CellPly is a company specializing in pioneering life-science analytical tools.
The goal of the investment is to complete the development and bring to the market an innovative analytical platform to deeply characterize immune cells engineered during development and production of cell therapies and determine functional properties that cannot be measured with state-of-the-art technologies. Cell therapies have the enormous potential to not only treat, but to cure cancer patients. However, their development is complex as the cells withdrawn and re-injected into patients after genetic modification are not always effective and present heterogeneity among different cells within the same cell therapy lot, posing concerns to regulatory agencies and resulting in the need to advance potency tests carried out in quality control before product release. Even more, their adoption is slowed down by the high cost (up to more than €400,000 per patient) due to the lengthy research and development and the significant manpower needed for production and quality control.
Cellply proposes itself as a game-changer in overcoming these challenges thanks to its ability to generate a comprehensive characterization of single immune cells within a cell therapy lot, offering a tool to accelerate research and development and generate a release test within quality control that is highly representative of the real efficacy of the product.
The primary feature of Cellply technology is the ability to identify subpopulations of cells which appear phenotypically similar but present strong differences from a functional point of view. The platform precisely quantifies the number of active cells, i.e. “killer” or “super killer” immune cells that are able to attack and eliminate cancer cells. The second feature is the ability to combine the functional data with data obtained by multiple single-cell assays to characterize cytokine release and immunophenotype on each individual cell.
Cell therapies represent an exponentially growing market that now features more than 1,300 active clinical trials with a 40% growth YoY. Target customers are biopharmaceutical companies and clinics that are developing new cell therapies for cancer treatment. Cellply unique technology is protected by a strong IP portfolio of 7 patent families and over 50 patents filed in various countries.
The project relies on a multidisciplinary founding team with successful entrepreneurial experience, composed of CEO Massimo Bocchi PhD and Roberto Guerrieri PhD, who had successful exits which included a trade sale of Silicon Biosystems to Menarini, and was inventor of the fingerprint technology acquired by Apple. CellPly is located in the most advanced area of development in oncology: immunotherapy, which is destined to profoundly change cancer therapy and treatment in the coming years.