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Swiss start-up Limula, co-founded by Luc Henry, has secured a $6.8 million funding round to support its mission of providing tools for the rapidly growing field of cell and gene therapy. This revolutionary medical area involves manipulating a patient’s cells in a laboratory and then reintroducing them to treat various diseases, ranging from leukemia to autoimmune conditions. However, due to the personalized nature of these treatments, current production methods are labor-intensive and costly, resulting in a limited number of patients receiving this type of therapy.

With an estimated 500,000 potential patients worldwide and only 10,000 receiving treatment last year, there is a significant capacity crunch in the cell and gene therapy field. Limula aims to address this issue by developing a new piece of equipment that automates the manufacturing process by combining a bioreactor and a centrifuge, eliminating the need for multiple transfers of the patient’s cells. This innovation is expected to not only reduce production costs but also significantly increase production facility capacity.

While Limula has already developed a working prototype of the equipment, the company’s next challenge is to manufacture the tool with the precision required for clinical deployment. The recent funding round, led by LifeX Ventures, will support Limula in moving towards commercial production, with the goal of having 100 machines in clinical settings by 2030. The involvement of various venture capital firms, foundations, and private individuals reflects the industry’s recognition of the importance of addressing bottlenecks in production tools to enhance patient accessibility.

The potential impact of Limula’s innovation is echoed by scientists, who believe that the company’s technology could support current process development activities and enable the manufacturing of cell products at scale. Despite competition and ongoing advancements in the field, Limula remains confident in the differentiation of its offer and emphasizes the importance of industry collaboration to drive forward a field with the potential to save millions of lives. The company hopes that its technology will revolutionize cell and gene therapy manufacturing and contribute to addressing the unmet needs of patients requiring personalized treatments.

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