The Viennese spin-off from AIT Austrian Institute of Technology develops an electrodynamic cell manipulation platform for the quick analysis of sepsis
Vienna, February 21, 2022 – CellEctric Biosciences GmbH, a Viennese biotech start-up, announces the successful closing of its first financing round with IST cube as lead investor and other private investors.
CellEctric was founded in early 2021 as a spin-off of the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH. The core of the company is its electrodynamic cell manipulation system, a flexible platform technology for highly specific biological sample preparation. The technology was developed at the Competence Unit Molecular Diagnostics in the research group of Klemens Wassermann, who, together with a member of his group, Terje Wimberger, became the co-founders and managing directors of CellEctric Biosciences GmbH. Through an exclusive licence agreement with AIT, CellEctric has received a patent portfolio covering a wide range of applications for electrodynamic cell manipulation.
The high selectivity and specificity of the fully automated and customizable sample preparation platform is achieved by an innovative way to couple electromagnetic fields into biological specimen. These allow for the specific removal of unwanted cells that often challenge the rapid and sensitive detection of cells of interest. As a first show case, the CellEctric technology is applied to solve a persisting challenge in sepsis diagnosis, where fast and reliable pathogen identification in a patient’s blood sample is inhibited by the vast amount of human background. By isolating viable pathogens from a patient sample, current sepsis diagnosis can be accelerated tenfold, allowing physicians to initiate lifesaving therapy significantly earlier than with current technologies.
CellEctric will use the investors’ capital to adapt its technology to the clinical requirements of sepsis diagnosis from human in-vitro samples. The system aims to be fully customizable for the range of relevant samples that demand the rapid and selective detection of bacterial pathogens.
Dr. Klemens Wassermann, co-founder and managing director of CellEctric, emphasises: “We are convinced that our technological approach will be a first step into a new era of how we handle cells and biological material in the long run. We appreciate the great feedback and motivation we got from the people dealing with sepsis patients every day and are looking forward to deploying our technology in this field.”
“Our entire team is highly motivated to accelerate sepsis diagnosis and to provide patients with lifesaving therapies much sooner than currently possible. We are delighted to have IST cube as partner in our endeavour and are greatly honoured to have them on board as deep tech investors. Together with the ongoing support of AWS and FFG, we look forward to the exciting developments to come.” adds Dr. Terje Wimberger, co-founder and managing director of CellEctric.
“AIT has supported the development of CellEctric literally from the start. We accompanied the technological development in all stages. From the idea and early recognition like the Falling Walls Innovator of the Year Award, thorough the rough and tumble of understanding a new technology in depth and controlling it reproducibly, to the transition from science to entrepreneurship. Klemens Wassermann and his team made impressive advancements and we are happy to have another successful example for the entrepreneurial spirit we emphasize at AIT.” says Dr Wolfgang Knoll, scientific Managing Director of AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH.
“CellEctric is an excellent example for great science conducted in Austria, which is now further developed into a technology which will profit patients globally. We are happy to support the founding team on its journey to growing CellEctric into a leader in its field.” concludes Alexander Schwartz, Managing Partner of IST cube, the venture fund specialised in academic spin-offs in Austria.
About CellEctric Biosciences
CellEctric is the next evolutionary step in mammalian cell manipulation. The technology allows the continuous processing of cell suspensions while selectively permeabilizing or disintegrating targeted subsets by electromagnetic manipulation. The competitive advantage is based on the exclusion of unspecific interference by a patented dielectric filter technology along the electrodes. The outcome features unmatched specificity and throughput. Fast, automated and selective.
About AIT Austrian Institute of Technology
The AIT Austrian Institute of Technology takes a leading position in the Austrian innovation system and a key role in Europe as the RTO focusing on the key infrastructure topics of the future.
AIT provides research and technological development to realize basic innovations for the next generation of infrastructure related technologies in the fields of Energy, Low-Emission Transport, Health & Bioresources, Digital Safety & Security, Vision, Automation & Control and Technology Experience. These technological research areas are supplemented by the competence in the area of Innovation Systems & Policy.
As a national and international network node at the interface of science and industry AIT enables innovation through its scientific-technological expertise, market experience, tight customer relationships and high quality research infrastructure.
About IST cube
IST cube is a venture fund with focus on start-ups with an academic background, as well as young high-tech companies. The fund invests in pre-seed and seed phases and has the possibility to participate in further investment rounds. The IST cube team supports portfolio companies beyond providing capital with know-how and access to an extensive network. IST cube has a strong partnership with IST Austria, whose scientific infrastructure is also accessible to start-ups.
CellEctric Biosciences GmbH
IST cube is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (“EFSI”) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing.