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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Latvian startup secures nearly €1 million to revolutionize drug development with organs-on-a-chip technology

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Cellbox Labs, a biotechnology startup based in Riga, Latvia, has recently secured €935,000 in pre-seed funding to advance its organs-on-a-chip technology for drug development. This investment round, led by Buildit and supported by the Latvian Business Angel Network, underscores the growing interest in Cellbox Labs’ innovative approach. Organs-on-a-chip are miniature replicas of human organs that mimic their functions, providing a more accurate model for drug testing. Cellbox Labs aims to revolutionize drug development processes with its technology, potentially leading to advancements in personalized medicine and pharmaceutical research.

Cellbox Labs, in collaboration with partners such as the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Center (BMC) and the Institute of Electronics and Computer Sciences, has secured funding from the European Regional Development Fund for three projects, totaling 1.5 million euros. However, the company is also focused on attracting venture capital, recognizing that certain processes and competencies cannot be developed solely through scientific grants.

Organs-on-a-chip technology involves the development of miniature organ replicas outside the human body, serving as test models for real organs. These chips, resembling the size of a credit card, contain microchannels and a semipermeable membrane, simulating the walls of human organs. By adding a special flow of fluids, cells are pressurized, nourished, and waste is eliminated, mimicking the functions of human organs.

Cellbox Labs aims to pioneer organs-on-a-chip technology in Latvia and develop a high-tech company in the region. The company’s first product is an intestine-on-a-chip, which allows for more comprehensive drug testing compared to existing models. Cellbox Labs has also succeeded in growing anaerobic microbiota from fecal samples within the gut-on-a-chip, a unique accomplishment.

In addition to pharmaceutical applications, organs-on-a-chip technology has potential applications in personalized medicine, space exploration, and more. The company envisions a future where everyone can create and store their own organ chips, allowing doctors to prescribe personalized treatments based on the chip’s analysis.

The organs-on-a-chip industry is rapidly growing, with Cellbox Labs and “Finnadvance” from Finland being the only players in Northern Europe. As more pharmaceutical companies and industries adopt this technology, it is expected to revolutionize drug development and research practices.

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Nurcin Metingil
Nurcin Metingil
A permanent student, a passionate first reader and nowadays doing master’s degree in Publishing Management. Beside these, I am up for games! I have been playing games since I was 6. Now, I am whispering "Business. Business. Numbers. Is this working?"

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