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Limula secures CHF 6.2 million to advance automated cell therapy platform

Life sciences

21 May 2024

Vaud-based life sciences company Limula has secured CHF 6.2 million to democratize access to life-saving cell and gene therapies. Limula founders (from left to right): Dr. Luc Henry (CEO), Dr. Yann Pierson (CTO) and Dr. Thomas Eaton (COO). | © CC-BY Jonathan Moy de Vitry

Vaud-based life sciences company Limula has secured CHF 6.2 million to democratize access to life-saving cell and gene therapies.

Limula, a Lausanne-based life science company, has raised CHF 6.2 million in an oversubscribed seed round to further develop its automated Cell and Gene Therapy (CGT) manufacturing platform. The funding, led by LifeX Ventures and supported by Verve Ventures, Zühlke Ventures, Oxford Seed Fund, Lichtsteiner Foundation, W.A. de Vigier Foundation, and private investors, marks a significant milestone in Limula’s mission to make CGTs more accessible and affordable.

Founded in 2020 by Dr. Yann Pierson, Dr. Luc Henry, and Dr. Thomas Eaton, Limula aims to revolutionize the CGT field by addressing the high costs and complex processes associated with current manufacturing methods. Their innovative platform combines a bioreactor and a centrifuge into a single closed vessel, automating the production of cell therapies and eliminating the need for manual steps that are labor-intensive and costly.

In the company’s press release, Dr. Luc Henry, CEO of Limula, stated: “Our team is driven by the ambitious goal of developing tools that are based on a fundamentally novel way of manipulating cells outside of the body. Our technology supports manufacturing workflows that are impossible to automate with existing tools. We believe automation is the only route to scalability and digital traceability. These two aspects are keys to unlocking the full potential of Cell and Gene Therapy, making them accessible to the many, not just the few.”

The funds raised will be used to advance the development of Limula’s proprietary platform, ensuring it meets good manufacturing practice (GMP) requirements. This will enable CGT providers to transition from pre-clinical evaluation to clinical trials and eventually to commercial-scale manufacturing of clinical-grade cell products. Limula is already working with selected cell therapy developers to run pilots and plans to onboard more industry and academic partners.

Benefiting millions of patients worldwide

Limula has previously received support from the CSEM for the prototyping and pre-industrialization of its technology, as well as funding from Biopôle’s Start-Up Fund. These collaborations have helped Limula develop a pre-industrial solution that is now being tested for the production of cell therapies.

Dr. Inaki Berenguer, Managing Partner at LifeX Ventures, expressed his enthusiasm for Limula’s work: “We’re thrilled to stand with the Limula team as they reinvent cell and gene therapy manufacturing. It’s evident that production tools have lagged behind scientific and clinical advancements, particularly in terms of price and scalability. Limula’s commitment to addressing these bottlenecks is crucial to enhancing accessibility for patients.”

With the growing interest in CGTs, Limula’s automated and scalable solutions are poised to make a significant impact on the healthcare industry, ultimately benefiting millions of patients worldwide.