Biotechnology Awards 2022

GHP / Biotechnology Awards 2022 13 , Jan22525 MICA Biosystems is a preclinical biotech company whichwas founded in 2010 by worldleading scientists in the fields of regenerative technology and tissue engineering, Alicia el Haj and John Dobson, and led by a dynamic 26-year-old CEO, Mike Zurawski. We find out more in the wake of the company being named in the Biotechnology Awards 2022. Stem Cell Therapy Innovators of the Year - UK MICA Biosystems (MICA) uses cuttingedge, First-in-Class nanotechnology to enable researchers around the world to push further this frontier of science and medicine, truly unlocking the potential of stem cells to treat anything ranging from spinal injuries and diseases, to tendon damage, neurodegenerative diseases and oncology. “We developed a disruptive biotech platform nanotechnology which creates remote-controlled stem cells, and we’re at the cusp of beginning Phase 1 clinical trials after successful pre-clinical trials,” Mike Zurawski enthuses. “This technology answers the fundamental problem of selective stem cell differentiation, and holds the potential to truly revolutionise the field of regenerative medicine- bringing it from the fringes to the mainstream of medicine. Stem cells in their current form are placed into a patient and are hoped to create the desired tissue purely based on their environment - which has a high failure rate. Through nanotechnology, we allow clinicians to select the type of tissue they would like to create in situ.” This Remote-Controlled Stem Cell Therapy holds the promise to evolve regenerative medicine and improve the quality of life of millions of people worldwide- and importantly, is not traditional cell therapy at all- in that it uses the patients’ own cells, meaning there are no lengthy (and costly) cell culture steps to speak of. So, let us have a closer look at how it works. “Nanoparticles with a magnetic core, coated with a biocompatible layer, are linked to one or more binding molecules,” Alicia el Haj elaborates. “The tagged nanoparticles bind to ion-channels or other molecular receptors on the cell membrane. By subjecting the cells to a timevarying magnetic field, energy is transferred to the magnetic particles, which causes the specific receptor to be activated. This leads to protein regulation and controlled cell responses.” In addition to potentially improving and saving the lives of millions of patients around the world, the technology can also be used for drug screening by inducing a dynamic environment for drug screening through the patented Dynascreen™ platform- ensuring potentially beneficial drugs aren’t screened out needlessly during their preclinical stages. Further capitalising on the possibilities of nanotechnology, MICA has developed a bioreactor capable of growing cells and organoids in a dynamic, mechanically stimulated environment to open the window into scientific research around disease, development and discovery. MICA’s mission is simple: to unlock the potential of nanotechnology and stem cells in both the clinical and research fields by allowing for controlled cell differentiation and mechanical stimulation, both in vivo and in vitro. This will enable a new approach to controlling cell behaviour with applications in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, stem cell research, pharmaceutical screening, and therapeutic applications. Leading figure in Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine, Alicia has been involved in bringing together interdisciplinary groups within biomedicine, maths, physical sciences, and engineering. She has been awarded the IOM3 Chapman medal for her major contribution towards translation of biomedical materials into healthcare and is also ex-chair of the European Council for the Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS), and co-Founder Jon is one of the Top 50 most highly cited researchers in regenerative medicine in the world. CEO Mike Zurawski completed his PhD in the field of biotechnology in collaboration with the multinational giant, Zimmer-Biomet. Since he began his tenure at MICA biosystems, he has seen the business go from strength to strength- advancing preclinical trials, growing the team, structuring a brand-new Board of Directors and attracting external investment to fuel the company’s extraordinary ambitions. Recently, the company was recognised in the Global Health & Pharma Biotechnology Awards 2022 for its ground-breaking work and bestowed with the title of Stem Cell Therapy Innovators of the Year in the UK. And right now, the future is looking very good indeed, with the company opening its next equity raise in early Q2 of 2022. “We have recently concluded our successful pre-clinical trials and are gearing up to start Phase 1 human trials; paving the way to patients around the world,” Mike finalises. “The initial therapy area we focus our attention on is Spinal Fusion- changing what is currently an invasive surgery into an outpatient injection procedure. We aim to add years to the lives of patients and add life to their years by increasing their quality of life!” Contact: Dr. Mike Zurawski, [email protected] Company: MICA Biosystems Web Address: