Innovative reagent

ADDAX Biosciences proposes a revolution in the fixative solution market by the introduction of GAF, an innovative reagent that will allow the optimal tissue fixation at the structural and molecular level. This is combined with the absence of toxicity and carcinogenic activity, at variance of the fixative solution in use.

Formalin alternative

ADDAX Biosciences introduces in the market a histological fixative that works as a substitute to Formalin (a toxic and carcinogenic substance). The fixative is based on an innovative glyoxal solution: GAF. The results have been published in a peer reviewed paper (Plos One 12: e0182965; 2017).

International patent

ADDAX’s solution (GAF) is protected by an international patent.


Formaldehyde (whose aqueous solution is called Formalin) is considered an irritant and toxic substance. Exposure to it may cause allergy, induce eczema and respiratory asthma. Furthermore, over the past decade, the scientific community has found out that inhalation of formaldehyde (which is highly volatile) may lead to cancer. In the European Union, its use has been severely restricted through numerous regulatory provisions (Reg. 2014/895, Reg. 2018/675, Dir. 2019/983). The obligation to replace it, whenever possible, remains (Art. 4 Directive 2004/37/EC “The employer shall reduce the use of a carcinogen or mutagen at the place of work, in particular by replacing it, in so far as is technically possible, by a substance, preparation or process which, under its conditions of use, is not dangerous or is less dangerous to workers’ health or safety, as the case may be”).

Formalin is widely used in plastic, wood, and paper production facilities. Additionally, it is employed as fixative solution for histology in hospitals and private laboratories where, only in Italy, about one million liters per year are consumed. In the healthcare system, thousands of workers (e.g. nurses, technicians, doctors, pathologists) are thus exposed to formaldehyde. Therefore, the balance between the diagnostic and scientific interest (i.e. patient’s health) and the protection of workers is set on a risks reduction basis defined as the “As Low As Reasonably Achievable (Risk)” Principle. In Italy, as in other countries of the European Union, this also results in strict obligations to protect the health of workers which may be in contact with the formaldehyde. Therefore, it is required to implement every possible technical, organizational and procedural initiative to minimize the risk to the worker’s health. Our project is aimed to fully resolve this social and scientific conundrum and offer a substitute to Formalin for tissue fixation.

GAF Fixative


seal of excellence ue
logo IPA4SME
SME Instrument Project
logo start cup
logo pwc
logo UniCredit Start-Up Award
logo premio nazionale innovazione
seal of excellence ue

Seal of Excellence UE – European Commission Horizon 2020

logo IPA4SME

IPA4SME 2020 – Financial and expert support for intellectual property (IP) valorisation

SME Instrument Project

Horizon 2020 – SME Instrument Project, Phase 1

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Life science and social innovation awards, Start CUP

logo pwc

PwC Start UPS & Emerging Companies 2018

logo UniCredit Start-Up Award

UniCredit start up award 2017

logo premio nazionale innovazione

Finalist at the Italian Innovation Award

Product Opportunities

A unique and innovative Formalin substitute, with comparable – if not better – fixative results. GAF is easy to use and produces benefits for the health and the environment. No alternative product with the same characteristics as GAF is available on the market.


Our team has considerable knowledge and skills on the scientific, business and legal fields, and is supported by financial and scientific advisors with International expertise.


Collaboration with the A.O.U. Città della Salute e della Scienza in Turin, for the “Glyoxal in Endoscopy” project.

Collaboration with the Zooprophylactic Institute in Turin for GAF’s use in the veterinary sector, especially concerning neurological pathology.

Collaboration with the University of Turin to improve research activity on the fixation of pathological tissues.

Collaboration with the University of Padova for GAF’s use as fixative in the veterinary sector.

Collaboration with the Candiolo Cancer Institute – IRCCS for the Immuno K-ELISA project and the study on the AD FORMALIN’s use.

Collaboration with the Dental School of University of Turin to develop innovative compounds capable to replace the use of Formaldehyde in Dentistry, particularly as disinfectant material during pulpotomy.

ADDAX Biosciences was born as a spin off of the University of Turin, which contribuited with support to the research activity.

bandiera unione europea

Our company has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 8157692.

The project “GAF – Towards a hospital without Formalin” is realized thanks to the co-financing of POR FESR Piemonte 2014-2020, Ob.1 – “Research, technological development and innovation, I.1.b.4.1 “Support for creation and consolidation of innovative start-ups with a high intensity of application and knowledge and research spin-off initiatives”.

The project aims to validate, produce and market GAF, a histological fixative without carcinogenicity, that works as a substitute to Formalin. Achieving the project’s objectives will improve the working conditions of health and research professionals, protecting them from the risk of developing occupational diseases caused by inhaling Formalin vapours.


The information contained in this section is intended exclusively for Healthcare Professionals, in compliance with the Italian legislation, specifically with Art. 21 of the Decreto Legislativo 24 February 1997, n. 46, and the “Guidelines of the Ministry of Health” issued on the 17 February 2010, 28 March 2013 and 20 December 2017. If you intend to access the information, you have to declare and confirm to be a Healthcare Professional by clicking on this disclaimer.