R&D funding enables new biotech company to advance their state-of-the-art hydrogel technology in collaboration with SINTEF and NTNU

Oslo, Norway, 22.07.2020. Biotech startup ClexBio has been awarded NOK 6.3M (approx. $670k) in grant funding from the Research Council of Norway under its IPN scheme supporting research-driven breakthrough innovation in the private sector. The funding will support ClexBio in developing a new generation of bioactive materials based on its proprietary CLEX technology in collaboration with the company’s scientific partners at SINTEF and NTNU. These next-generation biomaterials will facilitate the encapsulation of living human cells in microscopically small structures that mimic their natural environment. This enables ClexBio to recreate biological tissues in the lab and pave the way towards 3D bioprinting of functional living organs and improved single-cell methods.

The inability to precisely deposit soft materials that mimic the natural matrix of biological tissues on a microscopic scale in the presence of living, healthy cells is a central bottleneck in tissue engineering. “We are committed to overcoming exactly this limitation as it will enable the fabrication of living organs in the lab,” says ClexBio’s CSO & co-founder, Manuel Schweikle. “Ultimately, we want to engineer organs to be transplanted into a patient in need. But on our way to get there, engineered tissues will be valuable tools to better predict drug function and safety in humans without using animal testing, and for patient-specific cancer diagnostics.”

“We are excited about the support from the Research Council of Norway as the non-dilutive funding enables us to further advance our technology and expand our strategic scientific partnerships with SINTEF and NTNU. Due to the ongoing corona epidemic, the Research Council of Norway received a record number of applications from Norway’s most prestigious companies. Being successful in this highly competitive field as a small start-up is a welcome endorsement that our work is extremely relevant,” says ClexBio’s CEO and co-founder Armend Håti. “We will continue to apply for research grants and raise additional private capital in our ongoing seed financing round to expand our team and accelerate the commercialisation of our technology.”

About ClexBio

ClexBio is a Norway-based biotech company creating breakthrough solutions for tissue engineering and single-cell techniques by combining advanced microfluidics with the proprietary hydrogel technology CLEX. The CLEX technology was developed through years of research in leading microfluidic labs at Harvard University, NTNU, and EPFL. The technology allows the encapsulation of sensitive biological materials such as living cells using state-of-the-art microfluidic technology. Compared to existing solutions, this facilitates:

● The production of significantly smaller structures (up to 100x increased resolution)
● Unprecedented biocompatibility (up to 10x higher cell viability)
● Seamless integration with existing hardware

For inquiries please contact contact@clexbio.com . Find out more at www.clexbio.com and follow ClexBio on LinkedIn. The private company ClexBio is registered in Norway under the name Nordovo Biosciences AS.

About SINTEF

SINTEF is a world-leading, multidisciplinary research organisation with the vision to create technology for a better society. It is one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations and has developed solutions and innovations for society and customers all over the world for more than 70 years.

Research Scientist Øystein Arlov and the Department of Biotechnology and Nanomedicine at SINTEF have extensive expertise in the development, production, and characterisation of biomaterials. This includes the development and use of high-throughput bioassays and state-of-the-art automated high-throughput screening facilities.

For more information visit www.sintef.no/en/industry/biotech-and-nanomedicine .

About NTNU

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is Norway’s largest university. It is the country’s leading academic research institution for engineering and technology.

Berit L. Strand is a Professor for Biopolymers and Biomaterials at the Department of Biotechnology and Food Science (IBT) at NTNU, where she also serves as deputy head of research and group leader for the research group of Biopolymers and Biomaterials. Her work focuses on structure-function relations of biopolymers, chemical and enzymatic modifications, as well as the formation and characterisation of hydrogels and their use in biomedical applications, in particular cell encapsulation and tissue engineering.

For more information visit www.ntnu.edu/ibt .

 

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