BICO made another acquisition – this time in the form of the Allegro 3D startup. The company specializes in the so-called high-speed 3D bio-printing, derived from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Allegro 3D is developing a technology for producing tissue models on an industrial scale, dedicated to drug research and the development of medical tests. The $ 6 million acquisition announced on Friday is expected to complement BICO’s existing bioprinting systems, being the 13th overall and 8th acquisitions in the past year.
Allegro 3D solutions enable high-precision and fast 3D bio-printing, adapted to multi-well printing, providing companies with the functionality they need to develop tissue structure in regenerative medicine and drug testing processes. The light-based 3D printing technology patented by Allegro 3D will be commercialized by the subsidiary BICO – Cellink, but will remain an independent entity. Given the high throughput of the process, the addition of Allegro 3D technology solutions – including a proprietary Digital Light Processing (DLP) system that prints directly onto multi-well plates – provides tremendous scaling-up opportunities for bioprint customers.
Allegro 3D’s origins date back to 2013, when Wei Zhu and Shaochen Chen created a platform to create living biological tissues for regenerative medicine, with liver tissue designs, blood vessel networks, heart tissues, spinal cord implants, and even coral-inspired structures that scientists working on They can use the sea to study algae growth and aid coral reef restoration projects. In 2017, Zhu and Chen founded Allegro 3D, receiving a grant and funding to develop a 3D bio-printing model for the fully commercialized Stemaker – an automated system for bio-printing on 6-, 12- and 24-well plates.
With the official closing of the acquisition on May 5, 2022, Allegro 3D will be consolidated in the BICO financial statements and financial reporting in the second quarter of 2022. Allegro 3D products have been commercialized by the end of 2021, and in 2022 the company is expected to generate approximately $ 1 million in revenue .
Regardless of the above, it is worth recalling that BICO itself is in a rather surprising and controversial conflict with one of its co-founders – and until recently its financial director – Gusten Danielsson. In late April 2022, Danielsson left BICO’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and gave a controversial interview to the Swedish financial newspaper, accusing his recent colleague – second co-founder and current president – Erik Gatenholm, that Cellink / BICO under his leadership was going in the wrong direction. The case is still developmental and translates into high drops in BICO shares on the stock exchange.