- Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 17:22
Nature Methods acknowledge PHI’s core technology to determine individual cell mass
A newly published article in Nature Methods describes the growing importance in cellular analysis of individual cell mass and how this may be determined. PHI is referenced as one of the few companies who provide equipment to optically track changes in mass of individual cells in a cell population.
Nature Methods is the most respected journal for publication of new scientific methods in the world. The article confirms market recognition of PHI by independently confirming the new opportunities created by PHI’s core technology, holographic microscopy. The following quote is taken from the article:
‟Live-cell mass profiling has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of basic biological processes that control cell size and growth. It may also function as a tool for development of disease treatments, especially when coupled with a molecular understanding of cellular physiology and pathology.”
In the next generation device, HoloMonitor M5, PHI combines holographic microscopy with fluorescence microscopy. Through this, HoloMonitor M5 combines live-cell mass profiling with molecular analysis to enhance our knowledge of cellular physiology and thereby advance cellular research to the next level of understanding.
The article, ‟Live-cell mass profiling: an emerging approach in quantitative biophysics”, is published by Nature Publishing Group and found at www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/v11/n12/full/nmeth.3175.html.
Northeastern University and PHI expand collaboration to establish a Regional Holographic Imaging Cytometry Program of Excellence
Northeastern University and Phase Holographic Imaging today announced a collaboration agreement. The new agreement extends the ongoing PHI’s HoloMonitor® technology evaluation program at Northeastern to create a Holographic Imaging Cytometry Program of Excellence – an application development hub and educational resource providing training programs for scientists using time-lapse cytometry and to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations.
PHI’s HoloMonitor technology enables analysis of label-free cellular specimens utilizing the principles of holography. Unlike conventional microscopy, it permits measurement of quantitative parameters, such as cell thickness and cell volume. Digital focusing techniques enable fully automated time-lapse image acquisition. The incubator-tolerant design and the use of a low-power light source make it especially well-suited for long-term kinetic investigations. Proprietary software permits effortless cell tracking and quantitative feature analysis of cells under investigation.
Under the agreement, PHI will provide Northeastern with HoloMonitor M4 instruments and the latest software for the purpose of establishing novel cell analysis applications based on PHI’s non-invasive time-lapse holographic imaging cytometry technology. Instrumentation will be housed in the Core Imaging and Cytometry facility at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences’ School of Pharmacy. The company will provide Northeastern with access to its scientists, custom developments and new technologies prior to public releases. Northeastern will develop and publish research applications, offer feedback on the needs of the research community and help guide future technology developments. Northeastern will also serve as a regional reference site. Northeastern and PHI will create an educational resource focusing on customized training programs and symposia for scientists using holographic imaging cytometry in their research.
“We are pleased to expand the original technology evaluation agreement with PHI. The initial evaluation produced an overwhelming amount of data to support the importance of HoloMonitor technology for research programs within the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. We intend to bring the benefits of holographic imaging to the entire Northeastern research community, academic and industrial institutions in the Boston area by offering access to our core facility and our expertise”, said Mansoor Amiji, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences the Bouvé College of Health Sciences’ School of Pharmacy.
“The expansion of our existing collaboration with PHI is the result of productive utilization of HoloMonitor technology for non-invasive real-time cell cycle analysis in living cells. We are now developing state-of-the art applications multiplexing cell cycle and cell motility. The HoloMonitor platform offers unique 4-dimensional imaging capabilities that greatly enhance our understanding of both functions, which was previously unachievable by other technologies”, added Ed Luther, supervisor of Northeastern’s Core Imaging and Cytometry facility.
“The collaboration with Northeastern emphasizes our commitment to creating a network of scientists applying HoloMonitor technology in a growing number of biological applications”, said Peter Egelberg, CEO of PHI.
About Northeastern University
Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world, creating a distinctive approach to education and research. Based in Boston, with graduate campuses in Charlotte and Seattle, the university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and a comprehensive range of graduate programs, from professional master’s degrees to interdisciplinary doctoral programs. The university’s research enterprise is designed to tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time including health, security and sustainability. Students participate in Northeastern's signature co-op program and other forms of experiential learning in 114 countries on all seven continents.
Proposed Board of PHI – Mats Lundwall, former CEO of leading stem cell company nominated
At the Annual Shareholders' Meeting in Phase Holographic Imaging AB on October 6, Mats Lundwall will be nominated as new Board member. Klas Cramborn (chairman), Bengt Falk, Jan Richardsson and Leland Foster will be proposed for reelection as ordinary Board members and Ann-Christine Egelberg as Deputy Board member. Ulf Avrin and Marcus Skärbäck, both resigning from the Board, will be thanked at the Shareholders' Meeting.
Furthermore, it will be suggested that Board fees shall amount to one base amount (ca 45 thousand SEK) per director and two base amounts for the chairman. The deputy director will not be remunerated.
Presentation of Mats Lundwall
Mats Lundwall, MBA, b. 1948, has a background as CEO of the stem cell company Cellartis, now part of the French company Cellectis. During his long career he has gathered extensive experience building and financing both smaller and larger life-science entities. He has been CEO of Santaris Pharma A/S, Eurodiagnostica AB and Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Currently he has board assignments in BBI Basic Board Industries AB and MANAGERA AB.
Mats Lundwall does not own any shares or subscription rights in the company. He will be insider registered upon election to the Board.
CEO and founder Peter Egelberg comments:
“Mats knowledge in the stem cell field definitely enhances our chances to establish our HoloMonitor technology as a standard method for quality assurance of cell cultures, especially when it comes to stem cell cultures used for cell therapies”.
Researchers propose PHI’s technology to assess reduction in cancer cell growth
PHI’s HoloMonitor® technology allows cancer researchers to effortlessly monitor the reduction in cancer cell growth in real-time without disturbing or destroying precious patient samples. Unlike cytotoxic cancer drugs, cytostatic drugs do not kill cancer cells. Instead they stop tumor growth by stopping cancer cells from multiplying. As a result cytostatic treatments have fewer side effects than cytotoxic treatments. Conventional methods to assess the effect of cytostatic drugs are time-consuming and destructive.
“We propose the use of holographic microscopy for assessing drug induced cell growth alterations. Holographic microscopy is a high-resolution imaging technique that enables real-time detection and quantification of both single as well as whole populations of cells, without the need for prior cell extraction, staining or exposing cells to harmful light sources. Compared to conventional approaches, PHI’s holographic microscope allows non-destructive analysis of cellular characteristics”, says article author Maria Falck Miniotis, Malmö University.
“Conventional methods require removal of a portion of the cancer cells from their culture environment or wasting precious patient samples by the use of destructive staining. This invasive multi-step approach is sample-wasting and time-consuming and calls for new and improved technology for cancer cell analysis of response to targeted treatment”, continuous Maria Falck Miniotis.
“The article authors at Malmö University are one of our initial customers in our growing list of customers. We congratulate the University team on their article acceptance for scientific publication. We expect that their pioneering work will soon be followed by others who are using our technology”, concludes Peter Egelberg, CEO PHI.
The article by Maria Falck Miniotis and colleagues was recently published in the scientific journal PLOS. The article can be found at dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0106546.
Collaboration Agreement with Northeastern University
Phase Holographic Imaging (PHI) today announces a collaboration agreement with Northeastern University of Boston. PHI will provide Northeastern with HoloMonitor® technology for the purpose of establishing novel cell analysis applications and techniques based on PHI’s non-invasive time-lapse imaging cytometry technology. Northeastern and PHI anticipate extending the program to create a regional center of excellence — an educational resource providing training programs for scientists using time-lapse cytometry techniques and to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations in cell-based research.
“The Boston area’s international reputation as an important hub of life science research was the determining factor in the company’s decision to initiate its first strategic endeavor in the United States. Northeastern’s leadership in life science research and collaborative programs with industrial organizations makes it a natural home for this program,” said Peter Egelberg, CEO of PHI.
“We are pleased to partner with PHI to expand the services offered by the Department’s Core Imaging and Cytometry facility, which serves as an important intellectual and technological resource for both Northeastern and the broader academic and industrial biotechnology communities in the Boston area. The agreement with PHI represents the next step in establishing collaborative links with the life sciences industry and positioning Northeastern as a comprehensive imaging cytometry and technology center in line with other Distinguished Centers of Research Excellence affiliated with the Department,” said Mansoor Amiji, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences’ School of Pharmacy, Northeastern University.
“Our facility already has state-of the-art technology for complex pharmaceutical studies of stained cells and tissues. PHI’s technology brings us the capability to visualize and quantify cells without stains that can interfere with cellular physiology. The ability to obtain holographic time-lapse videos with all of the cells in focus allows us to identify specific stages of the cell cycle affected by experimental pharmacological compounds,” added Ed Luther, manager of Northeastern’s Core Imaging and Cytometry facility.
“The HoloMonitor® technology is a strictly non-invasive method. Live cellular events can not only be visualized but also quantified without the use of stains in both single measurements and long-term studies. We look forward to support Northeastern’s presentation of what we believe will be ground-breaking results in scientific conferences and peer-reviewed publications,” said Egelberg.
Raises capital to establish Center of Excellence in the US
As communicated in 2013/2014 Year-End Report, Phase Holographic Imaging (PHI) has successfully reached the milestones of the initial funding period. PHI has therefore initiated the planned second funding round by securing 3 MSEK from investors and ALMI.
These funds allow PHI to immediately progress towards the milestones of the second funding period, including the establishment of a Center of Excellence for the US market – a key component of the strategic marketing plan.
The investor capital of 1.5 MSEK has been made available to the Company as loans. At the discretion of the shareholders, the loans may be fully or partially converted into shares in the planned rights-issue during the third quarter of 2014. Otherwise, the loans will be repaid in cash no later than the December 1, 2014. Peter Egelberg, the CEO and founder of PHI, provides 300 TSEK of the 1.5 MSEK.
To compensate for loss of bank interest, financial risk and for partially guaranteeing the rights-issue investors will receive a fixed interest of 12%, regardless of how and when the loans are repaid. If the loans are fully converted into shares, accrued interest will be converted as well.
Additionally, PHI has been granted a 6 month loan of 1.5 MSEK from ALMI Skåne according to ALMI’s general conditions.
- Signing collaboration agreements with four key opinion leaders.
- Transfer manufacturing of HoloMonitor M4 to volume production.
- Specify design and requirements for HoloMonitor M5 in cooperation with key opinion leaders.
Milestones of second funding period
- Signing collaboration agreements with additionally at least four key opinion leaders.
- Reduce production cost of HoloMonitor M4 to 20% of end customer price.
- A prototype HoloMonitor M5 shall be evaluated by key opinion leaders.
ALMI has for many years given the Company financial support. More information about ALMI can be found at www.almi.se.
PHI reaches milestone
PHI has signed a collaboration agreement with the University of Pittsburgh. This agreement makes the fourth with key opinion leaders at leading research institutions and completes the first milestone described in PHI’s offering memorandum.
The collaboration agreement was signed after the research group lead by Professor Jay Kolls evaluated the HoloMonitor® M4 and made important, previously impossible, observations:
“The HoloMonitor® M4’s ability to observe changes in morphology as well as migratory properties in real-time allows us to make observations that we were previously unable to characterize with established methods”, says Dr. Derek Pociask, immunologist at the University of Pittsburgh.
In accordance with the collaboration agreement, University of Pittsburgh will use the HoloMonitor® M4 to track and study individual cell behavior over time. The findings of this groundbreaking research will be published in scientific journals.
“This is a significant achievement of a key milestone that was communicated in the investment memorandum. The next step is to reach the remaining two initial milestones in our strategic plan”, summarizes Peter Egelberg, CEO of PHI.
University of Pittsburgh
Since the development of the polio vaccine, University of Pittsburgh is regarded as one of the leading research universities in the world. The university ranks in the very top cluster of U.S. public research universities, according to The Center for Measuring University Performance. Academic Performance Research Laboratory ranks the university as no. 22 in the world among 2 000 colleges and universities for the quality and quantity of its scholarly publications.
Partner with Stem Cell Company
Phase Holographic Imaging (PHI) and Israeli Biological Industries (BI) have initiated a strategic collaboration. BI is a well-established and recognized supplier of stem cell technology. In a first step BI will represent PHI on the Israeli market.
“We develop, manufacture and supply life science products to universities, government research and healthcare institutions and to the biopharmaceutical industry. As a part of our strategic plan we now expand our business by providing instrumentation from PHI. The combination of our and PHI’s products will provide stem cell researchers with new possibilities that will advance and revolutionize cell therapy research”, says Gilad Landes, VP of Sales & Marketing at Biological Industries.
The life sciences research and biotechnology market in Israel is unusually large with hundreds of research laboratories. BI is the leading supplier in this market with a full range of animal cell culture and tissue culture products. This range will now be joined by the PHI time-lapse cytometers, HoloMonitor M3 and HoloMonitor M4. As a part of the collaboration, BI will initially purchase two instruments from PHI. Sales on the Israeli market during the first two years are expected to reach at least 10 instruments.
“The collaboration is particularly exciting as stem cell-based cell therapies are expected to become ‘the fourth therapeutic pillar of healthcare’, rivaling pharmaceuticals in market size. From that perspective, the collaboration with our new partner is an important step for our company”, says Peter Egelberg, CEO PHI.
HoloMonitor M4 successfully used in toxicity study
The Research Institute of Technical Physics and Materials Science in Budapest has recently published a scientific article describing a study of the health effects of the well-known, widely used herbicide Roundup. In the study, the HoloMonitor M4 was used to assess toxic effects to animal cells after exposure to Roundup.
“New European Union legislation requires that alternatives to animal testing shall be used when available. This will dramatically increase the use of cell-culture-based methods for determining the toxicity of chemical substances. The publication clearly shows the usefulness of the M4 in this new and growing market. Countries outside EU are expected to follow the EU legislation initiative and thereby create a global demand for these new test methods”, says Peter Egelberg, CEO of PHI.
Follow-up orders from Eastern Europe
Phase Holographic Imaging’s (PHI) Eastern Europe distributor, BioTech-Europe, has placed a follow-up order of two HoloMonitor M4 instruments. The ordered instruments replace the evaluation units that were previously sold to the cell therapy company Aztar and to the Tissue Engineering Laboratory at the Medical University of Warsaw, subsequent to careful evaluations.
“We are very pleased with the ongoing market success of our products and that we now have secured reference customers in the Eastern European market. Within our line of business new analysis methods must be scientifically accepted. We therefore aim to obtain market acceptance through initial sales and collaborations with key opinion leaders to make our products highly interesting for multinational biotech companies.”, says Peter Egelberg, CEO of PHI.
PHI’s overall goal
PHI aim to achieve market acceptance by a combination of sales on key markets and through collaborations with key opinion leaders. PHI’s goal is to have a minimum of 50 instruments in operation with paying customers, reference customers and key opinion leaders by the end of 2015. Currently the company has 20 instruments in operation with customers and key opinion leaders. PHI’s short-term goal is to have signed collaboration agreements with a minimum of four key opinion leaders in the third quarter of 2014. Currently, the company has collaboration agreements with three key opinion leaders.
Achieves first customer sales in the United States
The Department of Cell Biology and Human Anatomy at University of California, Davis, has purchased a HoloMonitor M4 after a successful evaluation period. PHI’s US distributor, Bulldog Bio, has placed a number of HoloMonitor M4 instruments which currently are being evaluated by US customers.
“We are very pleased that our groundwork with key opinion leaders is beginning to show results in the US market in this early phase. We will therefore continue to purposefully focus on key opinion leaders to reach market acceptance and thereby establish our products in the market”, says Peter Egelberg, CEO of PHI.
Collaboration agreement with stem cell researchers at ETH Zurich
PHI announces the signing of a collaboration agreement with the Cell Systems Dynamics Group at ETH Zurich. The group, headed by Professor Timm Schroeder, is a leading authority in stem cell time-lapse imaging and will advise PHI in the development of the next generation of time-lapse cytometers.
“Timm and his group have built what we are commercializing. Unlike most cell biologists, they have the technical knowledge needed to assemble a time-lapse cytometer – a microscope which allow long-term observation and quantification of cells. In the new HoloMonitor M5 we will combine the fluorescence technology that Timm and his group works with with our holographic technology. HoloMonitor M5 will be the first of a new generation of scientific instruments that will revolutionize cell biology.”, says Peter Egelberg, CEO of PHI.
“Timm has earned recognition as a key opinion leader through his work with stem cells and time-lapse imaging. I feel honored to have the opportunity to work with him. The collaboration brings PHI a lot closer to our initial goal, to reach market acceptance and through this establish our products on the market.”, continues Peter.
“Quantifying cellular and molecular behavior at the single cell level and over time is crucial for a full understanding of any cell system. Time-lapse cytometry is the ideal approach to enable these analyses. However, the lack of complete user-friendly off-the-shelf technical solutions currently limits its successful use to few expert laboratories. I am convinced that improved time-lapse cytometry will enable the next level of insight in future academic research, pharmaceutical screening, clinical diagnostics and quality control in cell therapy.“, says professor Timm Schroeder.
PHI has now signed collaboration agreements with three key opinion leaders. The company’s short-term goal is to sign collaboration agreements with four key opinion leaders.
About Timm Schroeder
Professor Schroeder has several publications in Nature and Science. He and his group was recently recruited by the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) of ETH Zurich. The D-BSSE is an interdisciplinary life science research environment located in Basel. Basel is a hot spot of life science and the home of both Novartis and Roche.
About ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich regularly appears at the top of international rankings as one of the best universities in the world. Twenty-one Nobel Prize winners have studied, taught or conducted research at ETH Zurich. The most famous of them is Albert Einstein.
Collaboration agreement with Korean research institute
PHI announces the signing of a collaboration agreement with Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB). KRIBB is Korea’s only governmental research institute dedicated to research across a broad span of biotechnology research areas.
“We are of course pleased to have established a collaboration with an opinion leader like KRIBB. This is very helpful to our work to achieve scientific acceptance and thereby strengthen our products in the market. KRIBB is a government research institute with major national influence and is internationally known for its research, particularly the research we address with our products – tumor growth and cell proliferation. KRIBB is strategically located in Daejeon which is the center for Korea’s big push to become a leader of life science research”, says Peter Egelberg, CEO of PHI.
In accordance with the collaboration agreement, KRIBB will borrow a HoloMonitor M4 over 12 months. The KRIBB research team will use the HoloMonitor M4 to study the effect various treatments have on cell motility. The preliminary results that have been obtained during an evaluation period are very encouraging. The purpose of collaboration is to expand on these preliminary results for scientific publication. KRIBB will also serve as a reference customer for the Daejeon region.
“The HoloMonitor M4 allow us to rapidly measure how cell motility is affected by various treatments, without removing the cells from our incubator”, says research scientist Sung-Kyun Ko at KRIBB.
For more information about KRIBB and the Korean market:
PHI launches new products
PHI announces the launch of an XY-stage for the HoloMonitor M4. The XY-table allows precise positioning of the cell culture vessel for the observation and tracking of specifically selected cells. Cell movement is relevant in several research areas, e.g. metastasis research.
Additionally, a new HoloMonitor software revision has been release. It incorporates a novel cell identification method based on cell volume. When cells grow and divide the individual cell volume changes in a well-defined way over time. The new software revision analyzes these changes to significantly improve the identification of individual cells. This capability is a major advance¬ment when compared to any method currently available. The advancement is made possible by the ability to measure cell volume, which is not possible with conventional microscope technology.
Comment by Peter Egelberg, CEO:
— Cells are traditionally imaged and analyzed at a single point in time – usually when they are dead. Our new volume-based cell identification is another fine example of what is achievable when cells are observed continuously over time.