Transmutex raises CHF 20 Million
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The Geneva-based company, founded in 2019, has secured new funding to further develop its research into safer, cleaner and cheaper nuclear power generation. The technology could also have healthcare applications.
Geneva-based nuclear engineering company Transmutex has secured CHF 20 Million in financing from New York-based venture capital funds Union Square Ventures and Steel Atlasm. Created in 2019, Transmutex’s ambition is to meet global ‘decarbonization’ objectives by reorienting nuclear power manufacturing towards greater safety, cleanliness and lower costs.
As the company’s press release points out, Transmutex is working on a new type of combustion, known as “sub-critical”, which would make it possible to avoid the production of long-lived waste, by reducing its radiotoxicity from 300,000 to 300 years. To achieve this, Transmutex has devised a solution based on more easily controllable combustion, including the integration of thorium as an alternative fuel to uranium. The applications are numerous, ranging from energy and medicine to the development of software solutions for nuclear and high-energy physics.
The transition to a carbon-free economy, as set by Cop28, will be difficult to achieve by developing nuclear energy as it is currently produced. According to Transmutex, its “sub-critical nuclear energy technology, combined with the highly innovative pyro-processing recycling method developed and tested at Argonne National Laboratory in the USA” is a more realistic solution than switching from fission to nuclear fusion, which, despite recent research advances, will take much longer to put into practice. Transmutex’s ambition is to deploy this technology on a global scale.
Future healthcare applications
“One more advantage of Transmutex’s technology is the possibility to produce radioisotopes for medical and other purposes. Over the past years we have seen a boom in radiopharmaceuticals which are key to treat certain tumours when other therapies fail. Whether for established radiopharmaceuticals or for more sophisticated experimental drugs – Transmutex’ technology can help by producing radioactive isotopes like Lutetium-177, Terbium-161 or Actinium-225 needed for personalized theranostical (in nuclear medicine, the term describes a technic where a radioactive drug is used to identify (diagnose) and a second radioactive drug is used to treat cancerous tumors) purposes. This means that radioisotopes are bound to carrier molecules which in turn dock with the tumour cells enabling us to first diagnose where metastases are located in a patient’s body, then establish the individual doses needed to treat the patient and finally, when the isotope decays into more stable elements and thereby emits rays, to destroy the tumour. Several pharmaceutical companies have already expressed interest in collaborating with Transmutex,” explains Guido Houben, Director of Administration at Transmutex.
A strong network of supporting and financial partners
Since its creation, Transmutex has forged partnerships for the essential components of its system, including the Paul Scherrer Institute and EPFL, CERN in Geneva, ENEA and Ansaldo Nucleare in Italy, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in France, as well as a number of private industrial companies. On the financial side, In this ambitious venture, Union Square Ventures and Steel Atlas are joined by a syndicate of new and existing investors including At One Ventures (USA), HCVC (France/USA), AlleyCorp (USA), as well as participation from House Of Ventures (USA), Presight Capital (USA), Verve Ventures (Switzerland), FONGIT (Switzerland), Tiny Supercomputer Investment Co. (UK), and private investors.
➡️ Source: Press Release