Halifax-based 3D BioFibR, which offers an automated system for collagen-fibre manufacturing, has raised $3.52 million in seed funding and contributions from government agencies.
This represents 3D BioFibR’s second funding round after it also raised $700,000 in seed financing in 2021.
The $3.52 million round comprises nearly $2.6 million in equity financing, led by Invest Nova Scotia with matching investment from Build Ventures. Returning investors Concrete Ventures and Globalive Capital also participated.
3D BioFibR claims its spider silk prototype is five times stronger than steel.
In addition, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), a federal fund, contributed $528,920, while the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program is providing development funding of up to $391,949 as well as advisory services.
According to 3D BioFibR, these funds will be used to expand its current facilities and establish new ones. The startup detailed plans to include a climate-controlled biomanufacturing cleanroom in its lab, as well as create a new wet lab and cell-culture facility.
“We are grateful for this investment as it accelerates our plan to meet the increasing demand from tissue engineers for a premium 3D collagen scaffold that optimizes cell growth,” said Kevin Sullivan, CEO of 3D BioFibR. “Our goal is to make it incredibly easy for researchers to grow their cells in environments that actually resemble human tissues.”
Founded by Sullivan, John Frampton, Craig Gauld, and Gurkaran Chowdry at Dalhousie University in July 2020, 3D BioFibR has developed its own “dry-spinning” process that mimics the action of a web-spinning spider to produce fibers from proteins such as collagen.
3D BioFibR said its manufacturing process can generate collagen scaffolds that are ideal for 3D cell culture and tissue-engineering applications.
CollaFibR, the collagen fibre manufactured from 3D BioFibR’s system, can be used as an artificial tendon for soft-tissue repair research.
Though its main focus is on collagen fibre manufacturing, 3D BioFibR claims to have spun various network-forming biopolymers in the past. The startup claims its spider silk prototype, SpidrFibR, is five times stronger than steel and more extensible than rubber.
3D BioFibR also previously secured a $200,000 contribution from ACOA in 2022.
Featured image courtesy 3D BioFibR.