMP infrastructure. This means that, while the field is still young and very much under development, a great deal of effort is made to address the many hurdles that impacted initial actors in the cell and gene therapy field. This has been an important factor in Fluicell’s decision to enter into ATMP development right now. The regenerative medicine market is also growing rapidly and is expected to reach USD 39 Bn by 2025 (CAGR 24.5 %). Out of this, engineered tissues represent approximately USD 11.4 Bn.
Another import motivation behind initiating the BioRej program comes from the foundation laid by internal R&D work at Fluicell covering bioprinting on transplantable membranes. To use bioprinted tissues for therapeutic purposes the tissues must be able to be transferred from the medium in which they are cultured to the patient. Porous membranes have multiple benefits in that regard as they can readily be excised and transferred while keeping the bioprinter tissues intact. Many different membrane materials have also previously been used in clinical trials, making them well suited for therapeutic development. Fluicell’s R&D team have been working intensely in optimizing different combinations of tissue and cell types and membrane materials, and the results are very promising.
At Fluicell, we are now progressing along multiple trajectories. The research and development work into creating new transplantable tissues continues in order to create new proof of concept work as well as creating different types of in vitro tissues for research purposes. This creates a strong foundation for building partnerships through BioRej Advance. The work performed by the R&D team in this area also provide valuable input for our sales team in their ongoing discussions with prospective Biopixlar customers. In the same way that our advances into regenerative medicine builds on Biopixlar, the work we do in R&D benefits our commercialization of the Biopixlar platform overall. Fluicell’s journey has just started and we have an exciting time ahead of us.
I would like to end this newsletter by thanking you all for your support and wishing you a great summer.
Victoire Viannay. June 1, 2021
Subscribe to the newsletter
Read past newsletters here