The French government awarded Astraveus, which makes modular, microfluidic cell foundries for cell and gene therapy (CGT) manufacturing, an $11 million grant as part of France’s “Innovation in Biotherapies and Bioproduction” initiative. The funds will be used to advance the development of Astraveus’ Lakhesys ™ platform.
The grant was allocated following a review by a committee of independent experts of Astraveus’ SKALE project, which is designed to advance the company’s goal of increasing throughput, modularity, and digitalization of its proprietary Lakhesys microfluidic foundries for the manufacturing of CGT’s.
Removes the need for large-scale infrastructure
Astraveus is impacting CGT manufacturing with Lakhesys technology, an end-to-end cell foundry that uses deep process optimization and single-use, microfluidic bioprocessors to deliver better results with reduced inputs, according to Jérémie Laurent, founder and company CEO. By removing the need for large-scale infrastructure, reducing costs, processing time, and overcoming the logistical challenges associated with CGT manufacturing, Astraveus is seeking to considerably widen patient access to these life-changing therapies, added Laurent.
At the innovative core of Lakhesys are microfluidic bioprocessors, which mimic organ perfusion and significantly accelerate the molecular exchanges needed to sustain and transform cells into potent therapeutic agents, continued Laurent, noting that the high degree of precision and miniaturization enabled by microfluidic bioprocessors allow more efficient manufacturing, reducing labor and floor space, and energy requirements, thereby generating less waste and making the process far cheaper and greener.
While CGT is a young market, it has received considerable investment—an average of >$18 billion per year since 2020. However, the high per patient cost of up to $2 million has hindered both the development of new therapies and the deployment of those already identified, said Laurent. By minimizing the changes between process development and the clinic, and offering an immediate modular scalability, Lakhesys is expected to save critical time and cost with the potential to advanced both clinical research and manufacturing of approved products, accelerating the adoption of CGTs.