CellRev aims to revolutionise the way cells are grown in the lab. It is developing ground-breaking technologies to make the culturing of cells more efficient and affordable. The process is based on the novel concept of a continuous cell culturing system which has a higher yield, smaller footprint, and lower input requirements than traditional batch technologies. Its technologies can be used for various cell types and applications, making it suitable for any companies active in the culturing of cells regardless of whether they are active in the field of cultured meat, cell therapy or biologics.
There are great environmental benefits in CellRev technology. We are developing a new bioreactor that can run as a continuous process, this has been recommended by the FDA for the highest quality but also because it dramatically reduces the resources needed to produce the final product. The amount of material and the energy that is required is much lower compared to the most standard batch processes.
For bioreactors used to generate cells sterility is very important so there’s a lot of single use plastic involved. With CellRev bioreactors’ continuous process the plastic will be used for six months or longer, reducing the amount of plastic and other waste. We are now focusing even more on the environmental impact of our technology – where initially, we were mostly focused on yield.
“We joined the ICURe programme in early 2018 to address the challenges in the market and to start speaking to people to make sure what we were developing was really going to be useful to them – would they purchase it? I also wanted to make some connections and start to build relationships, it’s always more powerful to do that in person.”
“In 2019 the company raised pre-seed funds through a mixture of non-dilutive grants and direct investments, which really helped us push the company forwards. When we started, we had a proof of concept on the technology, but it’s different from having the real thing. We developed a working prototype and validated the technology, despite the challenges brought by the pandemic and having restricted access to the lab. In 2021 we raised £1m from a set of strategic investors to accelerate the development of our products and make a true innovative impact on the way cells are grown.
“In January 2022 we hired Chris Green, a Chief Commercial Officer, now the CEO, which has been crucial in defining our strategy and working towards commercialisation. We raised an additional £1.75m in investment, and we have grown the team to 14 people. We undertook a full rebrand in 2022 and renamed to CellRev with a new logo and website.”
Martina Miotto, Co-Founder and CSO, CellRev
Started on ICURe programme
Spin out completed
£1m investment raised
£1.75m investment raised
Entered pre-commercialisation phase
What companies had to say about the ICURe programme?
“I thought the ICURe programme was fantastic. The biggest thing I got out of it was the confirmation that our technology was important and that the markets were interested in it. It gave us the starting point that we needed to prioritise what we were working on and where our focus should be. The cultured meat market was just taking off during the period we started on ICURe and it was so important for us to be in the right place at the right time to capitalise on that.”
Co-Founder and CSO, CellRev
Having now validated the technology, CellRev need to show that it works in a prototype that can be used by potential customers. In 2023 it will commence external validations in collaboration with companies, which involves testing their cells in CellRev labs for compatibility with the technology. Once this had been successfully demonstrated, customers may purchase the CellRev technology.
At the end of 2023 CellRev will enter a pre-commercialization stage, and in 2024 it plans to fully commercialise the bioreactor. This will be sold as an R&D bundle, the hardware along with the consumables needed to make it work. The short and medium term plan is to get the hardware into the market at a small scale (around 15 to 50 litre reactor size) for people to get accustomed to the technology, as there will be an adoption phase. Longer term, the highest value is at a more industrial scale (around 2000 litres reactor size), and here CellRev plan to licence its IP.