Paola Occhetta (CEO), Marco Rasponi (CTO) and Alberto Redaelli (scientific advisor) founded BiomimX, an innovative start-up that came from a spin-off of the Politecnico di Milano in 2017. It develops a technology that produces mini-organs on chips on which one can prove the efficacy and the not toxicity of new drugs.
This technology is based on two patents of the Politecnico di Milano where the three founding members are listed as inventors. The start-up aims to offer an alternative to animal tests where cardiotoxicity experiments are usually conducted, but which often do not adequately represent the behavior of human cells. The use of on-chip organs that contain tissues made with human cells allows for more reliable tests, so increasing the safety level of drugs in the market.
The “organ-on-chip” products are versatile and inexpensive and include uBeat technology. uBeat is a miniature platform made up of 3D cell cultures, which are integrated with a mechanical stimulation mechanism. The uBeat platform is versatile because it can be used to recreate different human organs. Currently, in fact, BiomimX has already created a heart-on-chip model (uHeart) and a joint cartilage model (uKnee), which can also reproduce the pathology of osteoarthritis.
Furthermore uBeat has the potential to reproduce a large number of organs with an advanced level of precision and researchers of BiomimX and Politecnico di Milano are working together in this direction.
BiomimX has several collaborations with companies. One of the important collaboration was with CRO (Contract Research Organization) for the validation of u-Heart technology, which are testing the heart on BiomimX chip with a series of pharmacological molecules to prove the possible cardiotossicity. A Big Pharma company has purchased some uKnee devices for the research of drugs against osteoarthritis. As well as a company that produces cartilages has used uKnee in its vitro tests. The spin-off of the Politecnico di Milano has won numerous awards and competitions. Headstart, organized by EIT Health one of the largest initiatives in the health sector of the European Union, recently obtained the European funding SME INSTRUMENT, to support innovation projects for their expansion into the other European countries. Biomimix is a pioneer in the development of a new generation of in vitro models, called organs-on-chip. It will revolutionize the way drugs are tested by reducing or replacing animal tests.