MicrofluidX will use fundraising money to advance its cell bioprocessing technology, which uses microfluidics to tackle challenges associated with bioprocessing advanced therapies.
The London, UK-based firm has raised £1.4 million ($1.7 million) in seed funding to advance its microfluidics-based technology, which aims to combat challenges associated with the production of cell and gene therapies (CGTs) such as cost of goods, batch variability, and scalability.
“Cell and gene therapies have demonstrated significant therapeutic potential. However, these treatments are now at a critical juncture,” Antoine Espinet, CEO of MicrofluidX, told Bioprocess Insider. “Complex manufacturing challenges remain and impact the development and accessibility of therapies to patients.”
According to Espinet, current technologies lead to “high treatment cost of manufacturing, driven by high reagent volumes, logistics-heavy centralized manufacturing in large specialized facilities, and low automation; product variability, both batch-to-batch and within each batch due to low control over all the parameters of the bioprocess; and long process re-engineering to scale from experimental batches to manufacture of therapeutics doses.”
MicrofluidX’s technology is based on microfluidics cell culture, which Espinet said holds several advantages over conventional single-use technologies. These include a 10-20 times lower reactant consumption, increased process efficiency, up to 50 times more cells per unit volume/surface area, and a high level of precision and control over all process parameters.
“MicrofluidX leverages the power of microfluidics thanks to its highly parallelizable microfluidic bioprocessing system that combines multiple cell culture capabilities in one closed system and is fully scalable from thousands to several hundred million cells without the need to re-engineer your process: same yield, same quality, same results.”
The financing will be used to build a working prototype that can be used to generate comparative biological data between this platform and conventional single-use technologies.
MicrofluidX is working to bring its products to the market quickly, Espinet said, and is looking to partner with academics, biotechs, pharmas and Contract Manufacturing Organizations (CMO) to develop and test its products on various cell and gene therapy processes.
“In particular, an important piece of work is for those partners to run side-by-side comparisons with existing SUTs on their cells and processes. With these comparisons expected to show break-through improvements, MicrofluidX will enter into its industrialization and marketing phase, to make its technology available to the bioprocessing world.”