The funds supporting the spin-off included Novalis Biotech Acceleration, a Flemish innovation fund specializing in early investments in biotechnology and life science start-ups; Qbic II, the Belgian interuniversity venture capital fund; and a group of experienced private investors also participated.
Trince plans to grow to 35 to 40 employees within five years and use its technology to improve the quality of cell therapies and make them more affordable.
Cellular transfection based on nanotechnology and laser irradiation
Current methods use viral vectors to introduce genetic material into cells during cell therapy, but Trince says he’s developing safer, faster, and more affordable technology for cell modification that combines nanotechnology and laser irradiation. .
The company’s LumiPore transfection platform, which is covered by a portfolio of pending patents, combines laser exposure with photothermal nanoparticles to convert light energy into heat to transiently permeabilize the cell plasma membrane .
The technology can be used to deliver a wide variety of effector molecules – nucleic acids or proteins – in virtually any cell type, including difficult-to-transfect cells such as immune cells for cell therapy, according to the developer.
“The method is safer because there is no long-term risk because we used nanoparticles encapsulated in fibers. Viral vectors pose a long-term health risk requiring patient monitoring for at least 15 years.
“It’s faster because the technology is high throughput and can be integrated into a closed manufacturing environment, so there’s no need to change pads or clean, etc.
“It’s cheaper because we skip a step in the process, the cells are healthier and more powerful, which allows us to reduce the manufacturing time by several days”Philip Mathuis, CEO of Trince, told BioPharma-Reporter.
The technology is the result of a decade of research by the team of Kevin Braeckmans and Stefaan De Smedt, professors at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UGent.
The intellectual property will be transferred to Trince, and the spin-off will also receive a license on the results of the joint research carried out by the University of Lille (CNRS, France) and the UGent.