Picks and shovels in the cell therapy industry

Man has always had a fantastic ability for discovery and invention. Through the course of history, we have relentlessly been hunting new discoveries or creating new ways of doing things. And by doing so, we continuously learn more about ourselves and the world we live in. Sometimes we take giant leaps, as with the landing on the moon. Sometimes we discover truly minute things, such as atoms or exosomes. And sometimes we strike gold, and everyone gets all crazy.

A prime example of this is the Californian Gold Rush, which began in 1848 and ended in 1855. On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma. News about this finding travelled fast and brought some 300,000 gold diggers to California. The sudden and enormous influx of people to California invigorated the economy, and the increase in population made it possible for California to become the United States’ 31st state.

At the beginning, there was no law regarding property rights in the goldfields, but a system of “staking claims” was soon developed. The gold was retrieved by simple tools and techniques – gold diggers were to a great extent reliant on picks and shovels. Gold worth tens of billions of today’s US dollar was recovered. The gold rush created great wealth, but not for all. Some gold diggers were highly successful, while others earned little more than they had started with or even nothing at all. However, there was one business that thrived throughout the gold rush years – the providers of picks and shovels.


Now, what does all this have to do with AcouSort? The answer is: More than you would initially think.

Just like the enterprises during the gold rush, AcouSort is part of a very dynamic landscape characterized by discoveries and inventions.

One area of particular interest to us is cell therapies. And cell therapies are definitely on the rise. CAR-T cell therapy, as an example, is already being clinically used to treat a number of cancer diseases, and almost 3,000 additional cell- and gene therapies are currently under development*.

However, current manufacturing workflows are facing significant challenges as they rely on a number of manual sample handling processes. The manual handling creates two significant problems. It entails a high risk of bacterial contamination during the production process, and it puts a high price tag on the therapy, thereby limiting the number of patients who can be offered a potentially life-saving treatment. It is clear that the industry is in great need of inventions to really take off.

AcouSort’s ambition is to address these challenges by introducing solutions enabling automated sample processing and integration, in order to effectively limit the need for manual sample processing in the manufacturing workflow. Our technology fits well in several steps in the process. We can automatically purify and isolate cells to ensure that only the correct cells are used in the preparations; we can wash away contaminants from samples to ensure sample integrity; and we can up-concentrate cell samples to the desired levels.

Cell therapy is a highly innovative field where almost all major life science players are active. It is constantly expanding into new diseases areas, making it an interesting investment opportunity.

However, developing specific medical treatments is an inherently complex process associated with high risk – far from all projects will be successful. For an investor this poses a problem. It is virtually impossible to know which projects will be successful, and which will fail.

One option to spread risk is to use what is known as a pick-and-shovel strategy where you invest in the underlying technology needed to (in this case) develop and produce cell therapy treatments. In this way you can invest in the cell therapy industry without being exposed to the potential failures of individual therapy projects or companies. The pick-and-shovel strategy is of course named after the tools needed to take part in the California Gold Rush.

An investment in AcouSort offers precisely this. Our technology (our picks and shovels, as it were) has the potential to play a vital role in mainstreaming all cell therapy manufacturing, regardless of the targeted disease.


Read more about AcouSort at or check out our landing page at NASDAQ First North Growth Market in Stockholm:

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*Gene, Cell & RNA Therapy Landscape, Q4 2022 quarterly Data Report, ASGCT, Citeline