A Ballarat-based company improving the preservation of biological matter is going global, with a new partnership in the United States.
Vitrafy Life Sciences has partnered with Texas-based BioBridge Global to develop new cryopreservation systems for human blood services, life-saving cancer treatments and reproduction research.
Brent Owens, one of the co-founders of the Ballarat company, has spent the last few weeks in the US finalising the partnership.
He said he was proud to partner with BioBridge Global.
“Cryopreservation supply chains haven’t seen technological advancements for decades,” Mr Owens said.
“A post-COVID world needs better systems in place to ensure that a constant supply of blood products is always available for patients in need.”
Vitrafy Life Sciences was established in 2018, after Ballarat residents Sean Cameron and Brian Taylor and Mr Owens, originally from Melton, began work to improve food preservation systems for transport.
They worked to develop algorithms, which are mathematical equations, and a refrigeration solution, to preserve any product at any quantity.
The team moved into the biomedical innovation space after realising the potential to make life-saving change with their innovations.
The company is now preparing to go public on the ASX and has rapidly expanded its staff team and partnerships at the Ballarat lab.
The team is nearing 20, with three more staff beginning in the coming weeks.
Chief executive Mr Cameron said Vitrafy Life Science’s point of difference was increasing the success rate of cryopreservation from 50 per cent to above 90 per cent, which had not previously been achieved around the world.
Improving the survival rates of blood and blood products during preservation could prevent blood shortages experienced worldwide.
The technology could also change the delivery of existing and emerging cell-based therapies including cancer treatments.
There is also potential to develop new products that cannot currently successfully be preserved.
Mr Cameron said the BioBridge Global partnership allowed Vitrafy Life Sciences to begin pre clinical trials on cancer treatments that were not currently available in Australia.
He said the partnership would also accelerate the regulatory approval process for its technology in the United States.
BioBridge Global is a not-for-profit that provides products and services in blood resource management, cellular therapy, donated umbilical cord blood, human tissue, blood testing, plasma and tissue products.
The organisation’s senior vice president and chief medical officer Dr Rachel Beddard said the partnership with Vitrafy would bring ‘game-changing’ technology to America.
“This innovative technology aligns with BioBridge Global’s mission of saving and enhancing lives through the healing power of cells and tissues by enhancing the cold chain solution for a wide range of our products,” she said. Vitrafy Life Sciences is also working with the Royal Women’s Hospital to preserve ovaries for the first time and the technology is being used by the Red Cross to preserve blood products.
Vitrafy’s algorithm calculates the required operating conditions for biomaterial cryopreservation and informs the automation software of precise operating conditions to deliver optimum cell survivability.
This story The Victorian start-up going global
first appeared on The Courier.