Ghent, Belgium, June 2, 2021 – RheaVita, a company pioneering continuous freeze-drying technology for biopharmaceutical products, announced today that the company has closed a EUR 2.5 million Series A Financing. The round was co-led by Novalis Biotech Acceleration and Participatie Maatschappij Vlaanderen (PMV). Concurrent with the financing, Kjell Mortier from Novalis Biotech Acceleration and Stefan De Waele of PMV will join RheaVita’s Board of Directors.
Today, almost 50% of FDA and EMA approved biopharmaceutical products are freeze-dried to enable stable product distribution and shelf life without the need for expensive cold chain. RheaVita has developed the world’s first end-to-end continuous freeze-drying solution to address biopharmaceutical product development, manufacturing and supply needs in order to efficiently reach patients. The patented RheaVita continuous freeze-drying technology integrates all the traditional freeze-drying process steps into one continuous production line. This allows pharmaceutical companies to achieve rapid product and process development, and highly flexible and efficient manufacturing cycles with 100% controlled product quality. The technology enables both centralized large volume and decentralized low-volume-high-value product manufacturing and so is also ideally suited for innovative biological therapies, such as gene therapy, RNA based therapies, antibodies, vaccines, and to produce precision medicines and drug products for rare diseases. RheaVita will use the proceeds to further develop and accelerate commercialization of its innovative R&D and GMP compliant continuous freeze-drying production-scale equipment, along with the concomitant team expansion. In addition, RheaVita will continue to offer product feasibility studies and provide customers product and process development support using its continuous freeze-drying technology.
“RheaVita has developed a game-changing technology for the fast-growing biopharmaceutical sector, so fits perfectly into the remit of our Acceleration fund,” said Kjell Mortier, Fund Manager at Novalis Biotech. “We were impressed by the experience of the team, and the strong commercial interest from pharma and biotech companies in their technology. RheaVita is uniquely placed to disrupt the freeze-drying market as their technology offers a perfect solution to the challenges faced with the conventional approach. We look forward to working with the RheaVita team as they provide their innovative solution to the pharmaceutical industry.”
“The increasing interest from the pharmaceutical industry into alternatives for conventional freeze drying creates a unique opportunity for RheaVita”, said Roald Borré, Group Manager Venture Capital at PMV. “Support from PMV should allow management to further develop their ground-breaking technology in Flanders and commercialize worldwide.”
“This financing will enable RheaVita to realise a major step in our corporate development; the installation of the first GMP compliant production line for our innovative continuous freeze-drying technology. We believe this will provide a fast and flexible development and manufacturing solution to accelerate supply of tomorrow’s biopharmaceuticals,” said Jos Cover, co-founder and CTO of RheaVita.
“With the proceeds, we will also be able to deliver on our corporate growth plan, build our team accordingly and further expand the commercialization of our technology,” added Prof. Dr. Thomas De Beer, co-founder and CEO of RheaVita. “We’d like to thank Novalis and PMV for their faith in our vision and look forward to working closely with Kjell and Stefan to implement our strategy.”
About Novalis Biotech Acceleration
Novalis Biotech (Ghent, Belgium) is an early-stage venture capital investor in technologies that revolutionize healthcare. The company’s core competence lies in digitalization in the life sciences with a focus on “enabling technologies” such as bioinformatics, genomics and diagnostics. Novalis strongly believes in applying innovative enabling technology to advance the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease.
For more information, please visit www.noval.is.
PMV is a Flemish investment company that finances promising companies from the very start to growth and internationalization. PMV offers tailor-made financial solutions for every entrepreneur with a solid business plan and a strong management team, by providing venture capital, loans and guarantees. An experienced and highly motivated team of 150 professionals endeavors every day to achieve the goal of creating prosperity and well-being in Flanders. PMV has a portfolio of about EUR 1.3 billion in assets under management. More info about PMV can be found on www.pmv.eu.
RheaVita has developed a continuous, controlled freeze-drying technology that integrates all the traditional freeze-drying process steps into one continuous production line. By spinning the glass vials during the freezing process, a thin layer of product coats the inner lining of the vial. Following drying, the final solid freeze-dried product is obtained. Compared to the traditional freeze-drying process, RheaVita’s approach has several advantages, including very fast product and process development with limited experimental efforts, avoiding scale-up issues, reducing cycle times, lower production costs, less clean room space requirements, improving quality assurance and improved and uniform product quality and process uniformity. The design process was accompanied by the development of a digital twin, a ‘virtual reality’ version of the system to facilitate future process development and optimization, assist with maintenance and repair as well as training of operators. RheaVita was founded in 2018 as a spin-out of Ghent University.
For more information, please visit www.rheavita.com.