Bi/ond to participate in the MAGIC Project: Accelerating Development of Genetic Therapies for Muscular Dystrophies 

Magic Project announcement

Delft, July 11th, 2023

Bi/ond is proud to announce its participation in the groundbreaking project called “MAGIC” (Next-generation Models And Genetic therapIes for rare neuromusCular diseases). This ambitious four-year initiative, jointly funded with approximately 9.5 million EUR by Horizon Europe, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of Switzerland (SERI), aims to revolutionize the treatment landscape for muscular dystrophies—a group of severe genetic disorders currently lacking effective therapies.

Muscular dystrophies (MDs) are characterised by muscle wasting, impaired mobility, and premature death, presenting significant challenges for patients and researchers alike. The lack of robust human(ised) models for development of advanced therapies has been a major barrier to clinical translation in the field of genetic therapies for muscle diseases. The MAGIC consortium is determined to overcoming this challenge by developing advanced models of human skeletal muscle pathophysiology and innovative gene therapy vectors.

Led by Prof. Francesco Saverio Tedesco (scientific coordinator; University College London and The Francis Crick Institute) with the support of Dr Mario Amendola (Inserm, coordinating institution), the MAGIC consortium brings together 15 partners from 9 countries, including 8 from academia/research hospitals, 4 SMEs among which, Bi/ond, and 3 charities/NGOs. (*)

By combining expertise in muscle stem cells, regeneration and disease modeling, microfabrication, and microfluidic technologies, the consortium aims to generate advanced multicellular models of neuromuscular diseases using “muscle-on-chip” devices. These devices will be utilized to test genetic therapies and genome editing strategies. 

Bi/ond will empower the consortium partners by providing the technological platform and its biological expertise in the field of muscle-on-chip models. Bi/ond will support the development of multilineage 3D muscle models using human primary and iPSC-derived cells, enabling the creation of robust in vitro models of human muscle and neuromuscular disorders.

We aim at revolutionizing muscular dystrophy treatment through the MAGIC Project, harnessing the power of Bi/ond’s cutting-edge technology. By uniting with esteemed researchers and partners worldwide, we will do our best to bring hope and transformation to the lives of patients who can’t wait any longer” – Cinzia Silvestri, CEO of Bi/Ond solutions.

Professor Francesco Saverio Tedesco is optimistic about the impact of MAGIC: “This project represents a significant step forward in the search for effective treatments for muscular dystrophies. Through cutting-edge bioengineering, innovative genetic therapies, and advanced preclinical translation, we aim to make a difference in the lives of people affected by these devastating diseases.”.” Professor of Neuromuscular Biology and Regenerative Medicine, University College London, Senior Group Leader, The Francis Crick Institute. 

For more information about Bi/ond’s involvement in the MAGIC project, please contact through the details below, or visit https://www.gobiond.com or the project website. 

Zuriñe Garcia
Marketing Lead
marketing@biondteam.com

*: BI/OND Solutions (Netherlands), Inserm (France), Hannover University Medical School (Germany), Université Paris XII Val de Marne (France), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (USA), The Francis Crick Institute (UK), King’s College London (UK), National University of Ireland Maynooth (Ireland), Muscular Dystrophy UK (UK), Parent Project APS (Italy), Duchenne Data Foundation (Netherlands), VIVE Biotech (Spain), ReiThera (Italy), Dinaqor Dynamics (Switzerland) and University College London (UK).

About Bi/ond:

Bi/ond specializes in empowering biological innovations through microfabrication techniques and integrated electronics components. We engineer microfluidic chips that create reproducible biological models, reducing the need for animal testing. Our unique platform includes electrophysiology functionality, enabling stimulation and monitoring of muscle contractions. This technology is crucial for patients with rare genetic diseases, as it facilitates the development of tailored treatments. By studying organs on our platform, researchers gain insights into disease mechanisms and test the effects of drugs on human-derived tissues. Choose Bi/ond for advanced technology and dedicated engineering support.

About the MAGIC project:

The MAGIC (Next-generation Models and Genetic therapies for rare neuromuscular diseases) consortium brings together leading international institutions, biotech companies and patient advocacy groups to accelerate the development of gene therapies for muscular dystrophies. By creating advanced human quasi vivo models, developing tissue-specific vectors, and exploring gene editing strategies, the consortium aims to overcome the barriers that have hindered the translation of genetic therapies into clinical applications. Through collaboration, innovation, and a patient-centred approach, the MAGIC consortium is committed to making a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals affected by muscular dystrophies.

This work is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee grant numbers 10080927, 10079726, 10082354 and 10078461.

Project Original Press release

Travel with us to Torino for EACR 2023

EACR 2023 Torino

We are in full preparation mode for EACR 2023, the annual Congress of the European Association for Cancer research.

Our colleagues Liesbeth and Curtis will travel to Turin from 12 to 15th of June to be present at this important event, which highlights the latest research in the oncology field, and brings together the cancer research community.

At our booth, you will be able to find out more about our products, inCHIPit ™ and comPLATE™, as well as their applications for cancer research, and we will be informing also about actual results from some of our partners.

We hope to learn from you about your challenges, and contribute to inspiring you discover a new way of conducting your research through the use of organ-on-chips.

Meet us at booth #58 so we can start building connections and collaborations for a better future for cancer patients!

 

More events like this? 

Bi/ond at MPS Summit in Berlin

MPS Summit Berlin

Bi/ond will be present at the 2nd Microphysiological Systems (MPS) World Summit, to be hosted at the JW Marriott hotelBberlin from 26th to 30th of June.

The agenda will be full of content (nearly 750 abstracts submitted), poster sessions (556) , and networking opportunities.

This is the content of the 4 main tracks:

  • MPS development: bioengineering models and readouts
  • MPS for industrial and regulatory application: standardization, QA, parallelization and automation
  • MPS for disease modelling, safety testing and basic research
  • MPS highlights across disciplines

Will you be there? If you want to make sure we meet, do not forget to register to the free organized matchmaking so you can get your 20-minute-face-to-face talk with one of our colleagues at the event. 

June is full of events for Bi/ond

event route map

June is around the corner and we are super excited about it. Why? Because we will be leaving our office behind for some days to show the world about Bi/ond! These are some of the activities that we have planned for next month. Will we see you at any of them?

From 5 to 8th of June, our CEO, Cinzia Silvestri will be in Boston as part of a Dutch delegation at the BIO International Convention.

We will then travel to Turin from June 12 to 15th, to join the Annual Congress of the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR 2023). Do not miss our booth, number 58, and an opportunity to learn more about our solutions!

Towards the end of the month, we will cross the border to Germany and participate in the MPS (Microphysiological systems) World Summit (June 26-30th). You can find us at our booth, (number to be announced) or at one of the several poster sessions where we will be presenting our products and applications.

More information to be posted up soon on Social media – be sure to follow us!

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Bi/ond to take part in newly launched NXTGEN HIGHTECH initiative

logo biond and NXTGEN HIGHTECH

Innovative high-tech program puts the Netherlands on the global map


NXTGEN HIGHTECH program officially launched after final approval from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. Bi/ond to be a participant in the initiative. 

Eindhoven, 9 May 2023 – Organs-on-chips, recyclable wind turbine blades and hands-free food production. This may sound a long way off, but within the NXTGEN HIGHTECH program, people are working on this tirelessly. With the support of the National Growth Fund, more than 330 parties from industry and knowledge institutes will work together on new high-tech machinery and production technologies to bring these developments to market. 

The Netherlands is an international frontrunner in ultra-precise high-tech equipment. Yet the continuity of this position is threatened by political interests and growing competition from other continents. In addition, Research & Development investments are significantly lower compared to other knowledge-based countries, at the expense of growth. The goal of NXTGEN HIGHTECH is to bring the Netherlands back to the top as well as contribute to solutions for major societal challenges.

To achieve this, the NXTGEN HIGHTECH program is investing around €1 billion until 2030 and will, in collaboration with 330 partners, boost the Dutch economy. The National Growth Fund supports this program with €450 million. ‘The urgency for new technology applications is high, and we need solutions now,’ says Marc Hendrikse, Board Chairman of NXTGEN HIGHTECH. ‘The strength lies in the breadth of the program. It not only works on new applications and technologies but also digitizing factories and the supply chain,’ he states. A unique approach that not only strengthens the position of the Dutch high-tech sector but also significantly increases our competitive position. With these partnerships, the Netherlands and Europe hold their own in the competitive knowledge economy we find ourselves in. 

Cross-connections accelerate growth 

In the next seven years, the six key domains (agrifood, biomedical production technology, energy, composite, laser-satellite communication and semiconductors) will work hard on various smart solutions. Across these domains, the key technologies, systems engineering and smart industry, play a crucial role. For instance, using smart solutions, sensor technology, and robotics applications are being explored within the agrifood domain. These applications are already widely used in other domains; however, for example food production processing has so far benefited less from this growing robotization and automation. Many operations are currently still done manually—an inhibiting factor for this sector, where less and less people are available. 

NXTGEN HICHTECH’s impact on the future 

Looking to the future, in the short term, the NXTGEN HIGHTECH program offers solutions to several problems within the top sector High Tech Systems and Materials (HTSM). For instance, it is exploring a universal standard for the pharmaceutical industry and the large-scale production of organs-on-chips. Work is being done on safe and sustainable data-communication equipment within laser-satellite communication. The energy domain is committed to developing an integrated, scalable production chain for fuel cells, electrolysers, batteries, and plasma conversion. This enables the sustainability of the process industry. 

With the developments of machinery for light materials, the composite domain lays the foundation for a sustainable aerospace industry. The semiconductors domain works on equipment for faster and more energy efficient chips, partially using light to transmit data. This is a significant development, as demand for chips is expected to double by 2030. The European Chips Act, therefore, aims to strengthen European leadership and increase production capacity to 20% of the global chip market.

The program can potentially give the Netherlands a key position in the market. Finally, NXTGEN HIGHTECH aims to have developed a system for autonomously operating factories by 2030, with international standards and digital product passports. This will ensure an excellent digital infrastructure and greater security within the supply chain. The ambition of the smart-industry sub-program is to double the production capacity in the Dutch industry in the next 20 years. 

The Dutch Systems Engineering approach 

Parallel to the developments in the six domains, work is being done to strengthen the competencies of the systems engineering profession. The Netherlands already boasts a thriving high-tech industry and a lot of experience in systems engineering. However, it remains a challenge to properly transfer knowledge of increasingly complex systems to the next generation. 

In collaboration with colleges and universities, NXTGEN HIGHTECH is laying the building blocks for sustainable cooperation in the high-tech industry. The goal is for “The Dutch Systems Engineering Approach” to be fully embedded in Dutch education by 2030. This approach offers greater job prospects in the high-tech industry and ensures an excellent connection to the rapidly changing labor market. Only by continuing to invest in technical knowledge and skills will the Netherlands become future-proof.

“At Bi/ond, were proud to be part of NXTGEN HIGHTECH’s cutting-edge technology development, with a focus on organ-on-chip tech. Our chips simulate organs, accelerating medicine discovery while reducing animal testing. This tech has the potential to revolutionize medicine. Were excited to help make the Dutch high-tech equipment ecosystem a leading cluster in Europe by 2030”. Cinzia silvestri, CEO and co-founder of Bi/ond.

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For more information and inquiries about Bi/ond’s participation in the NXTGEN HIGHTECH initiative, please contact: info@gobiond.com.  

For the original press release, please refer to the NXTGEN HIGHTECH site.