The short history of Xanofi reads more like a story from an entrepreneur textbook. Our founding scientist, Dr. Orlin Velev, was creating nanorods in his lab one day when he noticed strange, small fibers in his liquids. Soon he began focusing his attention on these nanofibers and XanoShear™ was born!
Fast-forward 7 years to Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization, a graduate level class at NCSU. This nascent technology became the night and day pet project of 6 students finishing MBAs and PhDs. At the end of the school year, it was obvious to everyone there was great potential.
Just three months later, Miles Wright joined the effort as CEO and Xanofi formed in the Fall of 2010. We started with no money, a test tube technology, and we were more than 106 miles from Chicago.
Ever see the Jetsons? Well, our first drawings of a commercial production unit looked almost exactly like their washing machine. We didn’t think Elroy was going to sue us but we knew a continuous flow device would be preferable. One day, Pete came through the door with a crazy look in his eyes and a yard sprayer .
Within an hour, we were spraying nanofibers! It only took a few seconds before we realized that we needed more volume and more power. An hour later, the world was introduced to the XanoKeg!
We loved the thought of XanoKegs spread across the globe but reality soon set in – we couldn’t launch a new production platform based on beer kegs. So we built our first pilot unit. It wasn’t pretty but it could produce more nanofibers than most any machine on the planet…and we spent less than $15K on it! It started a one year effort to design and build a machine that could be easily scaled to almost any level of production.
In addition to building a better nanofiber production platform, we’ve also been building better products. While we’ve focused primarily on life science applications, we’re currently working on a wide assortment of projects that set up well for our technology.
And now we’re going public – introducing our capabilities and working with partners to build better products that can be commercial manufactured at reasonable prices.
Xanofi has an aggressive product release schedule over the course of the next 24 months. In the life science area, our first shipping product is our new 3D cell scaffold, XanoMatrix (samples available upon request). This next-generation cell scaffold gives the benefit of high surface area nanofibers for cell growth but in a chaotic architecture that mimics the extracellular matrix better than the current generation of scaffolds. In comparision testing at UNC School of Medicine and University College London, our material allowed for enhanced cell propagation and migration as well as greater cell viability. We hope to launch implantable PLA versions of our XanoMatrix substrates later this year as well as initiate testing in fixed bed bioreactors for greatly increased quantities of cell production.
Xanofi also intends to further functionalize our high flow 3D nanofiber liquid filtration mats with custom peptide ligands targeting laboratory affinity separations. This combination of NCSU technologies will create a very significant advance in the cost of purifications and is the combination of two platform technologies with high potential. Early tests conducted at NCSU’s BTEC facility show great promise for both lower cost affinity and ion-exchange chromatography.