HookeBio Ltd was founded in 2014 by Professor Mark Davies in Stokes Laboratories at the University of Limerick, a research center that has a rich history of microfluidic entrepreneurship. Hooke Bio spun out from the University of Limerick in 2017 and is currently based in Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland. The company is currently developing microfluidic based technologies for competitive, high throughput drug screening in conjunction with 3D cell culture. This technology is highly adaptable and can be repurposed for a multitude of applications such as: disease modelling, drug discovery, drug re-purposing, toxicity testing of chemicals, microbial screening and personalized drug optimization.
HookeBio won Enterprise Irelands’s ‘One-to-watch award’ Big Idea’s Showcase in 2018 and the National Start-up MedTech (Gold winner) award in 2018. In Jan 2019, Hooke bio won €1.9m in the first round of funding through the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) in collaboration with the Centre for advanced photonics and process analysis (CAPPA) and NUI, Galway.
Robert Hooke was a scientist who discovered the law of elasticity, known as Hooke’s law. He undertook research in a remarkable number of fields (astronomy, engineering, architecture to list but a few). He was the first to visualise a microorganism using a microscope and coined the term “cell”. Hooke Bio is named in honor of his work. “The unimaginableness of most objects, by reason of their smallness” R. Hooke, London, 1665
Hooke Bio Research is supported by;
Western Development Commission
Boole Investment Syndicate
Prior to 2017, Hooke Bio was funded by two Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation funds. Private investment along with support from EI’s High Potential Start-Up fund allowed the company to spin out from the University of Limerick in 2017. The company received further support from Angel investors (Boole Investment Syndicate and Irrus Investments) and the Western Development Commission investment fund in 2018 and in conjunction with the DTIF award received in 2019, Hooke Bio set up its premise in Shannon, Co. Clare.
The premise in Shannon consists of engineering and biological laboratories, a fully equipped workshop and office space. The Engineering laboratory includes the following: automated acoustofluidic, microfluidic & optical analysis instrumentation, prototyping facilities, including a 3D printer, electronics workstation & machine shop. The microfluidic instrumentation includes the Enigma platform, as well as single and multi-line fluidic transportation technologies. Additionally, the engineering machine shop has a state of the art 5-axis CNC machine, for high precision machining. The onsite presence of rapid prototyping and machining equipment enables the custom design of microfluidic platforms and instrumentation. The biology laboratory facilitates the development and maintenance of 2D and 3D cell culture used to biologically validate the microfluidic technologies. The Bio lab also has the facilities to undertake many biological assays and to undertake live cell analysis.