“Valitacell is focused on increasing research and development activities in Ireland,” Alison Quinn, NIBRT, marketing and communications manager told us.
As a member of the NIBRT Bio-Logic Research Centre, Quinn said the company will increase research undertaken with NIBRT researchers – initially targeting the biologic drug market, although the technology has wider applications.
Quinn added that Valitacell “has identified the area of future analytical technologies as an area where both parties can work together.”
The company has also agreed to make its analytical technology available to NIBRT researchers and to facilitate engagement with Valitacell customers.
Valitacell moved into the new facilities on December 1, 2016.
Valitacell’s ChemStress technology replicates the stresses that cells encounter in an industrial bioreactor on a 96 well plastic plate.
The company explained this is achieved by coating the plate’s wells with chemicals that impact the cells’ metabolism.
The cell’s unique response to this impact is called the Stress Response Fingerprint, which is the basis for other Valitcell technology
According to the company, when the fingerprint is combined with analytical algorithms, it is able to predict cell performance, predict cell stability, confirm cell identity, and detect batch changes in the food media used to grow the cells.
During development of the platform, Valitacell also developed an in-house a test to measure the amount of biologic drug (IgG antibody) produced. The test was the company’s first product and was launched in February 2016 as ValitaTITER and ValitaTITER HS (high sensitivity).
The technologies have been validated with several companies, including MedImmune, Lonza, Fuji Film Diosynth, GE Healthcare, and Genentech.
While the Valitacell ChemStress platform has yet to be launched, the technology is currently being validated by MedImmune, GE Healthcare, and Genentech. Commercial discussions are also underway and GSK has signed an evaluation agreement to trial the ChemStress platform.
The company also recently completed a €500,000 cash funding round supported by its existing investors. Another €300,000 is being invested by Enterprise Ireland as matched funding under its HPSU Investment scheme.