Review of the year 2023: Milestones, exciting developments and product innovations
We look back on 2023 with pride – from significant milestones, groundbreaking developments and trusting partnerships to new faces in our team who will accompany us on our journey from now on. – All of this lays the foundation for a promising 2024. We’ll take you with us as we review the past year:
Five years of Dynamic42: successful progress in organ-on-chip technology
The team of Dynamic42 celebrated their 5th birthday in spring. As a spin-off of the Jena University Hospital, our start-up was founded in March 2018 as a contract research company for the organ-on-chip market. A lot has happened since then: We have quickly developed into an established company in the field of biotechnology. We have grown continuously, professionalized ourselves and also developed groundbreaking innovations. Our focus has always been on establishing our own production of biochips and developing physiological organ models that mimic human tissue in vivo. The organ-on-chip market not only enables the safe testing of drugs and substances, but also provides new insights into disease processes, therapeutic options and approaches to personalized medicine. We have successfully tested the innovative biochip #BC003 in a joint project with the group of Prof. Dr. Nicole Teusch (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf). We also achieved promising results in the field of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis: Our research assistant Tim Kaden has developed a colitis-on-a-chip model that simulates most of the features observed in vivo. This model enables the investigation of therapeutic molecules and metabolites for potential future treatment options.
Foundation for the future: completion of a seven-figure financing round
Another reason to celebrate was the successful Series A financing round, in which Dynamic42 was able to raise a mid-seven-figure sum. This investment enables us to drive forward the further development of our products and services, open up new markets, recruit highly qualified specialists and continue to expand internationally. In particular, the development of a new biochip, which enables complex three-dimensional tissue cultures, underlines Dynamic42’s innovative strength and opens up new areas of application, including cancer research.
Better together: cross-industry partnerships for joint projects
One of our most important goals is to reduce animal testing in disease research and drug development. We are therefore particularly pleased that we have been a member of the Thuringia Sustainability Agreement (NAT) since April, which brings together companies from Thuringia that operate sustainably. Our CEO Martin Raasch personally accepted our NAT certificate. The certificate confirms our commitment to environmentally friendly solutions in the biotech sector.
Together with leading companies and research institutions from Thuringia, we have also joined the ATHANA alliance to develop innovative approaches to combat fungal infections. At the beginning of the year, we entered into another pioneering collaboration with BAYER, esqLABS and the Placenta Lab at Jena University Hospital in order to generate clinically relevant data for the evaluation of new drug candidates in preclinical research. It was of particular interest to investigate whether small molecules can overcome the blood-placenta barrier in pregnant women. There has been few research in this field to date, due to the challenges involved in conducting clinical trials. On top of this, Dynamic42 is one of the selected companies and research groups supported by Sanofi as part of the iDEA-iTECH Award. This funding initiative has helped innovators like us in the past to develop groundbreaking technologies that have the potential to improve people’s lives.
Besides all the developments, there was no shortage of team interaction and fun: our team traveled from Freiburg to Basel to Amsterdam to take part in major international events. One outstanding opportunity was our participation in the MPS World Summit 2023 in Berlin. The conference focused on networking, continuous learning and the latest breakthroughs in microphysiological systems (MPS) and biotechnology. We were able to share our knowledge and experience in the field of organ-on-chip technology. Georg Machnik, our business development expert, represented us at the Festival of Biologics in Basel and at BIO-Europe in Munich. There he exchanged ideas with experts from the biopharma industry. Our involvement also extended to the JCR (Joint Research Center) Summer School on Non-Animal Approaches in Science. There, our scientists Anne-Katrin Bothe and Tim Kaden actively participated in the promotion of ideas in the field of organ-on-chip. We continue to see far-reaching potential in the idea that animal testing in basic research and pharmaceutical development can be reduced or even partially replaced according to the 3R principle (Reduce, Refine, Replace). Our CEO Martin Raasch attended the first network meeting of the Federal Network 3R and exchanged views with numerous experts on current developments and challenges in 3R research and their implementation in practice in Germany.
Knowledge exchange and training
In addition to participating in events, we have also organized our own events to strengthen our presence in the scientific and biotechnology community. We believe that the first step to adopting a new technology and establishing viable market pipelines is education. This is why we have created the Dynamic42 Academy. It consists of three-day workshops designed to enable participants to apply organ-on-chip technology at a high level in their own research projects. But not only that, in the Organ-on-Chip Masterclass in Amsterdam we gave insights into the use of our chip platform and intestinal model. “Ask us anything you like”: the name said it all in our first webinar on “Compound Adsorption“, where we discussed the challenges and solutions associated with biochip materials.
Our company retreat in the summer was also productive and exciting: the team focused on improving work processes, communication, project planning, risk assessment and data processing. We also enjoyed relaxing moments playing cards, table tennis and treats from the BBQ.
Dynamic growth in the team
Last but not least, we were able to welcome a few new faces to our team, strengthening our ever-growing laboratory and research team. Noreen Schuck recently joined us as a laboratory assistant. Thomas Sommermann, with his background in immunology, brings valuable expertise for the integration of different immune cell populations into our organ chips. Dr. Juliane Fischer enriches our team with fresh ideas as our new Marketing Manager.
After completing their Master’s degrees, we were able to recruit Daria Geilen and Sophie Besser as permanent members of Dynamic42. Both gained experience in organ-on-a-chip technology during their studies at the Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences in Jena and are now contributing their expertise as research assistants. With this dynamic and diverse team, we are well positioned for the future.
We are excited about the challenges ahead and look forward to another eventful year with great projects, in-house developments and, of course, the next Dynamic42 Academies.
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We look back on 2023 - from significant milestones, groundbreaking developments and trusting partnerships to new faces in our team. We'll take you with us as we review the past year.Read More