12.12.16 – QGel is a startup that makes a synthetic gel for growing cells as if they were in the human body. This breakthrough enhances the reliability of research into anti-cancer drugs. The company has just announced that it has raised 12 million dollars from private investors, which will allow it to expand its product range.
QGel was created in 2009 when co-founder and CEO Colin Sanctuary joined forces with Matthias Lütolf, a pioneer in 3D gels and a professor at EPFL. The startup is based at EPFL’s Innovation Park. The company, whose products support research into anti-cancer drugs, has just received 12 million dollars in funding from private investors.
QGel makes a synthetic gel – similar to the living material in which cells grow in the human body – in which cancer cells can grow into an organ as if they were in the human body. Researchers can use this gel to test drugs in miniature, 3D-cultivated in vitro organs before testing them on patients.
QGel already makes gels to aid in the development of drugs against 24 different types of cancer, and it can produce them on an industrial scale for the pharmaceutical industry. The company will use the newly raised funds to expand its range of gels and grow its international market.
Picture: Alain Herzog