For immediate release
The made-in-Canada technology is revolutionizing the cryopreservation of cell and tissues
EDMONTON, ALBERTA (December 8, 2020) – GlycoNet scientists Drs. Robert Ben and Jason Acker, who are revolutionizing the cryopreservation of cells, tissues and organs for human and veterinary therapies, have secured a $2-million USD equity investment for PanTHERA CryoSolutions (PanTHERA), a Canadian biotechnology start-up that they co-founded. The investment came from US-based investor Casdin Capital and bioproduction tools supplier BioLife Solutions Inc (NASDAQ: BLFS).
In addition to an up-front investment, subject to closing conditions, BioLife will provide an additional $2 million USD to support product development over the next 24 months in exchange for exclusive, worldwide marketing and distribution rights to the technology for use in cell and gene therapy applications. Aby J. Mathew, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at BioLife and Shaun Rodriguez, Director of Life Science Research at Casdin will join the PanTHERA Board of Directors.
“We are delighted that Casdin Capital and BioSolutions have made this visionary investment in the technology,” says Ben, co-founder of PanTHERA, GlycoNet Investigator and Professor at the University of Ottawa. “Our work has the potential to improve regenerative medicine by preventing cell damages after long-term cryopreservation. GlycoNet has supported our technology financially from the proof-of-concept stage and, along the way, provided us with partnering, and financial expertise as well as business development support. Our interactions with the commercialization experts in the Network gave us insight into the value of our discoveries. We could not have done this without GlycoNet.”
The core technology from PanTHERA was created out of an academic research collaboration between Ben at the University of Ottawa and Acker at the University of Alberta. During cryopreservation of biological materials, the uncontrolled growth of ice causes cell injury and death. PanTHERA’s solution is to develop ice recrystallization inhibitors (IRIs) to control the growth of ice and prevent this damage from occurring, ultimately resulting in superior cellular products after thawing.
“It is exciting to see such investment, which synergizes with our efforts to translate academic concepts into practical applications,” says Dr. Elizabeth Nanak, CEO of GlycoNet. “As a global leader in mobilizing health innovations based on glycoscience, we are proud to support and commercialize scientific advancements that will help turn ideas into the good jobs of tomorrow and sustainable science-based companies like PanTHERA.”
GlycoNet is advancing research, innovation, and training in glycomics to improve the quality of life of Canadians. GlycoNet is a one-stop global destination focused on developing new carbohydrate-based drugs, vaccines and diagnostics, in collaboration with academic and industry organizations to address areas of unmet need through applied glycomics research. Funded by the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program and a range of partners, the network includes over 150 researchers across Canada who focus on cancer, chronic diseases, infectious diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. This national platform supports translational research, protection of intellectual property, novel drug development, company formation and training.
About PanTHERA CryoSolutions
PanTHERA CryoSolutions is a Canadian corporation that designs and manufactures patented ice recrystallization inhibitors for use in the cryopreservation of cells, tissues and organs. Launched out of a scientific collaboration between Dr. Robert Ben (University of Ottawa) and Dr. Jason Acker (University of Alberta), PanTHERA aims to enhance the cryopreservation process to improve both research tools and clinical therapy products. For more information visit www.pantheracryo.com and follow PanTHERA on Twitter (@PanTheraCryo).
Canadian Glycomics Network
E5-33 Gunning/Lemieux Chemistry Centre
University of Alberta, T6G 2G2
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