PL BioScience raises € 3.7 mln from Born2Grow, Brightlands Venture Partners, TechVision Fund I and more

The management team at PL BioScience: Dr. Hatim Hemeda, Dr. Siegfried Ebner, Christian Wilkes (from left). © PL BioScience / Alexander Sievert

Aachen, Germany, 25 May 2021

  • The capital will be used to expand R&D, increase sales capacity and scale up in-house production
  • PL BioScience produces a human-based nutrient medium for growing cells, as replacement for animal-derived serum
  • The company will profit from the regional expertise in cell therapy

Brightlands Venture Partners invests in PL BioScience GmbH. This is PL BioScience’s third Closing of an oversubscribed Series A round of in total € 3.7 mln. With this investment Brightlands Venture Partners joins German based investors BORN2GROW and TechVision Fund I, several non-institutional investors, such as SilverSky LifeSciences (Düsseldorf) and various biotech-experienced business angels.

The Aachen-based company will use the capital to increase sales capacity as well as scale up its in-house production and R&D activities. PL BioScience has spent the last few years building a strong base of customers with cell therapies, ranging from an early phase to commercial therapies.

Christian Wilkes, CFO and co-founder at PL BioScience, says: “Based on a platform technology, we have created several product variants tailored to the growing demand from research, development and therapy in regenerative medicine. We now want to press ahead with the further development and expansion of production and distribution.”

PL BioScience produces human-derived platelet lysate, a growth medium for growing and expanding cells for applications such as cell therapy and tissue engineering. Human platelet lysate is produced as a replacement for animal-derived sera, such as fetal bovine serum (FBS), which has safety and quality issues; furthermore, fetal bovine serum has been receiving increasing scrutiny from animal welfare advocates and regulators alike. PL BioScience’s human platelet lysate provides improved performance and safety over FBS. As one of the first European human platelet lysate producers, PL BioScience has already built a strong name in the scientific community.

According to Marcel Kloosterman, Managing Partner at Brightlands Venture Partners: “Over the last ten years, Brightlands Venture Partners has helped to create an ecosystem that is considered as the number one cell therapy hub in Europe. The expansion of PL BioScience GmbH as crucial medium supplier, further supports the goal of becoming world leading in a field with much unmet need from a patient-, food and materials perspective.”

PL BioScience is a welcome addition to the cell therapy cluster at Brightlands’ ecosystem in Maastricht and Geleen. The company will set up its R&D and pilot production activities at Medace, a biomedical working space in Maastricht, while making use of the presence of specific infrastructure, permits and specialized workforce needed to scale-up production. Furthermore, several regional SME’s and corporates are active in cell therapy and there is increasing activity in tissue engineering in the region; this will allow PL BioScience to expand its base of customers.

About PL BioScience
PL BioScience GmbH, a spin-off from RWTH Aachen University, was founded in 2015. With their technology platform, the team was able to develop various human-derived cell growth media (human platelet lysates) in different grades – as necessary for specific applications in academic research, clinical research and stem cell therapies. PL BioScience has a presence in the market and is increasing sales with research groups, biotech firms and life science companies. PL BioScience aims to position itself as a technological leader with these customers and to supply the best possible human platelet lysates for all phases of research and development with stem cells.

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BORN2GROW is a Heilbronn-based and internationally active seed fund concentrating on investments in fast-growing start-ups in advanced technologies such as life sciences, artificial intelligence and machine learning, internet of things, new materials, and hardware and robotics. BORN2GROW is a subsidiary company of ZFHN Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn, a family office, which for almost 20 years has been investing in technology-related start-ups and high-growth companies in Europe, Israel, Asia and the USA as they become ready for the market.

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About Brightlands Venture Partners
Brightlands Venture Partners (BVP) is the fund manager of BVP Fund IV and is a so-called ecosystem investor. BVP invests in companies benefiting from and contributing to the Brightlands campuses in the south of the Netherlands. Other funds under management are Chemelot Ventures, Brightlands Agrifood Fund and Limburg Ventures. BVP Fund IV focuses on sustainability and health and is the successor fund of the 2014 vintage Chemelot Ventures; together the funds have made 40 investments. BVP has realized exits to blue chip companies such as Lonza, LyondellBasell and BASF.

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About TechVision Fund I
TechVision Fund I (TVF I) is an early-stage venture fund managed by S-UBG Group, an Aachen-based PE-firm with more than 30 years of experience and roughly € 150 M under management. It was launched in early 2020 and has a fund volume of around € 55 M. Its investors include NRW.BANK, Sparkasse Aachen and further Sparkasse banks as well as private investors with different backgrounds. The TVF I and its predecessor funds (Seed Fonds I-III), focus on early-stage technology start-ups and in the past more than 1/3 of the investments were in the areas of MedTech and BioTech ventures.

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