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FlowCell

Develop microfluidic tools to enable 3D culture

USA, Massachusetts
Market: Pharmacology, Another
Stage of the project: Idea or something is already done

Date of last change: 07.07.2020
Min investment
$  1.500.000
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Total required
$ 7.000.000
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Idea

FlowCell is distributing existing 1st gen microfluidics tools and developing enabling micro-physilogical systems for acceleration of preclinical drug development. FlowCell is also licensing integrated opto-fluidic technologies for development of tools for measuring biomarkers in clinical trials for COVID-19.

Current Status

Making agreements with suppliers, and contract research organizations for distribution and development.
Have a core team, including experience marketer and biotech COO.
Have initial orders/interest from pharma.
Currently fundraising.

Market

1. Academia, research institutions, biotech companies, pharma -- preclinical research
2. Large pharmaceutical companies, contract research organizations -- clinical trials

Problem or Opportunity

Existing drug development processes lack physiological relevance and do not translate to approved drugs. Pharmaceutical companies literally waste billions of dollars every year on failed preclinical and clinical studies. FlowCell is addressing these technical shortcomings, and also staying close to the customer to develop a good product-market fit.

Solution (product or service)

Clinical trials of COVID treatments are not using biomarkers, and are extremely unlikely to succeed. FlowCell has know-how to address these limitations (including licensing agreements for microfluidic chips and reagents), but requires a substantial investment to make hardware for pharma.

Competitors

For distribution, there's a single (specialized) competitor in the UK: Darwin Microfluidics.

Regarding competition for pre-clinical tools, FlowCell is actually partnering up and distributing products for its competitors, including LenaBiosciences (USA) and IV Tech (Italy).

The clinical product no established competition, although some companies, such as General Fluidics (USA) are trying to develop flow cytometers for clinical applications. They use 1st generation technology hardware and reagents. FlowCell will develop next generation using integrated opto-fluidic chips, and specialized quantum dots.

Advantages or differentiators

FlowCell founder is a subject matter expert in microfluidics and biology. The unique advantage is deep understanding of microfluidics and experience with drug and biomarker development.
Specifically, FlowCell is add flow-through capability to existing "dumb" multi-well plates, making them "smart" and suitable for 3D cell culture (Smart Plate). This retrofitting offers great added value, while preserving the existing infrastructure and workflows.
The clinical product (Bio-Meter) is completely unique in its level of integration of optics and fluidics. It will deliver small, and easy-to-use devices for pharma. Another key differentiator is design fit for purpose, which results from engagement with customers (FluidsForLife), and extended prototyping and beta testing work.

Finance

Revenue streams include:.
1. Distribution of specialized microfluidic tools for life scientists. Associated consultancy fees, service agreements
2. Sales of micro-physiological systems for preclinical research
3. Sales (including paid prototypes) of miniaturized flow cytometers for clinical trials
4. SaaS -- flow cytometry analysis online (software exists, but requires beta testing).

Business model

Majority of income comes from sales of new equipment developed by FlowCell.
Distribution channels include own platform: FluidsForLife.com as well as Science Exchange, Linked-In marketing, and Google ads
Additional distribution is through partnerships with NavigatorBio and several other biotech contract business development organizations.
Metrics include sales, penetration into the new market (# customers in clinical trials), and customer database (FluidsForLife.com has a strong networking / social component)

Money will be spent on

Below is the list of topics, details available upon request:
Website development
SEO optimization
UI/UX optimization
Marketing
Veryst (COMSOL)
Finish Line (CRO)
Plastic Design Corporation
Imec
Equipment
Facilities
Corporate Lawyers
IP services
Personnel
Production

Offer for investor

This is an opportunity to get in on the ground level for a company, which is going to revolutionize drug development. Investors will be able to have very quick exit (~ 6 mo) at 3-5x.
Once the major investor comes on board with funds for hardware development, there will no further opportunities for investment in FlowCell prior to the IPO.

Risks

Technical challenges are significant, but the team is quite capable.
The major risks are to carry out the development on time and on-budget. The fundraising is addressing this risk by getting 2-3x the minimum amount.

Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment

Participated in NSF I-Corp programs: Spark and Fusion.
Carried out about 20 customer interviews.
Graduated from Founder Institute program (< 25% graduation rate). Starting in Founder Lab (fundraising arm) in mid-July. Hope to have fundraising figured out before then.

Invention/Patent

Have an angiogenesis patent (through a co-founder).
Several microfluidics patents in preparation for Smart Plate and Bio-Meter.

Photos

Photo 1 - Develop microfluidic tools to enable 3D culture

Product Video

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Idea
Current Status
Market
Problem or Opportunity
Solution (product or service)
Competitors
Advantages or differentiators
Finance
Invested in previous rounds, $
Business model
Money will be spent on
Offer for investor
Team or Management
Mentors & Advisors
Lead investor
Risks
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Won the competition and other awards
Invention/Patent
Photos
Product Video