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FIT supports ORACAN Mini-Bioreactor Technology

07.12.2018 10:41

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In November 2018, the FIT decided to grant a seed loan of CHF 100’000 to ORACAN. Based at the EPFL Innovation Park, the startup developed a novel cell culture accelerator product for pharmas and biotech inspired by research conducted in space.
Founded in 2018, ORACAN designs and markets a mini bioreactor (MBR) for the new generation of bioprocesses (cell culture), for the pharma & biotech industry, allowing the development of new drugs.
 
Solving the scalability problem
Inspired by space technologies, ORACAN mini-bioreactor is able to reach a kLa value (volumetric mass transfer coefficient) 10 times better than the terrestrial ones for the equivalent culture chamber volume (20-30ml). This mini-bioreactor characteristic allows to solve the well-known ‘’Scalability problem’’ of the bioprocesses, reducing drastically time and cost for drugs development bioprocesses. Therefore, ORACAN’s product enables cheap and reliable processes for the cloning and the multiplication of living cells. The result is that the necessary industrial quantities of active substances for the production of large drugs, will be produced more quickly.
 
The start-up entered the ESA BIC program in 2018 (Incubation Phase). The program enables the transposition of space technologies into terrestrial applications. ORACAN’s CEO, Albert Oriol, will use the FIT seed loan to finalize and industrialize a prototype, carry biological qualification tests, and support the commercial and marketing development of the product. 
 
Contacted by Startupticker.ch, the CEO explains that the prototype has already performed successfully the preliminary functional test campaign and is at TRL (technology readiness level) 5-6. In the next months, the company will finalize the biological test campaign, including the β-test and homologations. In parallel, ORACAN will start industrialization of the soft- and hardware.

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