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All things Pharma

Biotech company accelerates cheaper drug and vaccine manufacture

An Innovate UK-backed biotech company has achieved a pioneering biocomputer breakthrough which is accelerating the development and manufacture of cheaper drugs and vaccines.

BiologIC Technologies, inventor of the world’s first biocomputer, has developed 3D printed ‘lab-on-a-chip’ platforms – miniaturised devices that integrate multiple laboratory functions onto a single chip.

These enable faster, more efficient, and cost-effective analysis of biological samples, with applications ranging from drug testing to point-of-care diagnostics.

Thanks to Analysis for Innovators (A4I), a grant funding programme run by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, BiologIC was able to access the expertise and advanced equipment of the National Measurement Laboratory (NML) hosted at LGC.

As a result, the Cambridge-based company has achieved a massive leap in its understanding of how the plastic materials used in 3D printing the chips interact with biological applications.

It is now able to demonstrate greater biocompatibility and stability of its ‘lab-on-a-chip’ which means pharmaceutical manufacturers and Contract, Design and Manufacturing Organisations (CDMOs) can now speed up the work needed before developing minimum viable products, which will ultimately lead to faster time-to-market and cheaper drugs and vaccines.

Commenting on BiologIC’s experience of the A4I programme, Dr Colin Barker, Chief Scientific Officer at BiologIC Technologies, said: “Without access to the high-end analytics, and, more critically, the world class expertise at NML made possible through the A4IX funding, it would likely have taken us several years to achieve the same insights.

“We’ve already taken the learning we’ve gained from the grant and applied it in real time. We have several active projects, where we have directly applied our new knowledge to improve customer outcomes. This grant directly led to an increase in our understanding, which has had an immediate impact, and greater commercial success.”

Simon Yarwood, Knowledge Transfer Manager – Industrial Technologies, A4I at Innovate UK KTN, said: “The transformation of BiologIC is yet another success story generated by A4I. It is an effective demonstration of how we empower companies to boost their productivity and their competitiveness by solving difficult technical analysis-type problems that maybe they’ve been battling with for some time.

“And we introduce them to some unique partner organisations, like NML, who have world class skills and unique facilities. That allows them to look at problems in a new way, and then help solve them.”

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Emma Cooper
Emma Cooper
Emma is Content Manager at Pf Media.

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