Gothenburg, Nov. 14, 2022 – Lucero AB has received the European Innovation Council’s (EIC) Transition grant to continue developing its 3D cell culture handling platform.
Initially focused on single-cell manipulation, the Lucero team pivoted to the area of 3D cell culture during their ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) project in 2020 after identifying an urgent need in the pharmaceutical industry for enabling technologies that can handle these promising new cellular models in standard drug development workflows.
“We recognized that the future of in-vitro drug testing will be done using 3D cell models. They provide more accurate data on how new drugs will perform in humans long before they enter the clinic, which means that pharma companies can either proceed or abort drug candidates much earlier in the development process, saving them millions of dollars per drug,” says Christopher Jacklin, co-founder and BD, Lucero.
Lucero’s novel platform is built on research done by the founding team. The team has combined laser optics, microfluidics, and AI to create a precise cell-handling platform tailored specifically for 3D cell culture. The product aims to qualify, isolate, and position individual 3D models in 384-well plates for high-throughput screening (HTS).
“We’re creating a system that is very precise. By combining our three core technologies, we’ll create a product that can handle delicate 3D cell models without affecting their biology. The system will also be completely automated and amenable to existing workflows and equipment, like a central robotic plate gripper,” says Alejandro Diaz Tormo, co-founder and technical developer, Lucero.
Lucero’s Transition project builds upon the results of their ERC PoC project. The project focuses on further de-risking Lucero’s technology and market through on-site pilot projects with pharmaceutical partners in Europe.
“We’re thrilled that the EIC decided to fund our project! The whole team is passionate about what we’re doing, and we all truly believe in the huge impact that our product could have on the pharmaceutical industry,” says Rich Zapata Rosas, co-founder and BD, Lucero.
The project is set to begin in January 2023 and will run until December 2025.
“EIC Transition funds innovation activities that go beyond the experimental proof of principle in the laboratory to support the maturation and validation of novel technologies in the lab and in relevant application environments and the development of a business case and (business) model towards the innovation’s future commercialization”.
Lucero AB is a Swedish biotech startup from Gothenburg that was founded in March 2020. Lucero is developing a cell-handling platform tailored for 3D cell culture that enables quicker and more cost-effective early-stage drug discovery protocols by simplifying and automating cell-manipulation tasks. Lucero’s solution aims to enable the use of 3D cell models in early-stage pharmaceutical drug discovery.
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Co-founder and BD, Lucero