This week, we leave Lisbon, Portugal and head up to Lyon, the so-called gastronomical capital of France. Besides bird watching, a beautiful cathedral and a multi-purpose Roman amphitheatre, and of course delicious food, Lyon is where Kallistem, our Biotech of the Week, is located.
City: Lyon, France
Employees: 7 (as of 02/2016)
Financial Data: N/A
Mission: Kallistem’s line of work is oriented towards spermatogenesis. Their goal, since its foundation in 2012, is the anticipation and treatment of male infertility. For that, Phillip Durand and Marie-Helene Perrand, two renowed reproductive biology scientists and co-founders of Kallistem, developed their innovative and technologically advanced procedures in the in vitro spermatogenesis field.
In collaboration with their partners, the company was able to create two innovating and original technologies of germinal cell culture for the preservation of male fertility and its prevention. At the end of 2014, Kallistem was able to produce a fully formed human spermatozoa within a laboratory. They used patient testicular biopsies containing only immature germ cells (spermatogonia).
This scientific and technological achievement made them good candidates to become the leaders in in vitro spermatogenesis.
Comment: Creating functional spermatozoids in a lab…how crazy is that? Beside the technological breakthrough, it’s also of high importance in regards to the decrease of the quantity of spermatozoid observed (-30% in the last 20 years, according to CECOS-Cochin) .
This is caused by our environment, including research on cell phones in our jean pockets, pesticides as well as increased level of stress. Kallistem’s technology could be a solution – if the trials are successful.