With AI software for efficient bioprocess development

Corinna Herrmann

Startup Stories

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The development of a new drug goes through many stages. It usually takes more than 13 years from the idea to the first approval. Helsinki, Finland-based startup AnalysisMode (Fibo Labs Ltd) aims to shorten these lengthy processes to enable more capacity, lower costs and accessible medical treatments.

To this end, the chemical startup offers SimCell: an AI platform for biotech research and development (R&D) that enables scientists to achieve 5x more results. From predictive analytics to lab experiment design, AnalysisMode's AI steers R&D to success.

In an interview with 5-HT, Belma Alispahic, Head of Business Development, explains exactly how SimCell, the web-based virtual bioreactor (in-silico), enables scientists to run millions of virtual cell culture experiments in seconds.

Tiago Roberti Sampaio (left) and Belma Alispahic (right) from AnalysisMode 

How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a professional colleague in a chemical company?

"AnalysisMode has developed SimCell, an AI-based bioprocess simulator software that allows you to review the past, control the present and forecast the future of an experiment. We do so by simulating millions of cells in seconds with target process parameters of your choice.  You are able to, not only monitor cell culture evolution but also take corrective actions recommended by our software to save your batch and deliver a high-quality product on time."

What problem motivated you to start the company? 

"The development of any new drugs is a costly and risky process. With the new promising therapies emerging, the costs have been higher than ever. Unfortunately, this also means that amazing scientific breakthroughs and therapies are not going to be accessible to everyone. Our mission is to provide biopharma companies with a way to develop and manufacture therapies at a lower cost and risk.  They will be able to do so by using AI technologies to run fewer wet-lab experiments and decrease the number of quality batch runs needed."

How do you convince a chemical company to set up a pilot project with you? 

"Our customer can benefit from AI in just weeks, instead of years, offering competitive advantage to optimize and scale-up biomanufacturing. SimCell is an off-the-shelf AI software, enabling our customers to benefit from AI insights from day one, and quickly adjust to the customer needs. We achieve such speed by combining our in-house AI technology - enabling to generate insights with data from 4 process runs - with a user interface which enables scientists (without AI knowledge) to operate our software.

Model predictive control is the most widely adopted advanced process control methodology. The existing solutions use mathematical models and/or hybrid modeling (mathematical models and ANN combined). Our solution is based on an advanced AI algorithm based on concepts of deep neural networks, time-series hidden Markov models, transformers, and evolutionary algorithms. This in turn allows us flexibility and innovation in how we handle, treat and interpret data. By using SimCell, we aim to model not only intracellular events but provide a holistic overview of targeted parameters (CPPs and CQAs), their correlation, and their impact on the product’s productivity, health, and quality."

Who are your current customer (groups) and who do you want your potential customers to be? 

"We operate in a cross-section within the biopharmaceutical space. Big Pharma companies have been turning to CDMOs (contract development and manufacturing organisations) and solution providers for help to execute their projects. Our mission is to assist all the partnered infrastructures to drive innovation, research, and development. We focus on biologics manufacturing, with mAbs and cell therapies being our biggest target. Biologics contribute more than 30% to the pharmaceutical drug market. The monoclonal antibodies (mAb) market size reached US$98 billion in 2017 and is expected to expand to US$200 billion in 2021. This contributes to 70% of the biologics market."

Where do you see yourself in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you?

"In 3 years, AnalysisMode sees itself as a leading bioprocessing digital solution provider. We want to set new standards in how digitalisation in processing is done. This can not be done without the right partners and clients. 5-HT is a great environment for us to get exposure to future clients as well as innovators to discuss and work on the future of the pharma industry."

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