Cell and Gene Therapy Made Easy
Cell & Gene Therapies are ‘living drugs’ made from the patient’s own cells, reprogrammed to target the root of the disease rather than addressing its symptoms. For the first time, medicine offers a cure for cancer and other life-threatening conditions.
Unfortunately, the production of cell therapies is a complex, multi-step process that involves the manipulation of precious human samples. It is currently based on outdated, labor-intensive manufacturing protocols. Several of the cell processing steps must be done manually and in the open, requiring highly skilled lab technicians working in sterile clean room facilities that are expensive to build and maintain. High costs for labor and infrastructure lead to a price tag of CHF 500,000 or more for a single dose, and limited patient access. Today, less than 10% of eligible people receive a personalized cure and patients die while waiting for a manufacturing slot.
Limula’s team of engineers and biologists is developing a fully automated device that encapsulates the whole process of cell therapy manufacturing into a single instrument. This platform allows the production of high-quality cell therapies, at lower cost, from the patient’s blood, on demand and at scale, directly at the point of care.
This patented technology can perform all steps of cell therapy production in a single device. The startup uses end-to-end automation and integrated process analytics to build a game-changing tool for an industry struggling to scale during the transition between the dozen doses needed for early clinical trials and the thousands of batches needed to routinely treat patients.
Limula’s mission is to make these treatments accessible to all patients, at reasonable cost, wherever they are. The startup wants to become a leader in cell processing automation technologies.
Their technology was born in a garage in 2020 on the shores of the Lake Leman in Switzerland. With a prototype at hand, the team partnered with the best research institutions in and around Lausanne and demonstrated their ability to process human primary T cells in a Proof of Concept. In 2022, Limula moved to the Biopôle StartLab in Lausanne, Switzerland.