Abselion benchtop tech emerges victorious from UK’s dragon’s den

Abselion, Cytomos, NanoFCM, Irubis, Refeyn, and Sparta Biodiscovery locked horns in a tech entrepreneurial pitch session during the BIA Bioprocess UK event in Brighton.

Shreeyashi Ojha, Reporter

December 8, 2023

4 Min Read
Abselion’s winning tech Amperia at BIA UK event. c/o Shreeyashi Ojha
Abselion’s winning tech Amperia at BIA UK event. c/o Shreeyashi Ojha

Abselion, Cytomos, NanoFCM, Irubis, Refeyn, and Sparta Biodiscovery locked horns in a tech entrepreneurial pitch session during the BIA Bioprocess UK event in Brighton. 

Focused on next generation analytical technologies and inspired by the British reality show Dragon’s Den, where — similar to the US version ‘Shark Tank’ — aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to multimillionaire investors, this session showcased short pitches from six cutting-edge technology companies. 

Abselion’s winning tech Amperia at BIA UK event. c/o Shreeyashi Ojha

Abselion’s patented technology Amperia, a compact benchtop system that automates binding assays in a dip and read fashion, emerged victorious among the six participants followed by the audience voting for the winner.

“Amperia offers a compact, simple to use and rapid method of analyzing proteins. You can perform a one-step dilution to minimize sources of pipetting error and hasten experimental prep. The running cost is associated with sample numbers, so you only pay for the precise number of samples you wish to run,” a spokesperson for Abselion told BioProcess Insider. 

According to the firm, Amperia can rapidly quantify proteins in crude samples. “Users do not have to spend a full day performing a manual enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which is a heterogeneous EIA technique used in clinical analyses. Also, they can quantify sample titer in crude, and it takes 60 seconds per read.” 

Through its patented technology, currently in prototype form, Abselion hopes to address sustainability challenges during manufacturing. Amperia said it is cost effective in comparison to other similar products on the market, particularly consumables. 

“We were delighted to win the majority of votes, a brilliant endorsement from the bioprocessing community and a great achievement for us,” said the spokesperson. 

Other technologies participating in the session included: 


NanoFCM presented the Nano Analyzer tech, which uses a single platform to determine the size and concentration of nanoparticles (NPs) whilst simultaneously identifying those loaded with cargo or presenting specific moieties with fluorescence detection. This aims to further quantify the loaded cargo and describe the distribution as RNA copies per NP with their nano-flow cytometry technology. 


Founded in 2017 with the mission to make spectroscopy a real-time bioprocess monitoring process, Irubis’ showcased its soon-to-be patented tech Monipa, which utilizes mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy.  

It serves the purpose of simplifying bioprocess monitoring, aiding in efficient nutrients monitoring/control in upstream processes and monitoring of protein, messenger RNA (mRNA) and excipients concentration in downstream processes.  

“Challenges in process analytic technology (PAT) spectroscopy included so far calibration model building, equipment costs, and robustness of certain probes. This is now addressed by Monipa through a timesaving one-point calibration and an innovative single use flow cell,” a spokesperson for Irubis told us. 

“Monipa can be used for any modality, and its single-use flow cell reduces contamination risks as well as time and energy intensive sterilization. Its real-time, inline monitoring capabilities lead to increased efficiency in bioprocessing by reducing offline sampling and enabling real-time control.” 


Edinburgh-based life sciences firm Cytomos presented its AuraCyt platform technology, its patented approach to dielectric spectroscopy.   

Lindsay Fraser, CSO for Cytomos and David Rigterink, CEO for Cytomos. c/o Shreeyashi Ojha

“When single cells are passed over our sensor, they distort an ultra-wideband electrical field. We measure these distortions using algorithms within our analysis platform using a wide range of frequencies concurrently. We build a picture of the cells in high dimensional space allowing us to sense deep within the cells as well as measure cell surface features, creating unique digital cell fingerprints,” Lindsay Fraser, chief scientific officer for Cytomos told BioProcess Insider. 

“These fingerprints can be used to infer information about the cell or the cell population of interest and can be used to predict cell behavior in cell line development programs and biomanufacturing events.” 


Refeyn’s automated mass photometer for AAV characterization, SamuxMP Auto, was also presented at the session. The platform autonomously measures up to 24 samples in approximately 90 minutes. According to the firm, the instrument rapidly measures AAV empty/full ratios, sample purity and particle aggregation for any AAV serotype – with high precision and reproducibility, using mass photometry from R&D to manufacturing. 

Sparta Biomedica 

Another contestant, Sparta Biomedica showcased their single particle automated raman trapping analysis (SPARTA), a cutting-edge benchtop instrument. It chemically analyzes and characterizes single nanoparticles in a fully automated, high-throughput, non-destructive label-free process.

About the Author(s)

Shreeyashi Ojha

Reporter, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering the manufacturing and processing sectors for biopharmaceuticals globally.  

Originally from India, I am a Londoner at heart. I have recently graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London.  

Feel free to reach out to me at: [email protected].

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