Aglaris stems from a collaboration between researchers at two leading research institutions in Barcelona and Madrid.
The use of cells and tissues is increasingly common in research in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. The uses for this type of biological material are very diverse, ranging from tissue engineering (manufacture living tissue), cell therapy (the treatment of diseases using cells as a drug), or drug development and testing. The processes for cell culture have evolved very little since the 1950s, and therefore have drawbacks which have made their evolution even slower than expected.
Current cell culture is very manual with all the disadvantages this entails: a high cost, contaminations, poor repeatability between batches, etc. In addition, cellular processes require the use of enzymatic products (trypsin) which also reduces yield and results in sub-optimal cell quality.
Seeing the need to solve these problems, Aglaris has designed and patented a fully-automated and toxin-free cell culture system. The first generation (Aglaris Facer 1.0: cell culture bioreactor) is in the prototype phase, and the second generation (Aglaris Facer IPS: cell reprograming system) is in the design phase.
To meet the needs of cell therapies, cell production needs to be more affordable and technically competitive. The current culture techniques have two main drawbacks: firstly, the use of trypsin for cell harvesting causes a high cell death rate; secondly, the processes are complex, labour-intensive, and require highly-specialised technicians. To solve these drawbacks, Aglaris is developing a fully-automated, trypsin-free cell culture bioreactor.