Innovation without compromise: REVIVO BioSystems' path to ethical and efficient in-vitro testing

Laura Diez

Startup Stories

At the forefront of modern research lies the vision of REVIVO BioSystems, a pioneer in the field of 4D human tissue models and fully automated Organ-on-a-Chip platforms. The company provides innovative solutions for in vitro testing of chemicals, cosmetic formulations, and pharmaceuticals, focusing on permeability, safety, efficacy, and mode of action. In our exclusive interview with the co-founder of REVIVO BioSystems, Bert Grobben, we explore not only the motivations behind this groundbreaking technology but also how it is shaping the future of preclinical research and ethics in the industry."

How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a professional colleague from the health sector?

"REVIVO BioSystems provides a first-of-its-kind 4D human tissue model and a fully automated organ-on-a-chip platform for in vitro permeability, safety, efficacy and mode-of-action testing of chemicals, cosmetic formulations and pharmaceuticals. We provide aging, wound healing, disease-related and other tissue models.

Our dynamic system offers high-throughput and real-time monitoring of active ingredients and formulations, enabling more efficient and accurate preclinical and mechanistic studies. 

We help companies develop their products in an ethical and sustainable way, without testing on animals and compromising on human safety all around the world."

What problem motivated you to start the company?

"The company was founded out of passion for enabling the first commercially ready skin-on-chip technology; and of making significant contributions to an animal cruelty-free research and testing environment. We also needed to address the barrier that none of the available models allow observing the dynamic realistic tissue environment, and study the mode of action for ingredients and formulations.

Currently, 100 million animals are being used in lab tests annually, with 95% failure rate: this means that 95 out of every 100 drugs that pass animal studies fail in clinical testing, when tested in humans. Not only is animal testing inefficient, but it’s also expensive.

It is also important to understand that current alternatives to animal testing still come with critical limitations. They use static and therefore non-physiological conditions, which makes them not realistic and efficient enough. 

This is where REVIVO comes in: we remove cruelty, increase efficiency and enable personalization for the chemical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. We believe that our organ-on-a-chip technology can help research organisations achieve ethical innovation, without compromising on the results, and the depth of the study results."

How do you convince a pharmaceutical company, a health insurance company or another potential client to set up a pilot project with you?

"Our customers are seeking reliable and efficient studies, in which they can generate novel data on the efficacy and mode of action of their ingredients and formulations. The current and available state-of-art provides too limited models and manual testing platforms. 

The REVIVO system is different from anything in the market today. Our proprietary technology mimics the function of the blood flow in realistic ex vivo and in vitro models, while making lab testing a lot easier through its automated sampling function. This helps create more realistic skin models in the lab, with significantly longer viability, not available with other models. Our platform increases throughput as results are quicker, and a higher volume of samples can be screened in a shorter period of time, as opposed to incumbent methods, especially animal testing. 

Another significant advantage of our platform is its ability to help companies reduce time-to-market, and significantly reduce unproductive rework caused by test failures, inconsistencies and inaccuracies. With REVIVO Biosystems, the end-to-end path to market is made more productive for ingredients and formulations. New substances can be tested on these tissues in an accurate and efficient way.

REVIVO BioSystems also work with companies to ensure a seamless transition from their current methods, to our platform. We are excited to share this advancement with you, and help you make the most positive impact in your markets. Before making the transition, REVIVO BioSystems will consult with its clients where needed. Based on our know-how, we will work with the companies we serve to define the right model needs, markers to evaluate and design the optimal testing procedures. We are here to support based on our expertise in any manner possible."

The ReleGO™ testing system of REVIVO BioSystems

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

"Currently, our customers include pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies, contract research organizations, and academic research institutions. We are actively seeking to expand our customer base to include additional industries such as medical device manufacturers and nutraceutical companies.

We are currently active in international markets such as the United States, Europe, and Asia, and we are constantly exploring opportunities to expand further into these and other markets. 

Looking ahead,  we aim to expand into new markets in Latin America and the Middle East. Our ultimate goal is to become a global leader in the development of ethical and efficient solutions for innovation in a wide range of industries."

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

"In three years, our aim is to be recognized as the foremost provider of cutting-edge methods and tools for ex vivo and in vitro testing, and offering a wider & more functional range of tissue models. To achieve this goal, we plan to expand our service capacity, launch new products, and develop new tissue models. Additionally, we plan to expand our presence overseas to new markets. 

We believe that 5-HT can support Revivo's growth through access to a network of experts and resources, guidance on business development, and technical expertise and facilities to advance our research."

You participated in the 5-HT X-Linker Healthtech for Pharma in March 2023. What is your impression of the event and what have you gained (so far) from participating?

"Our participation in the event has been highly productive. Not only did it result in meaningful new connections to further explore collaborations with some of the biggest Pharmaceutical companies, it also gave us a much better understanding of the needs and challenges for these companies. The format of the event was very well organized, and gave us an opportunity to gain exposure to the right individuals, and have a change to drill deeper into what future possibilities look like. We’d be keen to see future follow-up events, in Pharma, and other industries."

The REVIVO BioSystems team together in a group photo.

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