Photo - VoxCell BioInnovation
52618

VoxCell BioInnovation

Truly Biomimetic in One Click

Canada, Toronto
Market: Medicine, Pharmacology, Another
Stage of the project: Prototype or product is ready

Date of last change: 02.07.2021
Show contacts
1
equalizer from 2000
help
Calculated and estimated occupancy of the project (more about ratings)
My rating
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Average rating:
 

Idea

VoxCell is creating an extraordinary line of Truly Biomimetic solutions for the drug development industry and the field of Oncology research by creating vascularized cancer tissue models for in vitro testing.

Current Status

VoxCell BioInnovation is revolutionizing the field of tissue engineering using 3D bioprinting. We are dedicated to finding innovative solutions to current challenges in the drug development process, expediting the time for a potentially life-saving therapy to get to market and into the hands of people who need it most. Our platform of proprietary solutions enables drug developers and researchers to have the tools for increased translatable pre-clinical results before therapies are tested in humans. VoxCell’s products (3D Bioprinter + Vascularization Software, Tissue Models, and Bioinks) provide a way to elevate in vitro testing. Our incredible software allows the user to create physiologically relevant vasculature within 3D bioprinted tissues, allowing for perfusion within a 3D environment, a step above traditional methods of testing on cell monolayers and spheroids. Whether it is pharmaceutical companies testing new drugs in the lab, or medical professionals determining which therapy is best for their patient, VoxCell is changing the way we think about in vitro tissue models through 3D bioprinting.



Our team has a functional proof-of-concept 3D bioprinter in the lab, printing tissue models with vasculature, and our bioinks are fully developed and almost ready for sale. We are ready to build a more robust 3D bioprinter prototype with additional features that we are currently testing, followed by an alpha and then a final, prior to transfer to manufacturing. We plan to start retailing our bioinks and truly biomimetic vascularized cancer tissue models-as-a-service in 2022. This will allow us to establish revenue, traction, and begin filling our sales pipeline with buyers for our bioprinter, which we expect to begin selling in 2023.

We have raised approximately $375K USD in government contributions, grants, competition winnings, shareholder capital, and family and friends investment.

With the next round of funding, our objectives are to produce two units of the alpha prototype, hire key roles, launch our bioink and tissue model products, and to sustain operations (relocating to our own 24/7 lab space). We are currently seeking up to $3.5M USD in Seed capital investment that will give us the financial ability to reach these milestones. The VoxCell team would like to thank you for your time and interest in our company and this investment opportunity.

Market

The global Drug Discovery market continues to grow year over year but is lacking innovation – it is sustained by status quo practices that result in a drug failure rate of 95% and low translatable data between the pre-clinical and clinical development phase of less than 8%. We strongly believe that we can change this with a better way to get drugs to market sooner, increase translatable results, and ultimately improve the success rate of new drugs by eliminating unlikely candidates sooner.

The global market was valued at $70B USD in 2020 and is estimated to rise to $110B USD by 2025 with a CAGR of 10%. In North America alone, we estimate that capturing even 1% of our four customer segments, Academia, Research Centres, Contact Research Organizations (CROs), and Pharmaceutical companies’ needs would result in a potential Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) of over $300M USD.

Þ Academia 3000+ potential customers in North America, 4000+ in Europe. 50 – 200 tissue models per month ($14M USD/year with capturing 1% of this segment’s need)

Þ Research Centres 20,000+ potential customers in North America, 15,000+ in Europe. 100 - 500 tissue models per month ($150M USD/year with 1% capture)

Þ CROs 1000+ potential customers Worldwide. 500 – 1000 tissue models per month ($20M USD/year with 1% capture)

Þ Pharmaceutical 2000+ potential customers in North America. 2000 – 10,000 tissue models per month, 10+ printers per company (depending on size, $160M USD/year with 1% capture)

Problem or Opportunity

The current models being used during pre-clinical in vitro testing are cell monolayers (lacking 3D environment), spheroids (lacking vasculature and scaffold), or organoids (lacking vasculature and complexity). Most scientists involved in drug discovery and development have only experienced the current methods due to a lack of meaningful innovation in this space. There has been a transition from the traditional cell monolayers to spheroids and organoids, showing that there is a need and a market for 3D models. With the rise of 3D bioprinting and our ability to produce truly biomimetic tissue models, with vasculature, and bioinks that mimic the cancer environment, we know that there is a huge opportunity to provide researchers with a better platform for in vitro testing, having a meaningful impact on organizations and patients around the globe.

Þ More than 95% of drugs fail to get to market

Þ Less than 8% translatable data between pre-clinical and clinical trials

Þ 100,000 oncology drugs currently in the pipeline and 3,500 new oncology trials starting in North America every year

Solution (product or service)

All our products are designed with one focus in mind: Truly Biomimetic solutions that are incredibly easy to use.

Ultra High Resolution: 200X higher than the average 3D bioprinter: VoxCell’s 3D bioprinter has ultra-high resolution of 500 nanometers, allowing for the creation of detailed vasculature due to 2 photon polymerization technology (2PP). Our name, “VoxCell” comes from this technology in which the focal point of the laser is called the “Voxel”. Commonly, bioprinters are extrusion based and show an average resolution of 100 microns. Our resolution is 200x higher, setting us apart from many options currently on the market.

Physiologically Relevant Vasculature: Generation of Blood Vessels: Our leading-edge proprietary software algorithm produces vasculature and capillary networks within any defined structure and is programmed based on real physiologically relevant considerations, making the creation of our tissue models as close to life-like as possible.

Integrated Easy to Use Software (no CAD required, and fully customizable): Truly Biomimetic in One Click: The vascularization software will be fully integrated with our 3D bioprinter and remain a trade secret. Our software is incredibly easy to use and will not require specialized personnel with training in CAD and 3D drawing. It has pre-defined models so that users can select a model and print with just one click. We also offer the option to fully customize and alter specific parameters, generating personalized vascularized tissue models.

Perfusable Tissue Models (as-a-service): Vascularized Tissue Models Delivered directly to you: Due to our high-resolution, vasculature generation software, and proprietary bioinks that mimic the cancer environment, the tissues created with our technology are perfect for smaller research organizations or projects that do not warrant purchasing a 3D bioprinter. We will be offering tissue models-as-a-service complete with a sterile device to perfuse the tissue with any drug being tested, allowing researchers to see the interactions of therapies with the 3D cancer environment, truly mimicking a systemic drug delivery as studied in clinical trials.

Multi-Material Printing: Tumour within a Healthy Tissue: We are currently developing some exciting IP around this feature and hope to have it established by the end of 2021. Our goal is to elevate our Truly Biomimetic models even further by creating tissues with multiple materials to more realistically mimic what we see in the human body: a variety of cell types and healthy/cancerous environments within a single tissue model.

Mimicking the Tumour Environment: Disorganized Blood Vessel Network: Cancer researchers and medical professionals know that the tumour environment is chaotic, displaying disorganized vasculature and changes in the texture of the tissues. These variations are all considered with our technologies, in our software and tissue models created by our 3D bioprinter.

Life-Saving Benefits: Personalized Medical Vascularized Cancer Tissue Models:
Not only will our solutions facilitate increased translatable results between the pre-clinical and clinical trial stages, but it will allow drugs to get to market sooner and into the hands of sick people, improving lives all over the world. We plan to expand our products to testing individualized cancer treatment at a doctor-patient level by printing personalized tissue models with the patient’s own cells and own blood network structure. We plan to tune our software to read angiograms (medical imaging of the blood vessels) and print a personalized tissue model for a specific person, allowing the drug treatment to be tailored to the individual patient.

Competitors


VoxCell’s main competitors are companies that have 3D bioprinters for sale and are focused on the drug discovery market, such as Cellink/Prellis, UpNano, and Aspect Biosystems.

Cellink/Prellis
Leading ‘bioconvergence’ company Cellink has six bioprinters in their catalogue and is publicly traded with an estimated annual revenue of $40M. The HolographX 3D bioprinter was created by Prellis but retails through Cellink and has a comparable resolution and 2 photon polymerization technology. Cellink was founded in 2015 and has an HQ in Sweden. The company has an estimated revenue in 2020 of $18M USD and have made numerous acquisitions in 2021.

Features
Cellink sells products and services to support the future of medicine and science. The HolographX is a high-resolution 3D bioprinter for the creation of tissues.

Pricing
The HolographX 3D bioprinter retails for $1.2M USD, their advanced bioinks retail for approximately $300/ml USD and they have a large line of consumables at varying price ranges.

Key Weaknesses
Cellink has been successful in what they do but is still not profitable according to Pitchbook data. They also do not specialize in cancer, nor are they able to print truly biomimetic tissue models with vasculature.

UpNano
UpNano has been in the 3D printing space for years, using similar 2 photon polymerization technology. In 2021 they launched their version of a 3D bioprinter with that same tech. They are headquartered in Austria.

Features
The UpNano Bio is a high-resolution 3D bioprinter for the creation of tissues.

Pricing
The UpNano Bio retails for an estimated $600K USD, unconfirmed.

Key Weaknesses
UpNano missed the mark on vasculature as their printer does not allow this feature. In addition, they are a machine-focused company and not focused on the type of tissue models that can be created or the impact that they can have.

Aspect BioSystems
Founded in 2013 in our own backyard, Aspect Biosystems launched an extrusion-based 3D bioprinter (RX1). They have raised over $20M USD from Venture Capitalists and a number of grants and awards.

Features
Aspect Biosystems is selling products to transform medicine. Their bioprinter is for the creation of large tissues.

Pricing
Their bioprinter retails for $200K USD.

Key Weaknesses
Aspect’s bioprinter is focused on extrusion, limiting their resolution to 100-300 microns. Therefore, it is impossible to create complex tissue models with vasculature using their technology. In addition, the printer is not enclosed, requiring extensive sterilization procedure prior to printing.

Advantages or differentiators

VoxCell is ahead of the competition with the following differentiators:

Complex In Vitro Models: Vascularized Cancer Tissue Models: Our tissue models are focused on cancer, replicating the tumour microenvironment. This focus allows us to ensure repeatable, consistent, quality products, on top of providing complex in vitro tissue models for such a devastating disease. Cancerous tumors display disorganized vasculature, enhanced stiffness, and acidic pH – and these are the parameters we are mimicking within our tissue models. There is no other competitor out there developing tissue models as complex as ours, and there is no competition for cancer tissue models.

Easy to Use: Truly Biomimetic in One Click: All of VoxCell’s products are incredibly easy to use, we have tried to take any specialized training out of the equation to increase the adoption and intuitive use. Our software does not require the user to be trained in CAD/3D drawing, nor spend hours mapping out the vasculature; it creates it in one click. When ordering tissue models-as-a-service, the customer will simply need to go to our website and order the tissues. Our tissue models will be shipped and sold in a perfusable chamber, ready to be used. In addition, the chamber will contain an opening for tissue extraction, allowing tissue post-processing for microscopy.

Towards Personalized Tissues: With the technical milestones we have on the horizon, we are excited about the ability to create personalized tissues specific to an individual patient. With the patient’s cancer cells, bioink, and an image of the specific individual’s vasculature (from an angiogram), we will be able to replicate the tumour environment and surrounding healthy environment to better determine the best treatment for the individual. This is something that no one is currently offering and we are working hard to make personalized testing a reality.

Money will be spent on

⇾ 55% Hardware: creating two alpha prototypes (80% of final)
⇾ 10% Tissues Models: testing and validation, begin sales
⇾ 20% People: full time current team, few key hires
⇾ 15% Operations: business operations, legal/IP fees

Risks

While the field of 3D bioprinting is catching on in medicine and the drug discovery market is growing year over year, there are a few factors that we need to be mindful of while growing VoxCell.

Scientific Validation and Quantifiable Data:

Our first exciting challenge is validating our tissue models, and therefore our bioink and 3D bioprinter. We have started in house experiments for cytotoxicity testing using two main cancer drugs (Doxorubicin and Paclitaxel) and are on track to finish those tests by the end of 2021. We then plan to partner with academic institutions and small research groups, providing them our tissues so that they can provide third-party testing, generating quantifiable data that speak to the efficacy of our technologies (how much time is saved, what is the increase in translatable data, etc). In conjunction with third-party validation and gathering quantifiable data, these partnerships should generate scientific publications for VoxCell and further validate us as a trusted brand.

Deeply Cemented Drug Discovery Process:

The drug discovery process has not changed in decades due to a lack of truly biomimetic innovations in this area. We believe that change is possible, and the industry is ripe for innovation on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our solutions do not aim to replace any current steps in drug development, but rather provide a more reliable in vitrotesting model after cell monolayers, before the drugs are tested in mice. Our tissue models will provide a bridge between the lack of complexity in 2D cell monolayers and the animal models. Researchers will be able to quickly eliminate therapies that would have otherwise clogged the pipeline and ultimately not be approved, saving time and resources. Since VoxCell is not aiming to replace any steps in the current drug development process, we do not need to have FDA approval for our tissues.

Capital Intensive Technology and Personnel:

Developing deep-tech hardware is expensive and building a team of brilliant scientists to make it happen also comes at a high price. We are selecting the most talented people to work at VoxCell, with all the complementary skills (tissue engineering, manufacturing, business, software development) to make this company a success and impact the lives of people around the world.

Our 3D bioprinter utilizes world-class lasers and optical components that need to be assembled by hand. We have a list of vendors that are prepared and resourced to create a large volume for us when we are ready for manufacturing.

In terms of our capital strategy, we intend to stay lean with the size of our team and operations as long as possible. We will be releasing our consumables while continuing work on the 3D bioprinter hardware, and we are planning to assemble the alpha prototypes and the first few final versions of the bioprinter in-house.

Regulatory Environment:

We have explored the regulatory path in-depth and are continuing to speak with the FDA to define our exact regulatory recommendations prior to taking our products to market. Our bioprinter and bioink are not regulated by the FDA with regards to in vitro testing, but we must demonstrate the efficacy and consistency of the tissue products produced by our technology in order to decrease the market entry barrier.

As a laser product, the 3D bioprinter is classified based on the highest level of laser exposure and will be de-risked through design by restricting laser access and exposure with fail-safe interlocks. Our bioinks will be sold dry and, therefore, treated as a dry standard chemical product.

In the case of our tissues, even though we do not require formal FDA approval, we still plan to complete the required tests such as normal tissue control, histology, cytotoxicity, and expression of cancer molecules to demonstrate that our tissue models are comparable to (and better than) standard in vitro and in vivo methods.

Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment

While still an early-stage startup, VoxCell has been lucky to align with fantastic accelerators, incubators, competitions, and is honored to have received some exciting awards and financial contributions from the government of Canada since its founding in 2020.

Incubators:
In January 2021 we were accepted into the MaRS Discovery District Innovation Hub, North America’s largest Innovation Hub with a strong community around biotech and life sciences. Through this incubator we are provided with access to leading resources and support at no cost as well as seminars, education, and community/networking. More about MaRS DD here: https://www.marsdd.com

Accelerators:
Our team has been lucky enough to be a part of some great programs, including:

WVenture - https://wventure.ca

Invention to Innovation - https://beedie.sfu.ca/programs/graduate/invention-to-innovation

League of Innovators - https://www.theleagueofinnovators.com

SFU VentureLabs - https://venturelabs.ca

YSpace Tech Accelerator - https://yspace.yorku.ca/techaccelerator/

District 3 Launch and Grow - https://district3.co

NewLab - https://newlab.com

Business Plan and Pitching Competitions:

With such a big mission that so many people can relate to, we have found that whether or not we win competitions that we enter, people are really excited about what we are doing and encouraging to make it a reality. Most recently, a VC judge at a pitch competition called it, “magic”. We have won local competitions such as PlanIt and PitchIt put on through the University of Victoria and have advanced in competitions such as being in the top 50 at the Baylor New Ventures Competition, top 16 at the University of Washington Foster School of Business Dempsey Startup Competition, and made it to the second round of the New Ventures BC Competition, all in 2021. We have also won a number of pitching competitions of various sizes, most recently taking first place at the TiE Vancouver Demo Day with a prize of $25K of services.

Awards:

VoxCell is delighted to have been awarded the Female Laboratory of Innovation and Knowledge (FLIK) Impact Honouree for CEO and Founder, Dr. Karolina Valente. Dr. Valente has also recently received the NewLab Innovator Spotlight Award, in which only 8 founders around the world were selected.

Strategic Partnerships:

We are in the process of building relationships with notable industry leaders, building out our advisory board, and connecting with ideal customers and end users to begin the process of strategic partnerships for validation and testing. These conversations have just begun in earnest in mid 2021, and they have been promising so far. We are hoping to gather letter of support and intent.

Press Mentions:

VoxCell is still a young start-up at the pre-revenue stage, but we have had a handful of press mentions from our activities listed above. We are also slated to speak on a podcast in late 2021 from Impetus Digital.

https://marsdd.com/news/innovation-update-these-7-health-tech-companies-just-joined-the-mars-community/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin&utm_campaign=content_promotion&utm_content=WebCard

https://weareflik.com/blog/the-woman-behind-canadas-first-high-resolution-3d-bioprinter

https://yspace.yorku.ca/news-story/meet-the-2021-technology-accelerator-cohort/

Photos

Photo 1 - Truly Biomimetic in One Click
4,00
1
2
3
4
5
2 voices
Sign in/Sign up
arrow_back
EN
more_horiz
close
visibility200
star0
Add to favorites
Delete from favorites
share
close
thumb_up2
Like
Unlike
Idea
Current Status
Market
Problem or Opportunity
Solution (product or service)
Competitors
Advantages or differentiators
Finance
Invested in previous rounds, $
Business model
Money will be spent on
Offer for investor
Team or Management
Mentors & Advisors
Lead investor
Risks
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Won the competition and other awards
Invention/Patent
Photos
Product Video