Using domain expertise to develop a unique software-driven technology for disease diagnosis and drug discovery
AI, medical diagnosis, deep learning
Prateek Singh, the founder of FinnAdvance, is a PHD student at the University of Oulu who resume includes previously commercialized inventions, filed patents, and experience from several major research institutions. He is now using this expertise to develop unique micro-fluidic devices for in-vitro microvascular network generation, software-driven technology for disease modeling and drug discovery.
Current research models do not properly mimic biological processes in a living organism. Often, tests need to be run on living mice, chimpanzees, and humans, which requires lengthy permit processes and large investments. FinnAdvance has developed novel designs, techniques and software to create biomimetic chips that simulate live tissues.
The market for microfluidic tissue culture devices – such as the ones being developed by FinnAdvance – is likely to be worth USD 27.91 Billion by 2023 and the micro-fluidic chips segment accounted for the largest share of the microfluidics device market in 2017. No competitors can yet produce chips with such precise disease modelling, and similar products on the market are licensed at a price of 6-23M€ for large pharmaceuticals.
FinnAdvance is manufacturing the chips and developing the software that enables the creation of new disease models. The chip designs will vary by disease, and FinnAdvance is targeting rare diseases, prominently vascular malformations. What they are currently developing is a micro-fluidic vasculature-on-a-chip model for understanding the physical factors and flow effects in vascular anomalies and for pre-clinical testing.
FinnAdvance has already delivered project solutions to two large institutions: Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and Oulu University. Together with their European partners they have received nearly 3.8 million euro funding for the H2020-MSCA-ITN project called V.A. Cure and will hire 1 PhD student and host 6 visiting PhD students to help apply disease models from EU countries; expanding the portfolio of diseases on FinnAdvance’s chips. FinnAdvance is now introducing automation to scale up its production, in a dedicated in-house facility in Oulu.