BioLife invests in viral vector and freeze media tech firms

BioLife Solutions has made investments in iVexSol and PanTHERA CryoSolutions, increasing its scope in the cell and gene therapy space.

Life science tools firm BioLife Solutions and its partner Casdin Capital have invested a total of $4 million in iVexSol, as part of a $15.2 million Series A financing round, and $2 million in PanTHERA CryoSolution.

iVexSol is a Massachusetts firm focused on developing its lentiviral vector (LVV) manufacturing technology platform. The startup claims the platform can produce LVVs at significantly greater quantities than traditional transient transfection processes, and could provide a reliable and readily available supply of vector “on-demand” for advance therapy manufacturers

Image: iStock/selensergen

Canadian startup PanTHERA CryoSolution, meanwhile, is developing cryopreservation products incorporating ice recrystallization inhibitor (IRI) technology. According to the firm, the tech provides superior cryopreservation increasing cell recovery and quality for its customers and allows them to use less costly storage and transportation systems, eliminating liquid nitrogen use for some cell therapeutics.

“Through our innovation accelerator with Casdin Capital, we make investments in novel and disruptive technologies than reduce cost and risk for cell and gene therapy developers,” BioLife’s CEO Mike Rice told Bioprocess Insider.

“The current reimbursement environment is a “pay on cure” or “pay for response” paradigm, wherein the developer does not get paid unless the patient exhibits an initial and durable response to the therapy.  This therapeutic and resultant economic risk is what we aim to address through our portfolio of bioproduction tools.”

A spate of acquisitions over the past couple of years – Custom Biogenic Systems (CBS) and SAVSU, for example  – has bolstered BioLife and helped it grow into a key player in the cell and gene therapy tool and service space. These latest investments demonstrate the firm’s continued ambition.

“We’ve been serving the gene therapy space with our tools portfolio for a few years, with our biopreservation media and more recently, with our evo cold chain management platform,” we were told.

“We have other M&A discussions underway and will disclose when appropriate.”