Volumetric, a Houston-based biofabrication start-up company developing biomaterials and advanced 3D bioprinting technologies, announced today it has entered into an agreement to be acquired by 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) in a deal structured as $45 million closing payment, with up to $355 million additional opportunity linked to a series of milestone earnouts upon the attainment of significant steps in the demonstration of human applications.
“We are so excited to join 3D Systems and its joint development program with United Therapeutics Corporation, working together to deliver on the promise of regenerative medicine,” says Jordan Miller, PhD, Co-Founder and President of Volumetric. “We will build out our R&D pipeline right here in Houston, next to the dozens of other innovative life sciences companies we have been working with, and alongside, for the past three years.”
The Volumetric team is comprised of bioengineers led by Dr. Miller together with Co-Founder and COO Bagrat Grigoryan, PhD. The group has been quietly developing a vertically integrated platform of bioprinting solutions targeted at a new class of therapies for organ-scale diseases — whole replacement organs. Miller, currently an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at Rice University, will lead the biofabrication effort in Houston for 3D Systems as Chief Scientist for Regenerative Medicine.
“The vital organs inside of the human body are the most complicated structures in the known universe,” says Dr. Miller. “Just as a vibrant city needs roads, a vital organ needs vasculature. Our work to date at Volumetric has focused on 3D bioprinting the intricate blood vessel architecture that is crucial for the function of these organs.”
“Manufacturing human organs represents a transformative opportunity to reduce serious organ disease states worldwide,” said Dr. Grigoryan, who will join 3D Systems as a Vice President of Regenerative Medicine. “Broadening our team’s ability to deliver on the promise of organ therapy is a win for patients and medical care around the world, as well as Volumetric shareholders who believed in our promise from early phase development.”
Drs. Miller and Grigoryan’s leading-edge approach for generating physiologically relevant blood vessel architecture was featured on the cover of Science in May 2019 and further reported on by Forbes, TechCrunch, Scientific American, Fierce Biotech, and Fortune. Volumetric participated in the San Francisco-based accelerator Y Combinator in 2020, raising venture funds to further the company’s R&D efforts.
The merger will establish a new 20,000 sq. ft. facility within Houston’s East End Maker Hub, currently completing its first phase buildout. The Houston effort builds on an existing and accelerating partnership between 3D Systems and United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR) to establish the feasibility and commercialization of bioprinted human organs.
“We are thrilled that 3D Systems shares Volumetric’s vision for the future of human medicine. This acquisition and expansion integrates seamlessly with our growing hub for life sciences and biofabrication here in Houston,” says Bill McKeon, President and CEO, Texas Medical Center (“TMC”). TMC has been working with Volumetric since its inception through TMC Innovation and investment through TMC Venture Fund.
“Volumetric is already successful in its space with innovative light-based bioprinting,” says Jeffrey Graves, PhD, President and CEO of 3D Systems. “This acquisition and integration of Volumetric into the 3D Systems family advances our commitment to healthcare.”
“New parts for people. That’s Volumetric’s mission and the full potential of this acquisition for humanity,” says Sergio Ruiz, Managing Director of Methuselah Fund, a principal investor in Volumetric.
“While we do cutting-edge research and development, our facility will also serve to educate and foster experimentation and engagement across disciplines, the only way that these monumental challenges can be solved.” says Grigoryan.
“Developing a roadmap for engineered organs could improve the lives of millions of patients who are not able to receive organ transplants today,” says Miller. “We won’t be satisfied until we’re in a post-scarcity world for organ transplantation.
“We are working for a world where people won’t have to die so that others can live.”
Founded in 2018 by bioengineers Jordan Miller, PhD, and Bagrat Grigoryan, PhD, Volumetric is empowering the next generation of advanced biofabrication with high quality materials and systems for 3D bioprinting. Its world-class team of engineers has developed a vertically integrated platform of bioprinting solutions targeted at a new class of therapies for organ-scale diseases — whole replacement organs. For more information visit volumetricbio.com.
About 3D Systems
More than 30 years ago, 3D Systems brought the innovation of 3D printing to the manufacturing industry. Today, as the leading additive manufacturing solutions partner, we bring innovation, performance, and reliability to every interaction - empowering our customers to create products and business models never before possible. Thanks to our unique offering of hardware, software, materials, and services, each application-specific solution is powered by the expertise of our application engineers who collaborate with customers to transform how they deliver their products and services. 3D Systems’ solutions address a variety of advanced applications in healthcare and industrial markets such as medical and dental, aerospace & defense, automotive, and durable goods. More information on the company is available at www.3dsystems.com.
pH Partners, LLC served as financial advisor to Volumetric while Shearman & Sterling LLP served as Volumetric’s lead legal advisor.