BioLife Solutions, Inc., a leading developer and supplier of best-in-class bioproduction tools for cell and gene therapies has announced a co-investment accelerator program with Casdin Capital, targeting early stage companies that are developing novel cell and gene therapy bioproduction tools. BioLife and Casdin will each invest, subject to completion of certain closing conditions, $1.5 million in privately held Sexton Biotechnologies a recent spinout of Cook Regentec, in exchange for an 18% ownership stake for each of BioLife and Casdin. Other investors included Cook Regentec and BioCrossroads Indiana Seed Fund III, LLC, a leading public/private partnership to support life sciences in Indiana.
BioLife Solutions, founded in 1987, headquartered in the Greater Seattle Area, west coast USA, is the leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of proprietary biopreservation media for cells and tissues. HypoThermosol® hypothermic storage and CryoStor® cryopreservation freeze media are highly valuable in the regenerative medicine, biobanking and drug discovery markets.
The recently acquired ThawStar® family of automated cell thawing products and evo cold chain management system reduce therapeutic and economic risk for cell and gene therapy developers by reducing the potential of administering a non-viable dose.
Sexton Biotechnologies is a revenue stage, biotechnology company focused on the development and sales of bioproduction tools for cell and gene therapy (CGT) founded in 2019 as a spin out of Cook Regentec, a business and medical technology incubator located in Indianapolis, Indiana. Sexton develops purpose-built CGT tools and media to enable flexible automation and scaling of cell manufacturing processes to increase the probability of positive clinical outcomes and reduce time-to-market, failure points, and labor costs. Sexton’s portfolio includes the CellSeal platform of cryo-storage tools and fill/finish systems and human platelet lysate growth supplements.
iVexSol is a newly formed viral vector manufacturing company based in Boston founded on a proprietary, next-generation, stable lentiviral vector production process that transforms the way these essential gene-delivery vehicles are made. Its technology will greatly reduce the complexity, cost and development time of these critical reagents, thereby accelerating development and enabling greater access to life-changing cell and gene therapies.
BioLife and Casdin Capital also each invested $1 million in the form of convertible debt in iVexSol. iVexSol has developed a clinically-proven, transformative lentiviral vector (LVV) manufacturing process which addresses the current shortage of LVV, producing nearly 10 times the quantity of potent, high quality vectors at a fraction of the cost and duration of legacy processes. This proprietary methodology promises to lower costs and provide a robust supply of vector for CGT researchers and manufacturers, which in turn will shorten clinical development timelines and increase access for patients waiting to receive these life-changing treatments.
“It is increasingly recognized that tools and technology for bioproduction are critical for the successful development and delivery of cell and gene therapies. We’re committed to leveraging technology to accelerate therapeutic innovation. Our strategic investment program enables early stage companies developing disruptive tools to access financial support, distribution and operational leadership.” – Mike Rice, CEO, BioLife Solutions
“The accelerator model has proven to be incredibly stimulating for innovation in emerging technology fields. In collaboration with BioLife, this program offers the potential to create great opportunities for investment and deliver tremendous benefits to the cell and gene therapy industry as a whole.” – Eli Casdin, Managing Partner, Casdin Capital