AMS Spring 2023

Cellink Expands its Bioconvergence Footprint in India

6K SmarTech

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Bioconvergence company Cellink partnered with 3D printing technology supplier Altem Technologies to accelerate the groundwork for life-sciences bioprinting in the Indian market. Local research institutions and hospitals can now contact Altem directly to enquire about Cellink products, including the bioprinters Bio X6, Bio X, LumenX, and Inkredible+, along with its bioinks. The deal will strengthen Altem’s scope in medical research and life science applications and expand Cellink’s footprint in India, where the Swedish-Boston-based startup can provide bioprinting knowhow to scientists for conducting in vitro studies and reducing the product development time of drugs and medicines.

Fueled by the aim to democratize 3D bioprinting technology in India, Altem, together with Cellink, will make strategic efforts to identify and nurture opportunities for bioprinting developments in the country. According to Altem’s Co-founding Director Sharath Chandra, the outcome of this partnership will be to engage and respond to future trends in medicine and healthcare through bioconvergence solutions.

New content on 3D bioprinting disease models, speeding up therapeutic discoveries in vitro. Image courtesy of Cellink.

Cellink has been preparing for years to drive the adoption of 3D bioprinting for researchers everywhere. Through a strategic business plan implemented by co-founder and CEO Eric Gatenholm, the company went from a startup that developed innovative bioinks to a global leader in bioconvergence, aiming to revolutionize personalized healthcare.

With the company now comprising a group of subsidiaries, including Discover Echo, Ginolis, and Nanoscribe, Cellink will be rebranded as BICO, short for BIo COnvergence. The group’s new name, as well as new visual identity and logotype, are expected to strengthen its alignment to the diversity of technologies that make up the company. Aside from bioprinting, Cellink offers customers an entire workflow which includes robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and software platforms.

Bioprinting is a fast growing field. Image courtesy of Cellink.

Through this agreement, Cellink expects its technology to reach a wide range of research institutes and hospitals. The 3D printing business based out of Bengaluru has a team of specialists with expertise in life sciences who are already working with researchers to provide innovative new products in the local healthcare industry.

For 10 years, Altem has been a product lifecycle management (PLM) software partner for Dassault Systèmes and distributor of Stratasys 3D printers in India since 2010. Altem is a forerunner and leader in supplying everything 3D to the region. By incorporating bioprinting technologies into its portfolio, the business can supply the resources needed for applications like biofabrication, drug discovery and development, molecular biology, and omics, enabling researchers to culture cells in 3D, print human tissues, and organs for research purposes.

Commenting on this partnership, Cellink Bioprinting Managing Director Cecilia Edebo said that the convergence of robotics, AI, genomics, and bioprinting can contribute to improving the quality and future of healthcare in India. “Given the larger addressable population and growing demands for precision medicine, there is a pressing need for addressing the healthcare requirements on priority and calls for accelerated research on the future of healthcare. Our partnership with Altem will contribute in the direction of developing the technology of tomorrow for creating a better quality of life.”

Bioprinting for cancer research. Image courtesy of Cellink.

India has much potential in drug and medicine development, suggested Chandra, but requires more specialized technologies to deliver life science and healthcare services. With the country’s estimated total of 69 thousand hospitals, out of which 43 thousand are private, and millions of patients, the potential to improve people’s health and lives here is huge. This is something Gatenholm has been trying to do ever since founding Cellink in 2016. Whether it’s in the US, Europe, Asia, or India, Cellink’s vision is to see its bioconvergence initiative reach its full potential to contribute to creating the “health of the future.”

Through this deal, the partners will attempt to push forward an industry that has been growing globally. Bioprinting is expected to reach $1.1 billion in revenues by 2027, according to SmarTech Analysis’ last report. Once a niche segment, this 3D technology has turned into a well-known commercial application among researchers and scientific investigators.

In India, the 3D printing market is still emerging but should pick up in the next decade. Local startups like Pandorum Technologies, Next Big Innovation Labs, IndiBio, and BioP India are just a few of the players that have appeared in the last few years. However, an established brand like Cellink is destined to accelerate the adoption of bioprinting technologies while increasing market demand for the entire bioprinting ecosystem.

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