For decades, researchers and scientists could either grow cell cultures in a Petri dish or use animal subjects to generate relevant data. In vitro – or Petri dish grown cells – don’t develop the same as tissue in the human body. Tissue grown in animal subjects, called in vivo, has added costs and is not representative of the human body. RealBio Technology has changed that.
RealBio Technology, Inc. is a life sciences product development company dedicated to the development and commercialization of BioRealistic Cell and Tissue Culture technology to enhance life sciences research. With a focus on cell and tissue technology, RealBio has developed the RealBio D4 Culture System, a system demonstrating significant improvements and promise beyond current cell culture technology.
Paul Neeb, President and CEO of RealBio, said, “Basically, our technology allows cells grown in a laboratory setting to develop as they would in a normal human body.” RealBio is now commercializing cell and tissue growth systems and developing a new generation of three dimensional cell culture technologies. Neeb, a former executive in a variety of biotech companies believes the cell culture tool has the potential to revolutionize medical research.
RealBio is partnering with a Grand Rapids medical manufacturing company, Medbio Inc., to manufacture the systems. “The capital investment required to manufacture the RealBio D4 Culture system internally was enormous so we made a decision early on to partner with an existing manufacturer in order to keep our costs in line and more efficiently get product to market,” said Neeb. “We are confident that within the next several months we will have gained a number of new strategic customers.”
RealBio’s cell culture system was initially developed as part of a $4.5 million federal DARPA grant and the technology has been promising enough to continue to attract both state and local funding. Southwest Michigan First, the Kalamazoo area’s business development organization, and the Biosciences Research and Commercialization Center (BRCC) of Western Michigan University recognize the near and long-term potential of RealBio’s technology and have provided early-stage financial support as have several Michigan angel investment groups.
Prior to RealBio’s technology, no one had successfully recreated a complete tumor in vivo. RealBio’s technology can do this and the company is moving forward replicating how tumors grow in humans. RealBio’s tissue models include human bone marrow and the company is working to develop new protocols that would enable the system to be used in the culture of many additional types of primary tissue.
T2 Biosystems is developing new diagnostic culture tests for the treatment of disease and infection. Likewise, Oncoscope, Verisante, and ZS Pharma have conducted compelling studies, both in vivo, and in vitro for the detection and treatment of various cancers and other diseases.