Dr. Thomas Meany started his career as a physicist building semi-conductors and has since dedicated his time to working with cells – “the incredible micro factory with everything pre-programmed for life”.  Dr. Meany combined forces with Ian McDermott, an expert protein engineer from the University of Manchester, to co-found Cell-free Technologies in April this year.

Describing it as the oldest language in the world, Dr. Meany believes DNA will be at the foundation of companies in the future with its capacity to store exabytes (that’s a billion gigabytes) of data in an area the size of a teaspoon. Ultra-compact DNA data storage will undoubtedly revolutionise the data storage sector and could significantly reduce infrastructure costs. A “micro-factory”, indeed.

The high potential start-up from Ireland boasts a “technology that involves breaking open cells very delicately and preserving the biomolecular machinery in extract that is responsible for reading DNA and writing protein, enzyme and molecule”

Crucially, this means that it is no longer classed as an ‘organism’ which allows the solution to operate free from biological hazard regulations and genetically modified organism regulations.

The technology also allows for prototyping of proteins in hours and not days.

Furthermore, Cell-Free Technologies have been able to create extracts such as ‘green florescent protein’ at ten times lower the cost than when they entered RebelBio because of scaling – a factor Dr. Meaney described as a “commercial game-changer”.

Core ALPHA testers of the product include students, teachers, creatives and scientists from Cambridge, the University of Tonorto and the Royal College of Art.

The paid-BETA will be launched this September and shall move to direct sales in December of this year.

Cell-free Technologies is seeking a $350,000 investment.

(Breakdown: $154,000 towards staff, $36,000 Premises/Lab, $108,000 Customer Acquisition, and $52,000 Reactor Fab)

The investment can be coupled with an optional $25,000 investment from lead investors SOSV and a further optional $250,000 from Enterprise Ireland.

Describing it as the “Raspberri Pi” of biology, Dr. Meany believes “We are building the tools that will allow innovators from all backgrounds to engineer the materials of the future” and that “biological sensors, detectors and processors will be core to this”


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