The field of 3D bioprinting has emerged as a remarkable technological advancement in recent years. This revolutionary technique involves the fabrication of living tissues, including blood vessels, bones, hearts, and skin, through the process of additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing. Unlike traditional printing, bioprinting not only requires living cells but also relies on a conducive environment to sustain their vitality, encompassing essential elements such as nourishment, hydration, and oxygenation. To facilitate optimal cell growth, researchers employ the strategic placement of cells around 3D scaffolds made from biodegradable polymers or collagen, providing a framework for the cells to mature into fully functional tissues.
The transformative potential of bioprinting in the healthcare sector cannot be overstated. With a staggering 21 patients succumbing to organ transplant shortages every day, as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), the urgency to find innovative solutions has never been more critical. Bioprinted organs offer a promising avenue to address this pressing issue by circumventing the complexities of donor-patient matching and eliminating the long waiting lists for organ transplantation, ultimately saving countless lives and revolutionizing the field of healthcare.
Driven by these groundbreaking possibilities, the market for bioprinting is experiencing exponential growth. In 2021, BCC Research estimated the global bioprinting market's value at $2.1 billion, and projections indicate a robust compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.2%. By 2027, it is anticipated that the market will reach a staggering $5 billion, reflecting the tremendous commercial potential in this rapidly advancing field.
As we delve into the realm of bioprinting, we will explore five companies developing this cutting-edge technology, each contributing their unique expertise and innovations to shape the future of 3D bioprinting.
Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Gothenburg, Cellink has rapidly established itself as a global leader in 3D bioprinting, offering high-tech bioprinting equipment and driving advancements in cell printing and research collaborations. Recognizing the need for global growth, Cellink sought to expand into the APAC region in 2017, and they turned to Business Sweden for support in developing a partnership strategy and establishing connections with key players in Japan and Korea.
Over the past 5 years their product portfolio has expanded significantly, with the addition of approximately 10 different instruments and over 60 bioinks, contributing to their position as a leader in 3D bioprinting.Their products are utilized in more than 1,800 laboratories across 65 countries and are trusted by the world's top 20 pharmaceutical companies.
In line with their commitment to sustainable practices and supporting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, Cellink advocates for the reduction of animal testing by promoting the advantages of 3D bioprinted biomimetic models. They apply a sustainable business model through their 4R program (Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle), refurbishing their technology as they advance. This approach demonstrates that life science companies can achieve commercial success while making a positive impact on global healthcare research and the environment.
With their unicorn status achieved in under four and a half years, Cellink has expanded its operations and established the BICO Group, encompassing various medical technology areas. Their ongoing global expansion aims to lead the bio convergence industry, positioning Cellink as a sustainable leader and a driving force in the field of 3D bioprinting. By advancing the capabilities of biotechnology, Cellink's technology holds the potential to revolutionize drug development, reduce organ rejection, and address the critical shortage of organ donors, ultimately contributing to saving lives and transforming healthcare research on a global scale.
Organovo, founded in 2007 in San Diego, California, is a prominent tissue engineering company specializing in bioprinting. The company has been actively engaged in the development of human tissues for medical research and drug discovery, encompassing both normal tissues and disease models.
Leveraging their proprietary scaffold-free 3D bioprinting technology called ExVive, Organovo aims to design and fabricate functional, three-dimensional human tissues for various applications in medical research and therapeutic purposes. The technology operates on the principle of liquid droplet interactions, where droplets come together to form multicellular aggregates, resembling the natural process of cell aggregation without the need for external components. These cellular aggregates, referred to as Bio-Ink by the company, serve as the building blocks for the creation of intact tissues. Organovo provides services such as 3D Human Liver Tissue Testing, Human Liver Tissue Testing Performance, and 3D Human Kidney Tissue Testing. Collaborating with academic institutes specializing in specific therapeutic areas, Organovo aims to develop disease models and therapeutics utilizing 3D bioprinting techniques.
Notably, the company has obtained orphan drug designation from the US FDA for their 3D bioprinted liver therapeutic tissue targeting alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. In 2014, Organovo announced the successful printing of liver tissue, followed by the generation of fully functional human kidney tubular tissues one year later.
Aspect Biosystems is a Canadian biotechnology company focused on advancing the development of bioprinted tissue therapeutics to address currently incurable diseases. Their approach involves utilizing a comprehensive full-stack tissue therapeutic platform, which incorporates proprietary bioprinting technology, therapeutic cells, biomaterials, and computational design. The primary objective of Aspect Biosystems' bioprinted tissue therapeutics is to replace, repair, or supplement biological functions within the body, offering potential treatments for diseases like type 1 diabetes, genetic disorders, and acquired liver diseases.
In terms of funding, Aspect Biosystems has successfully raised a total of $27.6 million across 12 funding rounds. Their most recent funding was secured through a Convertible Note round on April 12, 2023. Furthermore, the company has recently received a substantial funding amount of over $3.6 million from the Government of Canada in March 2023.
Notably, Aspect Biosystems has established strategic collaborations to advance their research and development efforts. In 2021, they entered into a collaboration with JSR Corporation to develop bioprinted vascularized tissues for regenerative medicine. Additionally, in April 2023, Aspect Biosystems announced a collaboration and licensing agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S. This partnership aims to develop bioprinted tissue therapeutics specifically designed to deliver disease-modifying treatments for diabetes and obesity, introducing a new class of therapeutics.
Founded in 2014 as a spinout of Cornell University, 3D Bio Corp focuses on advancing regenerative medicine applications through bioprinting technology. The firm is currently engaged in a clinical trial aimed at treating microtia, showcasing their efforts to explore novel therapeutic approaches using bioprinting techniques.
3DBio has established a unique platform that enables the creation of living tissue implants for therapeutic applications. Their technology platform is specifically designed to meet the FDA's requirements for therapeutic manufacturing and delivers living tissue implants with exceptional performance.The ColVivo™ bio-ink platform, developed by 3DBio, is designed for therapeutic applications in 3D-bioprinting. It meets the cGMP processing requirements for therapeutic use while maintaining essential biological and rheological properties necessary for successful 3D-bioprinting. The company has developed proprietary processes to ensure the rapid expansion of cells in sufficient quantity while maintaining their functionality during the printing process and after implantation.
Precise Biotechnology is actively engaged in the fields of tissue engineering, biomaterials, cell technologies, bioengineering concepts, and 4D printing. Through their platform, the company facilitates the biofabrication of tissues that hold potential applications in various healthcare sectors, such as cardiology, orthopedics, dermatology, and more.
Precise Bio, founded in 2016 by Prof. Anthony Atala, MD, Prof. Shay Soker, PhD, and Mr. Aryeh Batt, has established itself as a regenerative medicine company specializing in the advancement of bio-printed tissues and organs. The company operates from two centers located in Winston Salem, NC, and Modi'in, Israel.
With a focus on ophthalmology, Precise Bio's initial product pipeline includes various fabricated functional corneal grafts, intrastromal lenticules designed to treat conditions like keratoconus and address vision correction, as well as a retinal implant specifically developed for age-related macular degeneration. These products address critical health problems in the field of ophthalmology and offer potential solutions where the availability of donor tissues and organs is limited.
In July 2022, Precise Bio announced a partnership with Carl Zeiss Meditec, a leading medical technology company. The collaboration aims to develop and commercialize fabricated corneal tissue for transplants, catering to patients in need of endothelial keratoplasty and natural lenticule transplants for treating keratoconus and vision correction.
These five companies represent the forefront of the rapidly evolving field of 3D bioprinting, each making significant contributions towards advancing regenerative medicine, personalized healthcare, and the potential for manufacturing functional human tissues.
Topics: Biotech Companies