Organ-on-a-chip success with leading European European research institutions fuels Bi/ond Investment.
$4+ Million Raised to Date with FORWARD.one Leading
SAN FRANCISCO, California and DELFT, Netherlands, March 4th, 2022 – Bi/ond, one of the world’s leading Organ-on-a-Chip technology firms, today announced that its commercial and clinical success working with two of Europe’s top 10 leading medical centers has led to a total of over $4 million in funding, including investment from the leading industrial venture firm FORWARD.one.
Bi/ond’s technology has already been deployed across Europe, including at Leiden University Medical Center, where clinicians are making heart tissues using Bi/ond’s microchips and Erasmus University Medical Center where researchers are using patients’ own breast cancer samples to guide therapy. The Bi/ond organ-on-chip platform combines 3-D microfluidic cell cultures with an integrated circuit (microchip) to simulate the biological activity, mechanics and physiological response of an entire organ or organ system.
Bi/ond is led by Cinzia Silvestri, PhD., a leader in nanomaterials and silicon microfabrication for biotechnology who has also been acknowledged for advancing diversity in a male-dominated sector.
“Balancing microelectronics with the delicate requirements of tissue and muscle development on a chip is the hardest part of developing Organ-on-a-Chip and that’s what we cracked early on,” said Dr. Silvestri, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer at Bi/ond. “This new investment has come not just because of the innovations that we developed in these areas, but also because of the clinical proof our partners demonstrated in the laboratories across Europe’s leading medical organizations. We thank FORWARD.one for leading the round and recognizing this.”
“Cinzia and her team have done an amazing job of creating innovations around Organ-on-a-Chip and getting the platform into the hands of clinicians so that they can deliver therapeutics to patients,” said Robin van Boxsel, Partner at FORWARD.one. “We are a strong believer that their technology will play a key role in improving future drug development and we are excited to be part of their journey.”
The Bi/ond platform enables the culturing of complex 3D tissues (organoids, ex vivo tissue, spheroids and microtissues) for applications in kidney research, oncology and cardiac simulation.
- At the Leiden University Medical Center, Bi/ond chips are used to create the environment for beating heart muscle tissues derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. Such induced pluripotent stem cells can be made, for example, from the skin of patients, allowing clinicians to obtain heart tissue with the patient’s genetic background. They are now starting to expose the beating heart tissues to drugs to analyze how they respond, potentially to predict how patients will respond as well.
- At the Erasmus University Medical Center, researchers have built a microfluidic platform for the assessment of treatment response using patients’ own tumor tissue slices under precisely controlled growth conditions. This enables them to keep breast cancer tumor tissues alive for a long time to study responses to chemotherapy and to choose the proper treatment for each individual cancer patient.
“We’re using Bi/ond for breast cancer therapy response in a more controlled way that enables us to use tissue slices for long-term research, something that has not been possible for us before,” said Dr. Dik Van Gent.
Bi/ond is one of the global leaders in Organ-on-a-Chip technologies.
Organ-on-a-Chip combines 3-D microfluidic cell cultures with a microchip to simulate the behavior, mechanics and physiological response of an entire organ or organ system. The expertise of Dr. Nikolas Gaio, Bi/ond Chief Technology Officer has enabled the company to deliver reproducible and scalable chips for high content biological assay, something that is critical for consistency and ongoing monitoring in clinical research.
The company has raised more than $4 million in funding, including a lead by the industrial venture firm FORWARD.one, which specializes in investing in game-changing high-tech innovations.