3Brain AG, a leader in high-resolution functional in vitro screenings, is the world’s first company to connect cells with sophisticated BioSPU silicon chips in cell culture plates for cell analysis. The company has intensively worked on CMOS-powered cell-electronic interfaces to boost research in significant fields like neuroscience, ophthalmology and cardiology. After being the first to introduce CMOS-based HD-MEA (high-density microelectrode array) to overcome passive MEA limitations, 3Brain is now setting up new standards with its CorePlate technology, a multi-well HD-MEA with integrated processing power.
Now launching into the market, the CorePlate devices offer unprecedented resolution and innovative solutions specifically designed for brain organoids, the lab-grown recreation of human brain tissue, holding a huge potential to discover new treatments for brain diseases. The CorePlate multiwells deliver sufficient processing power to simultaneously measure thousands of neurons per well while taking data quality and bandwidth issues encountered while using traditional methods, hence increasing the statistical significance of experiments at the preclinical level.
Currently, 3Brain has over 80 customers, mainly in Europe. The company has grown its team to 23 employees (14 in Switzerland and 9 in Italy) and has raised more than CHF 14m, including grants. With more funds still required, the startup plans to enter the US market and launch three new products in the next two years.
Advancing CorePlate with an Austrian company
In the meantime, the team is focusing on advancing CorePlate technology. To achieve this, 3Brain has signed a collaboration agreement with a:head, an Austrian biotech company, focusing on the development of next-generation therapeutics for the treatment of brain disorders based on human cerebral organoids. a:head licenses its cerebral organoid biotechnology from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna where Madeline Lancaster and Jürgen Knoblich, both scientific advisors of a:head, developed brain organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells.
3Brain benefits from a:head’s expertise to jointly develop the hardware that allows for the extraction of highly resolved electric signals from 3D biology in an automated, high-throughput workflow. 3Brain plans to launch the product in 18 months. The startup is funded by Innosuise, which has already funded two projects to accelerate product development.
“We are joining forces to develop the first high-throughput solution for cerebral-organoid-based assays. While 3Brain can prove the uniqueness of its CorePlate technology to study cerebral-organoids, a:head hopes to speed up and automatise its organoids' analyses to have a platform for high-throughput screenings that can be used and licensed by pharmaceutical companies and Contract Research Organizations. We are delighted to join forces with a:head, with its strong background in cerebral organoids’, Alessandro Maccione, CSO of 3Brain.
“In a:head, we follow an unprecedented, unbiased drug design approach to uncover new treatments for human brain disorders by emulating the clinical setting in vitro,” says Josh Bagley, CSO of a:head. “In this context, electrical measurement and analysis of brain activity at high resolution and speed is very intriguing and may become an important cornerstone of our cerebral organoid-based drug discovery engine.’