The French government has awarded Astraveus €10.4 Million ($11 million) to advance the development of its Lakhesys platform.

Millie Nelson, Editor

October 24, 2023

3 Min Read
French gov awards Astraveus $11m to advance CGT platform
DepositPhotos/SRphotos

As part of its “Innovation in Biotherapies and Bioproduction” initiative, the French government has awarded Astraveus €10.4 Million ($11 million) to advance the development of its Lakhesys platform.

Paris-based firm Astraveus exited stealth mode in June with $18 million in funding to advance development of its microfluidic cell and gene therapy (CGT) manufacturing platform, Lakhesys. Now, the French government program, which aims to promote research and production of biotherapies, has awarded the company a grant to develop its platform.

The platform uses deep process optimization as well as single-use, microfluidic bioprocessors to produce improved results with decreased inputs. The microfluidic bioprocessors mimic organ perfusion and significantly speed up the molecular interactions required to uphold and transform cells into potent therapeutic agents.

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DepositPhotos/SRphotos

According to Astraveus, because of the high degree of precision and miniaturization created by microfluid bioprocessors, the platform reduces floor space, energy requirements, and labor. In turn, this generates less waste and makes the process cheaper and more sustainable.

Furthermore, by reducing the changes between process development and the clinic, the offering of modular scalability enables Lakhesys to produce quicker timelines and the firm claimed it has the potential to transform clinical research and production of approved products.

“Lakhesys is a high-tech bench top factory for CGTs. It takes cells from donors as input and makes automatically and in parallel 10 doses of these advanced products. In this sense Lakhesys is really doing what a current CGT manufacturing center would be doing but in a benchtop system and in a more precise, automated and effective way,” Jérémie Laurent, CEO of Astraveus, told us.

“This is made possible by book-size modules called microfluidic bioprocessor. This module miniaturizes the end-to-end manufacturing drastically, from the size of a fridge to the size of a book. The microfluidic bioprocessors mimics the efficiency of our organs and tissues perfusion achieved by hundreds of millions of years of evolution, delivering not only miniaturization but also high performance. When you scale down the system you accelerate the molecular exchanges upon which cells rely to function: every time you reduce size by 10x you increase rate of exchanges and function by 100x. Higher mass transfer means faster and more efficient manufacturing.”

He continued: “Finally, single use processing removes cross-contamination risk. All of this together means that a very low COGS per dose become achievable as the potential for increased throughput, less wastage, and better therapies.”

While optimism surrounds the CGT space with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) aiming to authorize 10-20 new CGTs by 2025, their high prices remain a challenge. Astraveus said the cost of CGTs has hindered development and distribution of these therapies and the platform aims to tackle this.

“CGTs are the most potent type of therapies ever. Their potential to cure is virtually limitless. Yet the solutions to develop and make them considerably lag behind their complexity and sophistication. It is almost as if we had C> experts had invented deep learning algorithms but were running them with handheld calculators and paper notebooks. This results in promising projects stopping and very limited patient access, between 0 and 2% for approved therapies,” said Laurent.

“We need a new kind of solution, a sort of biological computer, to master the complexity and scale CGT to their potential, and this is the type of tool that Astraveus will offer to our industry.”

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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