Froceth, JSC, a biotechnology company founded by Lithuanian scientists three years ago, is the only one in the country that manufactures advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) that can be individually adapted to each patient, and has completed its first investment phase this year. During this time, an adipose tissue bank with no analogues in Lithuania was established, and the only laboratory in the Baltic States dedicated to the production of ATMP, which produces a unique preparation for cancer immunotherapy in the country. About 0.5 million euros have already been invested in the company since its establishment.
Froceth, JSC started its activities in September 2014, when the company established a tissue bank for the processing, storage and distribution of cells of the stromal vascular fraction of adipose tissue. The company continues to extract stem cells from adipose tissue, which are used to regenerate cartilage joint tissue and to repair damaged or lost skin.
About five years ago, together with fellow scientists working in the field of biotechnology, we started considering the possibility of more intensive development of the field of individual therapy in Lithuania. In collaboration with scientists from around the world, we have delved into stem cell therapy and its applications during internships abroad. It is the potential of these cells in the treatment of serious diseases that has led us to develop and manufacture high quality cell therapy products in Lithuania.
There is currently no other tissue bank in Lithuania that stores cells of the vascular fraction of the adipose tissue. Moreover, it is the only one in the country that operates in accordance with the requirements of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) in premises.
Having established an adipose tissue bank, the company also invested in the only laboratory in the Baltic States dedicated to the production of ATMP. It has been producing a dendritic cell preparation since early 2016, which is used as an adjunct in the fight against cancer.
The medicine activates the immune system in the patient's body, forcing it not to tolerate the cancer cells, but to recognize them and control their activity. We create it for each patient individually, using his or her own cells.
Investments were also made in the most advanced equipment for the production of ATMP, training of qualified specialists, their training, internships, as well as product development, development and implementation in the Lithuanian market. Over the past few years, Froceth has participated in joint research with partners from Lithuania, Austria, Estonia and the Czech Republic. They investigated methods of cancer immunotherapy using cell-derived preparations.
After the implementation of the first investment phase, we are already preparing for the second, during which new products for individualized treatment will be created and developed, using the patient's own tissues and cells. We also plan to invest in the development and implementation of new products for the treatment of cancer. We will work with partners such as the National Cancer Institute in this area. We will also invest in the training of specialists working in the field of cell therapy, of which there are currently very few in Lithuania.
Froceth equity currently amounts to about 0.5 million euros. The company's turnover in 2016 amounted to 320 thousand euros. That's 19 percent more than in 2015, when the company's turnover amounted to 260 thousand euros.