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In the pursuit of an effective cure for cancer, every small victory counts. Yet, the new partnership between Sarcura and imec is anything but small. The Austrian tech start-up announced a collaboration with imec, Flanders’ world-leading nanotech research center, which aims to move gene and cell therapy forward. “We share the same vision of cross-industry innovation,” says Daniela Buchmayr, CEO of Sarcura.

Defying the odds

Transformative cell therapies, which use a patient’s own living immune cells to attack malignant tissue, constitute a promising new cancer treatment. However, due to its diverse and individualized nature, cell therapy has long been a bottleneck for the biotech industry, which remains committed to established generic biomanufacturing concepts at high volume. That’s where Sarcura comes into play. This newly founded early-stage technology company is developing an instrument platform for the GMP manufacturing of autologous cell therapies.

Innovation through collaboration

Crucial in the development of Sarcura’s automated cell therapy manufacturing solution is its collaboration with imec, one of Europe’s top research centers for start-up support. Together with this leading expert in silicon technologies and nanoelectronics, the Austrian firm will work on an integrated, silicon photonics cytometer for automated cell separation. According to Daniela Buchmayr, CEO of Sarcura, this solution, unleashed at manufacturing scale, will open new opportunities for industrial cell processing.

In imec, we found a trusted partner that shares the same vision of using cross-industry innovation to tackle manufacturing challenges in cell and gene therapy.

Daniela Buchmayr
CEO of Sarcura

On the verge of a breakthrough

For imec, this partnership fits in well with its ambition to connect to the cell and gene therapy ecosystem. “The use of silicon technology allows extreme miniaturization, as well as microfluidic parallelization and scalable photonic integration of optical cell measurements,” explains Liesbet Lagae, life sciences R&D director and fellow at imec. “This allows the expert team to build compact high-throughput modules that can inspect every single cell and handle billions of cells.”

Our collaboration with Sarcura will help make highly potent cell and gene therapies affordable and accessible.

Liesbet Lagae
life sciences R&D director and fellow at imec
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