Building the promise of 3D bioprinting for medical research.
CEO: Ricky Solorzano
The scoop: Allevi is looking to make good on the promise of desktop 3D bioprinting, with a focus on it becoming a real, affordable technology by offering three-dimensional tissue construction using any bioink.
What makes Allevi fierce: Being able to use 3D printing technology in medical research is one of the most promising, and most futuristic, elements of the medtech industry. Printing organs for human use, or for researchers to be able to test new medicines more safely, is the kind of thing that was only fit for the annals of 1950s pulp sci-fi.
While we’re certainly not at a point where we can order a new heart via Amazon and have it delivered to it our local hospital, the industry is working on printing certain elements of the body—at least for lab use—with future printable organs, or even structures such as an ear or nose, representing the holy grail of this early work.
Allevi is hoping to be one of the pioneers. It has some big-name partners, including AbbVie, Johnson & Johnson (Allevi is currently based at the new JPOD in Philadelphia at UPenn), GlaxoSmithKline and Stanford University, to name a few.
The company works with soft and hard tissue, as well as conductive graphene structures, and its technology can be used for organ-on-a-chip and vasculature models as well.
And this is a little out of this world: Last year, Allevi penned a partnership with U.S. microgravity 3D printer developer Made In Space. Together, the two companies are working on the Allevi ZeroG, a 3D bioprinter capable of working in low-gravity conditions.
But it’s not been an easy journey. In its short life, Allevi, formerly known as BioBots, lost its co-founder and CEO, Danny Cabrera, in 2017 and rebranded, using the abbreviation of alleviate. With this change, it also signaled a deeper mission, aiming to go beyond hardware and focus also on software that can make things easier for users, while also running its bioprinters cheaper than its competitors’.
The company says its uses to date include creating blood clots for study and reproducing cancerous tumors. It’s not making hearts to order—no one has the tech for that yet—but if you squint, that sort of tech is just on the horizon, and Allevi is the sort of company that will likely be at the forefront of achieving that future.