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LipoCoat®: Saving Lives, One Innovation at a Time

Jasper van Weerd | Founder & CEO | LipoCoat®
Jasper van Weerd | Founder & CEO | LipoCoat®

Progress demands innovation – there is no scope of denying the verity of this statement. In pertinence to this progress in the discipline of healthcare, innovation is deemed as a non-negligible necessity, universally.

Modern technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain, Robotics, IoT, so on and so forth, have evidently played catalysts in the innovation of medical equipment, healthcare solutions, and transformative products. And organizations across the world have acknowledged and leveraged these technologies efficiently and have also enabled healthcare staff and patients to benefit from the same.

One prominent company that has contributed substantially towards the progress of the healthcare industry, is LipoCoat®, a life science spin-off from the renowned MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente, the Netherlands.

“LipoCoat’s bio-inspired coating technology prevents biofilm formation to reduce healthcare associated infections.”

LipoCoat’s mission is to create solutions for improved patient comfort, safety, and infection control. The company’s innovation is a bio-inspired coating technology that prevents biofilm formation to reduce healthcare associated infections (HAI).

The team at LipoCoat® states that around 6 percent of HAI cases result in death. According to a GE whitepaper, every year in the USA alone, HAIs affect about 1.7 million people at a cost of more than US$35 billion. HAIs are responsible for prolonging hospital stays by approximately 16 million days and causing nearly 100,000 deaths annually.

The team also believes that the situation is similar in the EU, where over 4 million patients acquire an HAI annually, contributing to roughly 110,000 deaths as well as significant costs to health systems. The direct costs were estimated by the World Health Organization to total at least €7 billion per year.

Considered as an innovative preventive measure, the LipoCoat® coatings enable sustainable infection control – no antibiotics, no toxic compounds, no side effects. These coatings are based on self-assembly nanotechnology and are anti-fouling, bio-compatible, hydrophilic, cost-efficient, and scalable. They have a wide range of applications including, medical devices, R&D tools, in vitro diagnostics (IVDs), food, and pharma.

Redefining Expertise

LipoCoat’s ceaseless journey towards eminence is helmed by Jasper van Weerd, the Founder and CEO.

Jasper holds an MSc degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Twente, the Netherlands. While a PhD student in Supramolecular Chemistry at the same university, he invented the unique bioinspired LipoCoat® coatings.

Jasper was a visiting researcher at PennState University (USA), Politechnico Milano (Italy) and Utrecht University (the Netherlands). He is the author of 11 peer reviewed publications and the inventor of 3 patents. In 2016, he founded LipoCoat to make his invention available for the general public.

When asked for his opinion on how the adaptation of modern technology in the healthcare discipline has transformed the industry, Jasper says, “An effective healthcare system is one of the critical requirements of a successful society. In the past decades, healthcare innovations have contributed to a more effective healthcare system by enabling new therapies and offering new diagnostic opportunities. These developments offer new levels of patient well-being but have also tremendously increased healthcare costs. Moving forward, value-based healthcare—focusing on treatment outcomes—and the use of preventative innovations must take up a more prominent position.”

“Nowadays, technology development is happening at a pace that was previously unheard of. This is great news for healthcare innovation. However, to make full use of this innovation potential, regulatory processes must remain in alignment and offer swift, transparent, predicable, and reliable approval. Moving towards a more universal regulatory process will help to convert promising technologies into widely accessible healthcare innovation,” he adds.

Tackling Adversities

Talking about how the pandemic and the entailing restrictions on business operations impacted the company, the team at LipoCoat® says, “The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to change various aspects of our lives.”

At LipoCoat®, employee safety and well-being are of utmost importance. Being a biotech company R&D is its key activity. At the beginning of the pandemic, the company implemented various employee safeguards to ensure lab work could be performed safely – in accordance with governmental regulations.

“Social distancing, use of hand disinfectants, monitoring temperature, rapid testing and other corona protocols have become our new normal,” says the team. One of the important developments at LipoCoat® has been the transition to working from home when possible and an increased awareness of how new working routines (such as online meetings) can be part of an efficient and modern organization.

In Foresight

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of scientific progress regarding infection control. LipoCoat® is currently involved in development programs with healthcare corporates that want to increase the safety of their medical devices. The company has seen a very promising reduction in bacterial adhesion on contact lenses and catheters.

LipoCoat® is aiming to launch LipoCoat-enabled contact lenses in 2021 and in a few years’ time, it expects its first coated catheters to enter the market. In addition, other use cases are actively explored in LipoCoat’s discovery programs, including R&D tools, cell culture systems, cosmetic, and therapeutic applications.

LipoCoat® has secured a €1.5 million investment round in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. To make the leap to further growth, a funding round of €5 million is planned for mid-2021.

With this investment round, LipoCoat® envisions building its revenue streams, increasing its development and production capacity, and expanding its international footprint by gaining access to USA and Asian markets, in the coming years.



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