Dutch scaleup LipoCoat, a biotech spin-off from the renowned nanotechnology institute MESA+ of the University of Twente, has received additional funding of €1.5 million euros from several investors. These fresh funds will enable LipoCoat to bring its innovations in infection control to market faster and better address the current concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
LipoCoat, founded in 2016, specializes in developing infection control solutions for the healthcare industry, in particular for medical devices. Its unique bio-inspired and non-toxic coatings prevent adhesion of bacteria and viruses, overall reducing infection risks. Now a team of 14 people, the scaleup is currently running seven research projects, partnering with multinationals that want to increase the safety of their medical devices.
Currently, launching innovations for medical devices and the healthcare industry is time-consuming. “That is why LipoCoat focuses on product-market combinations with a fast rollout, such as the contact lens market,” said Jasper van Weerd, Founder and CEO of LipoCoat. The first contact lenses with the LipoCoat coating are in the medical approval process, with the product expected to be launched in autumn 2020. In a few years time, LipoCoat expects the first coated catheters to enter the market. Catheter infections worldwide cause significant suffering and patient discomfort. In addition, such infections increase healthcare costs by billions of euros annually worldwide.
LipoCoat is also developing a coating that can be used for the screening and testing of new medicines that involve cell culture systems. These systems are usually sensitive to pollution. When cell culture systems are contaminated, the testing of new medicines becomes unreliable. The LipoCoat coating increases the efficiency of drug screening and testing, resulting in cost reduction and better results. The solution will become available as a kit and is expected to be launched in the summer of 2020.
The new funds raised by the startup were provided by Dutch informal investors, the High Tech Fund from Enschede and Innovation Fund Rabobank, and will be used to bring the scaleup’s innovations in infection control to market faster. The High Tech Fund has committed €600K for equipment and supplies in LipoCoat’s new lab facility. In late April 2020, LipoCoat will open its own dedicated lab facility at Kennispark Twente, the innovation campus of the University of Twente.
To make the leap to further growth, a Series B funding round of €5 million is planned for mid-2021. With this investment round, the company wants to build its revenue streams, increase its development and production capacity, and expand its international footprint by gaining access to US and Asian markets.