|By Business Wire||
|July 28, 2014 07:00 AM EDT||
Emulate, Inc. today announced the company’s launch with a $12 million Series A financing to commercialize a first-in-kind, automated ‘Organs-on-Chips’ platform that mimics human physiology and diseases, while permitting real-time elucidation of molecular mechanisms of action and toxicity. Emulate’s proprietary Organs-on-Chips platform achieves a new industry standard by predicting human responses to medicines, chemicals, and toxins more rapidly and with greater fidelity than animal models. The company’s mission is to commercialize its Organs-on-Chips bioemulation products, automated platform and software to enhance innovation and accelerate the development of pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic, and personalized medicine products.
The Emulate, Inc. Lung-on-Chip in the photo is lined with human lung and blood vessel cells to create a new living technology platform to emulate human biology (Photo: Business Wire)
“Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips platform provides, for the first time, a window into the inner-workings of human organs without having to invade a living body,” said James Coon, Chief Executive Officer of Emulate. “Our unique automated Organs-on-Chips approach to human bioemulation opens up entirely new possibilities to develop products with enhanced properties, improved efficacy and safety, and personalization to patients and consumers. The company will focus on key strengths of integrating design, biology and engineering to create revolutionary products. We are launching Emulate to be a leader in advancing innovative product design across multiple industries including drug development, healthcare, agriculture and consumer health.”
Emulate will use the proceeds from the financing to advance the first commercial applications of its automated Organs-on-Chips platform through co-innovation with corporate and clinical clients, and through internal development programs. The company’s initial focus will be use of Organs-on-Chips to provide more rapid and accurate evaluation of human responses to drugs and cosmetics, and to create new clinical guidance tools for personalized therapies. The Series A financing was led by the venture capital firm NanoDimension, alongside of investment by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and private investor Hansjörg Wyss.
“Emulate’s platform has significant potential to advance human health today, not only to better design and evaluate new breakthrough medicines, but also to drive more personalized diagnosis and treatment approaches,” said Shlomo Melmed, M.D., Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Medical Faculty at Cedars-Sinai. “Our vision is we can one day put each patient’s cells on chips that mimic the function of organs, and this will open up new ways for us to design truly personalized treatment with stem cells, based on each patient’s unique genetic profile on their own individualized Organs-on-Chips.”
Leading Foundational Science and Team
The company’s founding team carried out their ground-breaking foundational research, engineering and technology translation at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, which has made automated human Organs-on-Chips a reality. The company’s scientific founder and a pioneer in the field of organs-on-chips, Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Director of the Wyss Institute and faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Boston Children’s Hospital will chair Emulate’s Scientific Advisory board. Lead Senior Staff Scientist at the Wyss Institute, Geraldine A. Hamilton, Ph.D., will join as President and Chief Scientific Officer of Emulate. James Coon, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Wyss Institute, has been appointed Emulate’s Chief Executive Officer. Hamilton and Coon collectively have over 30 years of experience in biotechnology startups and the pharmaceutical industry.
Emulate has a worldwide license to a robust and broad intellectual property portfolio for its bioemulation Organs-on-Chips platform from Harvard University, and is uniquely positioned to advance the technology into successful commercial applications, supported by multiple years of vigorous research and development by its experienced team of scientists and engineers.
“This advanced technology is the beginning of a revolution in the way we study human biology and disease, as Emulate sets a new standard for products to be aligned with a complete picture of human biology,” said Geraldine A. Hamilton, Ph.D. “Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips allow living human cells to interact with other cell types within the authentic physical context of living tissues and organs as they would normally in the human body. This ability to bioemulate the human organ microenvironment through microengineering – combined with automated instrumentation that permits molecular scale analysis in real-time – allows us to replicate, analyze and predict human responses in a truly unique and powerful way.”
Organs-on-Chips for Human Bioemulation
Emulate’s technology represent a unique human bioemulation platform that permits analysis of molecular functions within human cells living in an engineered microenvironment that accurately recapitulates human organ biology. Human Organs-on-Chips are miniaturized devices created with microchip manufacturing that contain tiny hollow channels lined by living human cells and tissues cultured under continuous fluid flow and mechanical forcing regimens, such as cyclic breathing and peristalsis, which effectively recapitulate organ-level physiology and disease responses. In Emulate’s automated platform, different Organs-on-Chips, such as lung, liver, intestine, kidney, skin, eye, and blood-brain-barrier, can be linked together by flowing liquid containing living human immune cells that simulates blood to form a “Human-Body-on-Chips” to more closely replicate whole body-level responses.
Emulate, Inc. is a private company focused on commercializing Organs-on-Chips as an automated human bioemulation platform that achieves a new standard for mimicking true human physiology so that responses to medicines, chemicals and diseases can be accurately predicted. Through co-innovation with collaborators and internal programs, Emulate is advancing product innovation, design and safety across a range of applications in drug development, personalized medicine, agriculture and chemical-based consumer products. For more information, visit www.emulatebio.com.
NanoDimension is a U.S. and Europe based venture capital firm specializing in nanotechnology. Founded in 2002, NanoDimension invests in early-stage companies that are developing break-through technologies at the nano-scale to disrupt markets and to solve critical global problems. For more information, visit www.nanodimension.com.
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