Dutch biotech MIMETAS B.V. announces that it has raised 4 Million euros ($5.2M) to fund its expansion as a global leader in organ-on-a-chip technology.
Venture capital investors Zeeuws Investerings Fonds (ZIF) and Participatiemaatschapij Oost Nederland (PPM Oost) have joined forces with national and regional partners, to fund development and sales of MIMETAS’ unique 3D disease- and tissue modelling technologies.
An organ-on-a-chip is an interesting and promising technology. It is a multi-channel 3-D microfluidic cell culture chip which can simulate the activities, mechanics and physiological response of entire organs and organ systems. By recapitulating the multicellular architectures, tissue-tissue interfaces, physicochemical microenvironments and vascular perfusion of the body, these devices produce levels of tissue and organ functionality not possible with conventional 2D or 3D culture systems. They also enable high-resolution, real-time imaging and in vitro analysis of biochemical, genetic and metabolic activities of living cells in a functional tissue and organ context. It can be relevant to advance the study of tissue development, organ physiology and disease etiology.
Jos Joore, co-founder and Chief Business Officer of MIMETAS, acknowledges that these resources arrive at a strategically important moment: “Collaborations with top-tier pharmaceutical companies are expanding rapidly, an example of this is the recently announced 1.6 million dollar kidney-on-a-chip project with Roche, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. The funds will be used to scale up the production of OrganoPlates™ and strengthen our activities in predictive preclinical model development, thus consolidating our leadership in this highly competitive field.”
Currently, MIMETAS has a range of disease-, toxicology- and ADME models in her pipeline, in various stages of development and validation. Then, the company has just won the MipTec 2014 innovation award for the OrganoPlate™ less than one month ago.
“We immediately recognised MIMETAS’ large upside potential”, says Johan Sebregts, managing director of ZIF, “To help developing this, we support MIMETAS not only with capital, but also through the vast expertise of our shareholders that include Dutch captains of industry”.
Moreover, these new models will able to reduce experimentation on animals, and obtain drugs testing results closer from reality.
Marius Prins, CEO of PPM Oost, who is also very pleased with the investment in MIMETAS, states: “Significant value creation through better disease models with reduced laboratory animal use is highly relevant to our fund. In addition, this strategic investment helps us to pair two top technology clusters in the Netherlands in one thriving enterprise: biotechnology at the Leiden Bioscience Park and microfluidics at Twente University.”