GMP-compliant Plant Receives Poietis Bioprinter for Tissue Fabrication Research


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French biotech startup Poietis will install its high-resolution Next-Generation Bioprinting (NGB)-C robotic platform at a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice)-compliant bioprinting plant located at the University of Barcelona (UB) ‘s Production and Validation Center for Advanced Therapies (Creatio). As part of the newly announced partnership between the bioprinting company and the Spanish institution, the new system will help Creatio researchers carry out translational studies and collaborations and produce advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) for other hospitals in Spain.

As the latest recipient of the Poietis NGB-C robotic system, Creatio will soon start using the device to develop and validate tissue fabrication. In fact, the acquisition of the bioprinter was described as an “important strategic step” by Creatio Director Josep M. Canals, who believes that leveraging the new bioprinter at Creatio’s GMP-compliant facility will offer researchers the chance to tackle many diseases through tissue engineering, such as skin and nervous system ailments.

Considered a relatively new field within healthcare, regenerative medicine has been around for more than two decades. Regenerative and cell-based therapies are already becoming increasingly popular as they supply many unmet patient needs, and the list of regenerative medicine successes is vast at this point, including bioprinting pioneer Anthony Atala’s first engineered tissue (bladder) implanted in 2006; advanced clinical trials at some of the most renowned medical centers worldwide; new research facilities, and several regulatory approvals, especially in the U.S. However, for a segment that is projected to grow to roughly $40 billion by 2030 and has advanced a lot in lab settings, Canals thinks that translating these ideas into a clinical stage is still a “missing step,” one that will allow human transplantation of tissues and organs in the future.

With the acquisition of Poietis’s new machine, the University of Barcelona hopes to contribute to the actual clinical application of artificial production of tissues and organs, providing direct benefits to patients in Spain.

“The installation of NGB-C bioprinting platform in a center such as Creatio at UB is an important milestone for Poietis and is in line with our vision to bring a 3D bioprinter into every hospital! That is a closer step to bringing bioprinting technology to the patients,” says Fabien Guillemot, co-founder and president of Poietis.

Designed for clinical applications, the NGB-C is a GMP-compliant bioprinter that enables manufacturing human living tissues in a closed system, under entirely aseptic conditions, within an isolator. It relies on the Poietis NGB platform and integrates technologies that ensure manufacturing operations’ repeatability and complete traceability.

According to Poietis, the current manufacturing methods of biological tissues are not good enough to be adopted by the medical community, even though several extremely promising advances paved the way for new therapeutic strategies in tissue repair and substitution. To set its product aside from most bioprinting instruments (which tend to rely on extrusion-based technologies that can cause cells to become damaged), Poietis combined laser-assisted technology, micro-valve, and extrusion bioprinting to develop the NGB-C, which according to the company results in cell viability beyond 95 percent.

Poietis' NGB-C clinical-grade bioprinter.

Poietis’ NGB-C clinical-grade bioprinter. Image courtesy of Poietis.

Over the past years, Poietis has made significant progress in advancing its clinical pipeline, including developing the first therapeutic product to treat chronic wound healing tissues such as diabetic foot ulcers or venous ulcers, collaborating with clinicians to create a 3D bioprinted patch for myocardial repair and a 3D bioprinted heart valve and using bioprinting for skeletal regeneration.

Now, thanks to nearly one million Euros in funding from Spain’s Ministry of Science and Innovation, Creatio could purchase the platform, equipped with a Stäubli TX2-40 Stericlean robot to perform 4D bioprinting of biological tissues in a faster, more affordable, and functional way. Furthermore, Poietis Co-founder and Business Development Director Bruno Brisson suggested that through the new alliance, the company will be supporting the Creatio team in process development and validation, which in turn can open up new opportunities and case studies for unknown clinical applications in bioprinting.

The team of researchers at Creatio.

The team of researchers at Creatio, located at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Barcelona. Image courtesy of University of Barcelona.

The latest acquisition of the NGB bioprinter and partnership follows in the steps of Poietis’s last installation of its NGB robotic system at the Hôpital de la Conception, which is part of the Marseille Public University Hospital System (AP-HM) and began using the device as part of a clinical trial for grafting bioprinted skin tissue using patients’ own cells.

Much like the previous collaboration, this new partnership is what Brisson describes as a “concrete step” toward market adoption of Poietis’ bioprinters. A move which, in turn, can help expand the bioprinting capabilities of cell and gene therapy centers, enabling them to produce implantable tissue-engineered products.

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