Astraveus SAS, the creator of modular, microfluidic cell foundries that transform cell and gene therapy (CGT) manufacturing, announces it has been awarded a further €10.4 Million grant by the French government as part of its “Innovation in Biotherapies and Bioproduction” initiative. This initiative promotes excellence in research and manufacturing of novel biotherapies. The funds will be used to advance the development of Astraveus’ Lakhesys platform.
The grant was allocated following an in-depth review by a committee of independent experts, which considered the strengths and significant potential benefits of accelerating therapeutic innovation from laboratory bench to point of care. Astraveus presented its “SKALE” project, which is designed to advance the Company’s ambition of increasing throughput, modularity and digitalization of its proprietary Lakhesys microfluidic foundries for the manufacturing of CGT’s.
This non-dilutive funding closely follows the #FrenchTech2030 accreditation led by the Secrétariat Général Pour l’Investissement (“SGPI)”, building upon the ongoing support received from the French and European innovation ecosystem, and the recent closure of an oversubscribed €16.5 million seed financing round.
Astraveus is revolutionizing the field of CGT manufacturing with its 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. By removing the need for large-scale infrastructure, reducing costs and processing time, and overcoming the logistical challenges associated with CGT manufacturing, Astraveus is seeking to considerably widen patient access to these life-changing therapies.
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. The high degree of precision and miniaturization enabled by microfluidic bioprocessors allow more efficient manufacturing, reducing labour, 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 >US$18 billion per year since 2020 – but the high per patient cost of up to US$2m has hindered both development of new therapies and deployment of those already identified. By minimizing the changes between process development and the clinic, and offering an immediate modular scalability, Lakhesys saves critical time and cost, and has the potential to transform both clinical research and manufacturing of approved products, accelerating the adoption of CGTs.
Jérémie Laurent, Founder and CEO of Astraveus, said: “This significant additional funding is a welcome further endorsement of Astraveus and our Lakhesys platform. I would like to express my gratitude to the French government for its continued support and to the SGPI and BPI France, through which this grant has been awarded. We remain completely focused on our goal of revolutionizing the field of CGT manufacturing and I look forward to providing further updates over the coming months on the excellent progress we are making.”
Paul-François Fournier, Director of Bpifrance Innovation, said: “Bpifrance is not only proud to support Astraveus financially, but also through access to its network and advice, and more recently by granting the company the #FrenchTech2030 label. Astraveus’ SKALE project perfectly aligns with France 2030 objectives to establish the nation as a leader in healthcare innovation, particularly in bioprocessing. It also matches BPI France’s mandate to deliver the ambition of the French government to strongly support the promote French industry.”
Bruno Bonnell, General Secretary for Investment, responsible for France 2030 program, commented: “This funding is awarded to French companies that are world leaders in developing the innovations that will shape the world of tomorrow. We have been impressed by Astraveus and the positive impact its technology will have on accelerating the development of Cell and Gene therapies and making cell and gene therapy more accessible for French patients.”