Canadian biotechnology company Aspect Biosystems has received a $1 million investment from Genome BC, a Vancouver-based non-profit dedicated to genomics innovation. The funding will go towards advancing and further commercializing Aspect Biosystems’ 3D bioprinting and tissue engineering platform.
Since its founding in 2013, privately held Aspect Biosystems has been a key player in bioprinting technologies within Canada. It has gained considerable acclaim for its Lab-on-a-Printer 3D bioprinting platform which is capable rapidly fabricating functional, highly complex living tissues.
The system itself comprises of Aspect’s RX1 bioprinter machine, its innovative biomaterials and its disposable microfluidic printhead cartridges—the so-called “heart” of its Lab-on-a-Printer technology. By employing a coaxial flow focusing method, cell-laden bio fibers are generated within the cartridges in a specific 3D pattern. According to the company, “This unique 3D printing mechanism opens entirely new doors in the design of 3D printed tissue by allowing multiple different cell types to be precisely located or combined seamlessly during printing.”
Understandably, Aspect’s microfluidics bioprinting technology has drawn interest from a range of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, which have recognized the technology’s broad potential for therapeutic applications, including predictive drug testing platforms and transplantable tissue therapeutics. Vancouver’s Genome BC is one such organization.
“Genome BC’s investment in Aspect Biosystems will provide funds to further their commercialization initiatives including partnership activities as well as development of their platform technology,” said Dr. Tony Brooks, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Commercialization at Genome BC. “Aspect has shown significant commercial traction in a very short period of time and we are pleased to support their continued growth.”
Genome BC’s investment was made possible through its Industry Innovation (I²) program, which seeks to provide financial support for companies in the process of developing and commercializing life science technologies which could positively impact key sectors in British Columbia. The funding provided through I² is specifically given to “promising technologies…at early stages of commercial development.”
“Genome BC is playing an instrumental role in accelerating British Columbia’s most promising life science innovations and we are thrilled to have their support,” commented Tamer Mohamed, President and CEO of Aspect Biosystems. “With this additional financing, we are further increasing our capacity to meet key commercial demands and continuing our rapid growth as we work towards enabling the creation of human tissues on demand.”
In addition to the $1 million in funding which will bolster its bioprinting platform, Aspect Biosystems is also expanding its reach into the medical field by establishing partnerships with pharmaceutical, biotech, and healthcare companies, as well as research groups and institutions. By working together with experts across various medical segments, the Canadian biotech company is aiming to accelerate the development—and ultimately adoption—of its next-gen tissue engineering technology.