Dragon O'Sullivan invests in biotech firm developing synthetic crab blood
A Cork-based company that aims to develop lab-made blood for testing medical devices - instead of horseshoe crabs' blood - has received a €100,000 investment from Dragons' Den star Sean O'Sullivan's SOSventures.
The company is currently developing its prototype.
"There's a market for endotoxin testing products - these are used to verify the safety of objects that are used in and on humans.
"Right now the market is enormous, it's growing, but I couldn't believe we were still using animals to supply this vital product," Sothic chief executive Stephen Geary told the Sunday Independent.
"We are bleeding the North Atlantic horseshoe crab and making an extract of its blood, and that is what humans are using today to make this product.
"I've been ruminating since 2011 basically about doing this, making a biosynthetic version.
"We owe the safety of 20th and 21st century medicine to these blue-blooded little guys. The number of the horseshoe crabs being harvested every year is completely unsustainable, we have killed millions of them, hundreds of thousands are removed every year from their breeding grounds," said Geary.
Sothic Bioscience is one of the nine companies admitted to this year's version of the synthetic biology accelerator programme IndieBio.
Others in the accelerator include Aranex Biotech, which aims to create a peanut without allergens.
Sunday Indo Business