"We aim to be the leader in the 3D cell culture industry, where our technology is used in the biotech industries, hospitals and clinical areas. Our vision is to bring the future of personalized medicine now."

John Huang

CEO, THEWELL BIOSCIENCE

July 14, 2021

How have significant breakthroughs in cell biology, biofabrication and materials science in the last decade laid the foundation for a company like TheWell Bioscience?

The development of biomaterials in the last decade opens the door to establish the in vitro biological system that can represent the complexity of a three dimensional human body. By building the right microenvironment, we can create more accurate 3D human disease models or mini-organs from patient-derived samples. The technology bridges the gap between the traditional 2D cell culture system and human clinical trials and accelerates the process of drug discovery, tissue engineering and personalized medicine.

Finding the right materials, which you can manipulate their biological properties to induce the cells to grow in the right direction is very important. For example, the popular material, Matrigel, has over 1,000 different compounds that are undefined. When experimenting on this type of material, sometimes the data looks very good, but the batch-to-batch difference can heavily impact the consistency of results. This makes going from lab products to clinical applications with FDA approval extremely difficult.

TheWell Bioscience’s concept is, instead of having a material with various compounds inside, we build the material from the bottom up. We start with a material of which we know we can manipulate both biophysical and biochemical properties. With these tunable capabilities, we can enhance the material-cell interactions and closely mimic in vivo microenvironment. Working from the bottom up allows for better control over guiding cells into a growth direction and building a complex organoid/tissue system for both in vitro and in vivo applications.  

How is your business structured in terms of the products and services TheWell Biosciences offers to the market?

TheWell Bioscience is a biomedical technology company providing innovative 3D cell platforms for drug discovery, cell therapy and personalized medicine. We deliver a xeno-free bio-functional and tunable hydrogel system (VitroGel® and VitroINK®) to help scientists build a robust 3D microenvironment that can closely mimic the natural extracellular matrix for multiple 3D cell models such as organoids, tumor spheroids and cell co-culture. In addition, our hydrogel system has a unique injectable property and is also used as an injectable carrier for control release or cell therapies, where scientists can then achieve better cell retention and higher cell viability.

With the in-depth know-how on 3D cell culture, we offer services to build 3D cell models from established cell lines or custom samples and run the drug screening and downstream analysis based on these models. We can also help customers to achieve 3D cell scale-up for large-scale cell expansion.

What can 3D cell cultures do that 2D cannot?

Today, there is increasing awareness of the drawbacks of 2D cell culture to predict the complex behavior of a biological system of many different interacting cell types and to reproduce the anatomy or physiology of tissue for informative or useful study. 3D cell culture models are a more accurate representation of the natural environment experienced by the cells in the living organism, which allows for intercellular interactions with more realistic biochemical and physiological responses.

What makes New Jersey an ideal location for a company such as TheWell Bioscience?

New Jersey is one of the top bio hubs in the world. As home to 8 of the world’s top 10 biotech giants and has over 400 biotech companies, New Jersey provides us a unique opportunity to establish an excellent industrial network. Geographically New Jersey is ideal, as it connects to many biotech hubs and resources. New Jersey has a great talent pool to take advantage of with many great universities in the area. The state also founds attractive incubator and accelerator programs. Starting off in an incubator space has helped the company significantly with resources, consulting, connections and funding opportunities. 

What goals would the company wish to achieve over the next 2-3 years?  

The next 2-3 years will be the exponential growth period for TheWell Bioscience.  We aim to be the leader in the 3D cell culture industry, where our technology is used in the biotech industries, hospitals and clinical areas. Our vision is to bring the future of personalized medicine now.

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