Welcome to the 5th issue of Ten Companies to Watch – one of the most popular series on our blog! Here I pick and overview the most interesting new companies in stem cell/ cell therapy/ regenerative medicine field. I’m focusing on startups, but considering any other “under-appreciated” companies. As always – I’m open to your suggestions. Tell me why any particular company is different and worth our attention.
This is mind-blowing guys, but here you go – the first attempt to commercialize human body augmentation and extensions! New Italian design company MHOX (from HOX gene control – embryo’s body plan) utilize generative design, 3D bioprinting and biohacking to create body extensions. EYE project is a creation of bioprinted custom eye balls to heal/ enhance/ advance function of human eyes. The most advanced version will include images capture, sharing via wi-fi, plugging different models of eyeballs into the deck (artificial retina, which tunes eyeball with a brain) to enhance multiple desired functions. The first EYE product expected to arrive in 2027.
US-based startup, utilizing microfluidics for flow cytometry and cell sorting. On top of all beauty of cell sort-on-chip, the company claims portable and affordable device (WOLF Cell Sorter). The recent deal with Invetech gives me a hope for clinical development for cell therapy.
This UK-based company is the first to offer liquid nitrogen-free control rate freezer! And even more – the whole liquid nitrogen-free cryogenic cold chain. This is a bomb on cryopreservation market! Forget these dirty LN2 tanks, guys! Need I say more?
4. Clio Inc
Do you remember MUSE cells? Clio is the first company to commercialize MUSE technology, developed in Mari Dezawa’s lab. Pre-clinical stage company, located in Japan. In a move to GMP manufacturing and clinical trials.
Startup from Boston, which offers generation of personalized iPS cell lines for drug screen. The company recently launched disruptive product Life Capsule – iPS cell-based personalized bio-repository, where you can interact “with your line tests” online. You can keep your line for yourself (in case of drug screen for diseases and personalize genomics) or donate it for research and watch its progress.
RegenMed startup from Sweden. The company is developing the concept of whole organ bioengineering by utilizing decell-recell technology. The current focus in on blood vessels and liver. I like the vision of the company about recycling human organs. The company on a way to first clinical trial.
US-based stratup, which democratizes generation of custom ordered iPS cell lines. You can get clinical-grade line only for $1000 USD with fast turnaround. The company capture more attention after recent deal with CellScript on synthetic mRNAs for iPS generation.
8. Atara Biotherapeutics
US-based company, which commercializes immunotherapy by virus-specific T-cells. Clinical stage company, licenses technology from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Recipient of FDA’s “Breakthrough Therapy” designation in March of 2015.
Very new Canadian startup, backed up by “big stem cell research names” – Peter Zandstra and Guy Sauvageau. The company develops technologies for enhancement of hematopoietic stem/ progenitor cell engraftment and performance. The platform involves manipulation of cord blood units by small molecules in fed-batch culture.
One more company from Canada, which manufactures fully automated bioreactor system for cell therapies and tissue engineering. The product Octane Cocoon is most advanced turnkey production automated system for cell manufacturing. The company also develops cell-enhanced implants. I learned about Octane through recent deal with Lonza.