VC banks on CAR T through acoustic wave separation firm investment
The New Jersey-based life sciences backer has added FloDesign Sonics (FDS) to its portfolio, describing the investment as an entry into commercial CAR T and immunotherapy production advancement.
“FloDesign Sonics is fundamentally changing cell selection, handling and separation through application of gentle acoustic processing,” said Daniella Kranjac, co-founder and managing director of Dynamk Capital.
“We are thrilled to see the commercialisation of this technology in bioprocessing, and now FDS is set to innovate cell and gene therapy delivery, reducing cost and improving access to life-saving therapies, by enabling closed, automated, and gentle cell processing.”
‘Enabling the fourth pillar of modern medicine’
The firm’s acoustic wave separation (AWS) system uses a three-dimensional standing wave to trap and gather cells in the flow channel through a process called acoustophoresis. This allows particle separations that are more typically performed with porous filters or centrifuges but offers low-power, no-pressure-drop, no-clog, and no-shear, according to the company.
The platform was licensed by Pall in 2015 as an alternative to tangential-flow filtration (TFF) and alternating tangential flow (ATF) in perfusion technologies, and more recently the firm has been pushing the tech towards cell and gene therapy applications.
Last September, FDS founder and CEO Stanley Kowalski spoke with Biopharma-Reporter on the back of a co-development deal with an undisclosed large biopharmaceutical firm to commercialise the acoustic-based unit operations in both concentration-wash and acoustic affinity cell separation (AACS) for production of a CAR T candidate.
“We believe we are really going to enable the CAR T therapies to lower the cost,” he told us at Biotech Week Boston. “We like to say we are enabling the fourth pillar of modern medicine.”