High-Tech Gründerfonds Invests in Young Bioprocess Technology Company – PS Biotech
PS Biotech GmbH will ease the selection of the best-suited bacteria strain for the subsequent large scale production of recombinant proteins thereby rendering the previously tedious primary screening more cost- and time-efficient.
PS Biotech GmbH is a spin-off from RWTH Aachen and the DWI at the RWTH Aachen. Together with its academic and industrial partners, the company developed a method for the production of special microtiter plates, that allow for a more realistic screening of microorganisms by introducing fed-batch conditions into the process. In June 2013, the emerging company received a seed investment by the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF). Upon completion of the setup of its production facilities, PS Biotech GmbH is expected to launch its products in autumn 2013.
Current standards in the field of primary screening often result in unreliable results regarding the productivity of the tested bacteria strains. As these errors mostly originate from the fundamentally different availability of nutriments in classical screening methods as compared to large-scale bioreactors, repeating the screen generally will not improve the reliability of the results.
PS Biotech GmbH, founded in Aachen in May 2013, is setting out to change that. “Our plates provide the necessary tool to screen microorganisms at microliter scale under conditions similar to those in a bioreactor and allow precise predictions as to what strain will be the most efficient in production. This is a first.”, says Kristina Bruellhoff, managing director of the company located in Aachen. “Our clients tell us that compared to our tool, current methods are no better than rolling a dice”, Bruellhoff reports.
“Through the time-controlled release of nutriments out of our special matrix, that becomes immobilized at the bottom of each well, we can significantly improve the information value of each screen. We offer our customers a unique and simple tool. All they have to do is unwrap, add medium and start culturing their microorganisms”, adds PS Biotech’s Sebastian Selzer.
“Classical methods as the enzymatically-driven release systems are so far limited to glucose as primary energy source. On top, these enzymatic systems are significantly more fault-prone and difficult to control. With respect to precision and validity, the results obtained with those systems are in no way comparable to results obtained with the products of PS Biotech.”, says Dr. Christian Jung, Investment Manger at HTGF.
About PS Biotech GmbH
PS Biotech GmbH is a start-up company founded as a spin-off from RWTH Aachen University and DWI at RTWH Aachen. Initially, the focus will lie on the production and distribution of polymer-based nutriment release systems for fed-batch feeding of microorganisms at microliter scale. In the near future, the product portfolio will be broadened to cover all frequently used microorganisms. The company will also offer customized plates, meeting customers’ demands regarding nutriments.
About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE Color, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 573.5 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 301.5 million HTGF II).
High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH
Dr. Christian Jung
Tel: +49 (228) 823 001-45
Fax: +49 228 823 000-50