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Foundation Venture Capital Portfolio Company Acquired



“Foundation Venture Capital Group (FVCG) is extremely excited about the acquisition of Visikol by BICO. Visikol fits well within BICO’s family of companies and the resources that they provide will certainly bolster the capabilities of Visikol’s technologies” said George F. Heinrich, M.D., Vice Chair and CEO of FVCG. “It is also great that the founders (Michael Johnson and Tom Villani) will remain an integral part of the company going forward – they’ve done a fantastic job from the founding of the company to achieving early success and we are happy that they will continue to contribute to Visikol.”  

Visikol is a contract research company focused on accelerating drug discovery and development by providing pharmaceutical and biotech companies with 2D and 3D in vitro models and assays, 3D tissue imaging, multiplex imagining, and digital pathology services. Their technology and services strongly overlap with the types of technologies that BICO, a bio convergence company based in US and Sweden, is interested in developing and marketing. BICO enables researchers and scientists within bioprinting, multiomics, cell line development and diagnostics to grow cells in 3D environments, conduct high-throughput drug screening and print human tissues and organs for the medical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.

An FVCG portfolio company since 2016, Visikol was founded and spun out of Rutgers University by Michael Johnson and Tom Villani. FVCG’s $500,000 investment into the company provided the means for the company to develop their proprietary Visikol® HISTO™ tissue clearing reagents and proprietary software platform, 3Screen™ which is built on advanced machine learning evaluation to provide customers in depth analysis of their tissue and cell culture samples. Currently, Visikol counts over half of the top twenty pharmaceutical companies as customers.

“FVCG was crucial to the success of Visikol as they provided not only the capital but also the expertise needed to help launch Visikol out of Rutgers University,” described Visikol CEO Michael Johnson.

FVCG provides funding with the intention of generating positive and measurable social outcomes. “While this acquisition generates a positive financial return to support our evergreen investment model, it is equally as exciting to see the founders achieve similar success and to have BICO and the other key players involved contributing to the broader innovative ecosystem in New Jersey” said Dr. Heinrich.

With this acquisition, Visikol hopes to accelerate its growth and also to expand its portfolio of advanced imaging and advanced cell culture assay services.

“We couldn’t be more excited about the acquisition and joining the BICO family as the mission of BICO is well-aligned with what we are trying to do at Visikol. Further, the resources and support from the group will allow us to continue to expand our business and to help accelerate the drug discovery and development process,” described Visikol CSO Tom Villani. 

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