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UCL Spin-out Puridify Bought by GE Healthcare

4 December 2017

GE Healthcare has completed the acquisition of Puridify, a bioprocessing start-up that is developing a nanofiber-based platform purification technology for biopharmaceutical production. "The Puridify story started in 2008 with an engineering doctoral project (funded by the EPSRC CDT in Bioprocess Engineering Leadership) that was thought up by Prof Dan Bracewell (UCL Biochemical Engineering) and Prof Bob Stevens (STFC). The industrial applicability of the technology was intended from the outset and this supported the commercial opportunity which took its first steps with an initial patent filing in 2012…

Dr Oliver Hardick

With less than 4 years of venture support to build the Puridify team and drive development towards commercialisation it's a fantastic result to now be taking these next steps as part of GE Healthcare. We have an aggressive timetable to implement the FibroSelect platform into industrial applications and look forward to UCL's continued support as we take these next steps." said Oliver Hardick, Chief Executive Officer who co-founded Puridify with fellow UCL Biochemical Engineering MEng and EngD graduate Dr Iwan Roberts.

Puridify’s technology, FibroSelect, is complementary to the bead resins and chromatography membranes used today in downstream bioprocessing, promising faster mass transfer, scalability and ease of use.

Professor Dan Bracewell

“It is a long road from the idea that I conceived for the EPSRC EngD project that formed the basis of Puridify to a commercial offering suitable for the biopharmaceutical industry. The aquisition of Puridify by GE Healthcare is a major milestone on this journey. It is testament to the tremendous work the founders and all Puridify staff have put in to this point. And shows how improvements to funding mechanisms and support for entrepreneurial activity at UCL and more widely in the UK are creating impact in the manufacturing sector” said Prof. Daniel G. Bracewell, UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering.

The company has collaborated with several major biopharmaceutical manufacturers in the development of their technology. The platform is expected to bring productivity improvements in the process development (PD) phase and small-scale manufacturing for a wide variety of biopharmaceutical applications. GE Healthcare will invest further to bring Puridify’s platform to commercialization fully integrating it within the broad range of bioprocess purification products already available at GE.

GE will acquire Puridify and all 17 employees will join GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ BioProcess business. The Puridify team will remain at their current location in Stevenage, UK, which will serve as a small research hub for BioProcess. Since it was founded in 2014 and after winning the first OneStart competition, Puridify has been privately funded by leading venture capital investors Touchstone Innovations and SR One, with additional support from University College London (UCL) Business.