Antleron & QbD team up to create a landslide in healthcare11/05/2017 - Martijn Reniers, Managing Partner at Quality by Design
A whole new era in healthcare is coming closer every day. Thanks to the crossover of 3D printing and biology, medical solutions will be personalised like never before. It’s a matter of time till we can print body parts, organs and medicines. At the forefront of this evolution is Antleron: an innovative and dynamic team that’s ready to make a mark. Well, that sounds like just the right match for QbD!
Some encounters have big consequences. When QbD’s CEO Bart Van Acker met Antleron co-founder Jan Schrooten at a Flanders.bio event, one thing soon led to another. Though both companies have their own characteristics, they both clearly share the ambition to push healthcare forward and make a difference for patients worldwide.
Antleron’s motto ‘engineering life’ says it all. This innovative gang of engineers taps into the huge potential of 3D printing and blends it with the world of biomaterials, biologics, cells and bioreactors. In doing so, they aim to create life-changing solutions in healthcare.
“Together with QbD, we want to build an ecosystem in which we can jointly do what no one has done before”, Jan explains, “Our research and development matches perfectly with QbD’s tools, skills and network.”
In other words: QbD can help to turn Antleron’s ‘wild’ ideas into reality. That’s the good thing about this partnership: both companies complement one another in every way – going from scale to competences – while sharing the same vision on tomorrow’s medical world.
Printing billions of cells
A landslide in healthcare: that’s what QbD and Antleron are going for. What these two companies want to achieve together, is the opposite of the one-size-fits-all approach we often see in medicine today. Every patient now gets the same medicine – in a bigger or smaller dose, but nevertheless. In the future, your pharmacist will print your specific medicine on the spot.
And then there’s the printing with human cells. That sounds like no small feat. However, it’s mere logic, says Jan: “In fact, human cells are nothing more and nothing less than powerful, living building blocks. And you can use them as a raw material for printing personalised body parts or organs. However, we’ll need to know what exactly we want to print.”
It will take a least ten to twenty years before we can 3D-print fully functional organs. “At first, that will be feasible for more simple organs like a liver,” Jan continues, “But whether it will one day be possible to create a functional heart or brain, remains to be seen. In five years, we’ll probably be able to print skin or cartilage tissue. However, we will need to build the capacity to process billions of cells at once to bring this technology into the clinic and make a difference for patients. We still have a very long way to go, in that regard.”
Personalised healthcare solutions for all
This kind of personalised medical solutions wouldn’t only serve the happy few. QbD and Antleron want to put them within the reach of everyone. “It shouldn’t be something exclusive”, Jan emphasises, “We want to create the processes and infrastructure to turn it into standard medical practice. You should be able to put a table next to every patient’s bed and print a living spare part for his or her body needs.”
Of course, many steps still need to be taken. Not only scientifically, but also economically, legally and even ethically. “The question is whether society is ready for these advanced therapies”, Bart says, “as they often require a certain mind-switch. It’s something every kind of innovation has to go through. Together we can also face these challenges.”
Sharing the same vibe
Knowhow and business aside, it’s clear that Antleron and QbD share a strong vibe to make their mark. Bart: “We both have that openness to fresh views and sharing ideas to make wonderful things happen.”
“It’s easier to make your mark when it really clicks”, Jan adds, “You know what they say: great minds think alike … and sometimes have a drink together! (laughs)”
In the meantime, Antleron and QbD have jointly organised several events to share ideas and attract like-minded professionals and organisations. Are you willing and able to join us and make a difference in personalised medicine? Let us know!