Biotechnologies: the start-up Ceidos aims to industrialize its product in 2023
The year 2023 will be very interesting for the start-up Ceidos, based at the BioArk in Monthey and supported by The Ark Incubator. The company will be raising funds in the coming months to finance the industrialisation of its product. Its innovation is a compact machine that enables the contents of bioreactors in which drugs or cell therapies are produced to be analysed automatically and sterilely.
"Many of the drugs we use are produced by cells in culture. This is the case for many vaccines, certain antibodies and even insulin," says Sébastien Walpen, co-founder of Ceidos. To produce these drugs, it is necessary to use bioreactors. These bioreactors are closed, sterile containers in which cells are cultivated. Inside, it is possible to control all the parameters (temperatures, acidity of the culture medium, glucose levels, etc.).
"But to find out what is going on inside the bioreactors, you have to come and take samples every day to analyse them on external machines," says Sébastien Walpen. Every time this is done, a breach is opened in the bioreactor, risking the entry of a bacterium and thus contaminating the entire contents. "This can endanger patients waiting for customised cell therapies, or have huge economic implications for large-scale production. These analyses are also unreliable, with great variations depending on the operators. The tests are also destructive, as the cells collected are lost. This can be problematic in the case of small production volumes.
Tenfold cost reduction and more reliable analysis
Ceidos has therefore developed a machine, the C-Netics. It is about the size of a shoebox. "A sterile, single-use kit is connected to the bioreactor. The cells are automatically pumped into the C-Netics and passed through an analysis cartridge before being re-injected into the bioreactor. Throughout the process, the bioreactor remains closed. There is therefore no risk of contamination. Measurements are much more reliable as they can be taken every three minutes if necessary, rather than once a day.
"Costs are reduced by a factor of ten compared to current solutions, and the analysis data is also accessible outside the cleanroom. The analysis data can be viewed at any time, even on a smartphone. The machine works with a single-use kit that consists of an analysis cartridge using microelectrodes to test the viability of cells.
Finalising the software and raising funds
Ceidos was founded in 2019 by Sébastien Walpen and Léonard Barras. Its product is well advanced, with several prototypes deployed in industrial settings. "For 2023, we hope to finalise everything related to the software and to launch industrial production. We will be raising funds to achieve these ambitions.
For more information: www.ceidos.com