The Zurich based startup developed the «3DProSeed Hydrogel Well-Plate», an innovative hydrogel-based cell culture platform for drug screening applications in oncology and neurosciences. The hydrogels offer the ability to culture cells in an artificial 3D environment better emulating the in-vivo conditions than conventional culture plastic or glass substrates. Ectica’s 3DProSeed plate combines the advantages of culturing cells in hydrogels with the automation-compatibility of standard culture platforms used in drug discovery.
Until now, translation of in vitro data into in vivo models, and further into the clinics, is still a significant hurdle in drug discovery where many drug candidates fail at various stages. Using the technology from Ectica to culture cells in 3D is one of the ways to mimic the physiology of human cancers in vitro, leading to clinically relevant data early in the drug discovery stages.
Thanks to their innovativeness and the potential of their solution, Ectica has won Merck as a customer. The startup and Merck first came in contact through their participation in the Merck Accelerator program in 2017. During the program, the startup team not only had the opportunity to leverage Merck’s corporate labs and production capabilities but also to prove their potential to Merck.
According to Merck post, “It is exciting to see how far Ectica Technologies has come since graduating from the Accelerator last year. Merck’s transition from a development partner to one of the startup’s first customers is not just a «Big Bang Moment» for Ectica Technologies, but for Merck too.”