Jan 4, 2016 | By Kira

French 3D bioprinting startup Poietis has recently raised €2.5 million (nearly US$2.8m) in its first financing round, of which €900,000 came from the equity crowdfunding platform WiSEED, representing the largest amount ever raised for a single project via the website. The funding will go towards the development and commercialization of Poietis’ exclusive laser-assisted 3D bioprinting technology, which can be used to develop 3D printed skin for use by cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies for product and drug testing, and eventually for human regenerative medicine.

Fabien Guillemot, President of Poietis

Founded in 2014 by Fabien Guillemot and Bruno Brisson, Poietis is the result of over 10 years of research conducted at INSERM (France’s National Institute for Health and Medical Research) and the University of Bordeaux. While 3D bioprinting and, more specifically, 3D skin printing are currently in development by several other organizations and research institutes, Poietis’ pioneering laser 3D printing technology stands out because it allows them to assemble live cells into pre-determined 3D structures with a resolution of up to 20 micrometers—a much higher level of precision than other 3D bioprinting technologies. This increased precision is an important benefit for creating artificial models that are able to match the physiological characters of human skin tissue.

Applications for 3D bioprinted skin are numerous and respond to several major socio-economic challenges, including reducing animal testing for cosmetic or pharmaceutical products; the creation of predictive skin models that replicate characteristics of a disease; drug discovery and/or toxicity testing; and eventually personalized regenerative medicine using customized 3D printed skin grafts.

Already, the Bordeaux-based company has signed a major R&D agreement with leading chemical firm BASF to develop advanced 3D printed skincare applications. Now, Poietis will use its €2.5 million capital increase to grow the company’s workforce from 19 to 25 highly-skilled employees; develop a dedicated 3D bioprinter; and commercialize its exlusive 3D bioprinting technology for research institutions--all of which it hopes to accomplish by 2017.

“After developing the foundations of the company during our first year, we will be able, through this round of financing, to strengthen our technology leadership at the international level in particular by developing a new generation of bio-printer dedicated to the production,” said Guillemot, the company’s President and Scientific Director.

“These funds will also allow us to validate our first products and market them to dermo-cosmetic research centers by 2017,” added Brisson, CEO. “They finally give us the necessary financial strength to engage in new co-development deals with industry leaders in our market.”

The capital increase was funded by existing shareholders, business angels, and loans from France’s BPI (public investment bank), the Regional Council of Aquitaine, Aquitaine Popular Bank Atlantic Center, EADS Development and Michelin Development. In addition, nearly €1 million came from the crowdfunding platform WiSEED, which unlike regular crowdfunding platforms, allows backers to provide money in exchange for a portion of the startup’s equity. In total, 783 backers contributed €900,000 via the platform.

“WiSEED is very proud of the wisdom and the enthusiasm of its community of investors on the dossier presented by Poietis. This is a record collection of funds in terms of both the amount and number of investors,” said Thierry Merquiol, Co-Founder of WiSEED. He added that WiSEED members are sensitive to projects with high social impact, and thus recognized the strong potential for Poietis to succeed within the booming 3D bioprinting industry, which is said to be worth a $1.82 billion by 2022.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printer Company

 

 

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