Key Biologics and Blood Centers of America Partner to Advance Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine
Collaboration aims to open up access to important new therapies
MEMPHIS, TN and WEST WARWICK, RI – September 4, 2018 – Key Biologics LLC and Blood Centers of America (BCA) today announced an agreement to formalize their existing business relationship and to work collectively to broaden support for cell therapy and regenerative medicine. The agreement will enable deeper support of joint research and product development and provide valuable expertise needed for commercial therapies. Working together, the organizations will focus on removing barriers to the supply of critical raw materials needed for pre-clinical research and for clinical manufacturing of cell-based therapies.
The companies are both sponsors at the CAR-TCR Summit taking place this week in Boston, September 4-7 at the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center. Key Biologics will be at booth #43 and BCA will be at booth #44.
“Working with BCA and their extensive network, we believe we can speed patients’ access to important new therapies formulated from allogeneic and autologous raw materials that can be used to effectively treat conditions such as cancer, immune-based disorders, and inherited genetic disorders,” said Dr. Edward Scott, founder of Key Biologics. “The ability to access BCA’s unique database of well-characterized individuals who have explicitly expressed an interest in providing blood products to support research and product development will enhance our efforts significantly.”
Key Biologics recently completed a merger with Seattle-based Astarte Biologics adding highly complementary immunology expertise that will play a valuable role in expanding the combined company’s cell characterization, custom cell line and assay development capabilities. The addition of Astarte’s product and service line will allow BCA members and their customers to gain access to highly characterized cells and qualified cell lines. In conjunction with the merger, the company also received a growth equity investment from Ampersand Capital Partners to continue expanding the company in the rapidly evolving cell and gene therapy markets.
Going forward, Key and BCA will work together to leverage each organization’s resources and unique capabilities. For BCA members, the relationship will provide opportunities for support of new customers with a need for a distributed collection network or specific services not provided by Key. With BCA’s database of well-characterized individuals, Key can provide its customers access to raw materials from donors with specific characteristics, such as rare HLA type, that are not available in Key’s database. Additionally, with Key’s planned opening of collection sites in the Boston area and on the West Coast in Q1 2019, BCA’s service area will also expand allowing it to offer services to new customers in those areas.
“We are enthusiastic about the complementary nature of Key Biologics’ and the BCA members’ expertise and BCA’s national coverage” said Bill Block, CEO of BCA. “We believe that in addition, our combined nationwide coverage and each organization’s strategic relationships will create new opportunities for BCA members to fulfill their mission of providing lifesaving products to patients. We have successfully worked with Key Biologics and Dr. Scott for many years and look forward to expanding our relationship.”
About Blood Centers of America (BCA)
BCA is the nation’s largest blood supply network, providing nearly 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply. This national organization is comprised of over 50 independent community blood centers and source plasma collection centers with a deep local commitment to the communities and patients they serve.
The BCA network encompasses over 600 collection and testing sites across the United States. In addition to meeting the transfusion needs of the communities they serve, BCA members provide human blood products, cells and tissue to the therapeutic, diagnostic and cell therapy industries. BCA members also collect and provide critical raw materials for manufacturing of all US-licensed autologous cell-based therapies. Collectively BCA’s members interact with nearly three million individual blood donors annually. BCA members also offer a broad range of services to support cell therapy development, including provision of healthy donor cellular products for research use, cell selection, processing and storage, and manufacturing of cell-based therapeutics. Key Biologics is an Associate Member of BCA.
About Key Biologics LLC
Memphis-based Key Biologics provides research- and clinical-grade human cells and blood products and related services to pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and academic institutions around the world. The company is focused on advancing life science from discovery, through R&D, and into curing disease. The company began support of this industry in 1999 when its antecedent, Lifeblood Biological Services (LBS), was created by Dr. Edward Scott to meet the needs of biotech companies for well-characterized human biological materials to support research and development. Lifeblood’s recognition of the industry need and the business opportunity that resulted occurred a decade or more before other community blood centers embraced that view. Because of its long history and reputation, Key Biologics is viewed as the preferred partner for cell sourcing within the industry. With its recent merger with Astarte Biologics, the company now also offers the largest selection of characterized immune cells and reagents to help immunology and inflammation researchers accelerate their discovery efforts. All products are well characterized, tested negative for blood borne pathogens, and searchable by donor blood type, gender, age, ethnicity and disease state. For more information, visit www.keybiologics.com and www.astartebio.com.
Walsh Group Marketing
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – BioBridge Global today announced the formation of a new Regenerative Medicine Advisory Board, composed of industry leaders with a wide range of scientific, product development and business experience, to support the organization’s continued growth in regenerative medicine.
BioBridge Global provides a wide range of blood, tissue and cellular source materials, products and services through its three operating entities: GenCure, QualTex Laboratories and the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center. These include blood and tissue collection, processing and distribution, biological testing, process engineering and biomanufacturing.
The initial members of the BioBridge Global Regenerative Medicine Advisory Board are:
Phil Vanek PhD, General Manager of GE Healthcare’s Cell and Gene Therapy business strategy. Dr. Vanek also served as Head of Business Development for Cell Therapy and later as Head of Innovation for Lonza’s pharmaceutical division. Dr. Vanek received his doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Georgetown University.
Gregory Bonfiglio JD, Founder and Managing Partner of Proteus LLC, an investment and advisory firm focused solely on regenerative medicine, and Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto, Canada. In 2013, Bonfiglio was listed 14th among the Top 50 Stem Cell Influencers in the world.
Kenneth Bertram MD, PhD, FACP, is the former Commander of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Principal Assistant for Acquisition for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. Dr. Bertram is board certified in internal medicine and has been board- certified in hematology and medical oncology.
Full biographies are below.
“We recruited these highly regarded individuals because of their deep understanding of regenerative medicine, including needs, opportunities, roadblocks and how the field may change in the future,” said Martin Landon, Chief Executive Officer of BioBridge Global. “As we advance our work at BioBridge Global, we are fortunate to have access to Phil, Greg and Ken, not only for their advice as industry leaders, but for their shared commitment to realizing the potential of regenerative medicine to heal and save lives.”
About BioBridge Global: BioBridge Global (BBG) is a San Antonio, Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that offers diverse services through its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and the Blood & Tissue Center Foundation. BBG provides products and services in blood resource management, cellular therapy, donated umbilical cord blood and human tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide. BBG is committed to saving and enhancing lives through the healing power of human cells. It fulfills part of this mission by supporting groundbreaking research, addressing unmet clinical needs and enabling the development and commercialization of novel biotechnology products. The website is BioBridgeGlobal.org.
BioBridge Global Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy Advisory Board biographies:
Phillip Vanek, PhD: Vanek is General Manager of GE Healthcare’s Cell and Gene Therapy business strategy, a business initiative funded in part through GE Ventures and GE Healthymagination, a $6 billion strategy to revolutionize the world’s health by improving the quality, access and affordability of care. Prior to joining GE, he was Head of Business Development for Cell Therapy, and later Head of Innovation, for Lonza’s pharmaceutical division, helping to drive new technology initiatives focused on cell, protein and viral therapeutic manufacturing.
Vanek’s career has included a number of innovation, business and market development roles at Becton Dickinson, Invitrogen and Life Technologies, as well as two start-up biotechnology companies in the Washington, D.C., area. Additionally, he was an Instructor for Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Programs, teaching Biotechnology Marketing for several years while working at BD and Lonza.
Vanek received his doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Georgetown University Medical Center and subsequently held an IRTA fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and the Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston, South Carolina.
He is an active board member of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, where he has served as an officer and chair of the Governance and Oversight committee. He also has been a board member of the ARM Foundation. Vanek serves on the board of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto, Canada, where he chairs the HR and Governance committee. He has published a number of industry position pieces and serves on the Editorial Board of Cell and Gene Therapy Insights.
Gregory Bonfiglio JD: Bonfiglio is the Founder and Managing Partner of Proteus LLC, an investment and advisory firm focused solely on regenerative medicine. Formed in 2006, Proteus provides fund management and consulting services to the regenerative medicine industry. Proteus works with regenerative medicine companies across all levels of development, from early stage entities to large pharma and biotech companies, as well as governmental organizations pursuing regenerative medicine initiatives.
He is the Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto, Canada. Bonfiglio serves on the Board of Healios KK, one of the largest publicly traded regenerative medicine companies in Japan. In addition, he has served on the boards of several other regenerative medicine companies, including VistaGen Therapeutics (in vitro tools from hESCs); Advanced Cell Technologies (hESC therapeutics); California Stem Cell (hESC tools and therapeutics); and StemCyte, Inc. (cord blood storage and therapeutics).
Bonfiglio was an early investor in the field of stems cell and regenerative medicine, and he continues to be actively involved in the field. He is a frequent speaker at regenerative medicine conferences and is a member of the ISSCR, as well as serving on its advisory board, as well as its Finance Committee. He also is a member of the ISCT. In 2013, Bonfiglio was listed 14th among the Top 50 Stem Cell Influencers in the world.
He has more than 25 years’ experience working with technology companies. From 2000-05, Mr. Bonfiglio was a General Partner with Anthem Venture Partners – an early stage venture fund in California. While at Anthem, Mr. Bonfiglio led investments in both biotechnology and IT.
Prior to joining Anthem, he was a Partner with Morrison & Foerster, where he worked extensively with technology clients. Bonfiglio was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Stanford Law School from 1996-2000. He has been a Guest Lecturer at the Stanford Business School on the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine Technologies. From 1995-2005, he was a regular Guest Lecturer at the UC Berkley Haas Business School in the Entrepreneurship Program.
Bonfiglio received his bachelor of arts degree in Mathematics (magna cum laude) from Michigan State University in 1975, and his J.D. (magna cum laude) from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.
Kenneth Bertram, MD, PhD, FACP: Bertram is retiring as the Principal Assistant for Acquisition for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), Fort Detrick, Maryland, and as a member of the Senior Executive Service. He is responsible for the advanced development and acquisition of medical products (drugs, vaccines, and devices) for the U.S. Army. In addition, Bertram serves as the Surgeon General’s Sponsor’s Representative to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and as the U.S. Army’s Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) for medical products and therefore is responsible for the life-cycle management of fielded medical products (research, development, acquisition, and sustainment).
He is a member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps and is Acquisition Level III Certified in both Program Management and Science and Technology Management. Bertram has been awarded the highest recognition for Army civilians, the Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service by the Secretary of the Army for his contributions to the Warfighter.
Bertram previously served in the U.S. Army, retiring as a colonel in the Medical Corps after 24 years of active duty. His assignments included: Commander, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; Chief of Staff, USAMRMC; Director, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (USAMRMC); and Chief, Hematology/Medical Oncology Service at Madigan Army Medical Center. Bertram’s military honors include two Legion of Merit awards, the Army’s The Surgeon General’s “A” Proficiency Designator in Hematology/Oncology, and the Order of Military Medical Merit.
He is board certified in internal medicine and has been board certified in hematology and medical oncology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (F.A.C.P.). He completed both his Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship and Internal Medicine Residency at Madigan Army Medical Center. Bertram received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Washington and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.
Seqster digital health platform integrated into SDBB’s RedConnect wellness portal to inform, empower and connect up to 50,000 local blood donors with their health data
Click SDBB-Seqster-Partnership-PressRelease-Final to read more.
MILWAUKEE, April 5, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, has announced that Peter J. Newman, Ph.D., received the prestigious Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Click here to read more.
MILWAUKEE, Feb. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Versiti, Inc., a national leader in blood health innovation, is among the first in the United States to provide pathogen reduced platelets that reduce the risk of infection and lead to safer transfusions for patients. Versiti produced its first pathogen reduced platelets in January 2018 at BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti. The platelets were provided to one of Versiti’s hospital partners in Wisconsin.
Because platelet transfusions are on the rise due to an increase in trauma situations, transplantation, and in treatment of cancer patients, as well as to prevent and treat bleeding in patients who are thrombocytopenic, the importance of providing pathogen reduced platelets is becoming increasingly important. Versiti, which already utilizes multiple tests and every available technology to ensure the safety of the blood supply, took a leading role in the implementation of pathogen reduction technology.
“Versiti is dedicated to patient and transfusion safety, continually seeking novel technologies that improve the safety of the blood and blood components we distribute and provide to our hospital partners,” said Versiti Chief Medical Officer Thomas Abshire, M.D. “This technology helps advance transfusion medicine and creates improved outcomes for patients receiving platelet transfusions.”
This innovative technology reduces the risk for infection and disease transmission in transfused patients. By using a special additive, the technology inactivates bacteria, viruses and other pathogens as well as leukocytes that may be present in donated blood. The technology also preserves cell and protein quality, and may offer additional benefits, including platelet shelf-life extension, and negate the requirement for gamma-irradiation and testing for cytomegalovirus of platelets.
Versiti anticipates expanding production of pathogen reduced platelets at its BloodCenter of Wisconsin location, and at all Versiti locations in the near future, to serve additional hospitals throughout the state and across the country.
Versiti, a national leader in blood health innovation, was formed with the mission to improve the health of patients and enable the success of our health care partners nationally. We provide innovative, value added solutions in the fields of transfusion medicine, transplantation, and blood-related diseases to meet the needs of each of our customers. The collective efforts across Versiti result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care and cost efficiencies for health care systems nationwide. For more information, visit www.versiti.org.
SAN ANTONIO – The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) has provided more than 200 units of blood to hospitals in South Texas treating Sunday’s shooting victims in Sutherland Springs.
STBTC, a subsidiary of nonprofit BioBridge Global, provided blood to Connally Memorial Medical Center in Floresville, the San Antonio Military Medical Center trauma center and University Hospital, where victims were being treated. The center is continuing to provide blood to these hospitals and more than 70 hospitals across the region.
“After a tragedy like this, people want to know what they can do to help. A concrete way to help is to donate blood to help replenish blood supplies so we’re ready to help the next patients who need blood, said Elizabeth Waltman, chief operating officer of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.
It is critical that a constant supply of blood is available for hospitals at all times – especially before tragedies occur. It can take up to 24 hours to test and process blood before it’s ready for transfusion. STBTC has to be prepared for the next need, no matter where it occurs.
Anyone with O-positive or O-negative blood is asked to donate, as supplies are low.
STBTC also is asking for community members to donate platelets. Platelets are the blood components that help promote clotting, and they are constantly in demand.
People can donate at any of the seven South Texas Blood & Tissue Center donor rooms or at mobile blood drives happening around South Texas today. They also can donate at SAMMC and at University Hospital. In addition, STBTC is arranging blood drives this week in the Floresville area and across South Texas.
Members of the community can schedule a blood donation by going to SouthTexasBlood.org or calling 210-731-5590. Information also is available on our Facebook page at Connect For Life.
The need for blood donations will remain high especially in the coming months, so donors are asked to remember to give as often as possible. STBTC serves more than 70 hospitals and clinics, including University Hospital.
All donors will need to have a photo ID. Anyone who is 16 years old and weighs at least 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or 17 years old and weighs at least 110 pounds and is in good general health may donate blood.
BCW and Abbott Laboratories’ collaboration will help to advance personalized medicine by better identifying patients that could benefit from new FDA approved medication
MILWAUKEE, Aug. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s Diagnostic Laboratories, part of Versiti, is the first to offer testing using Abbott Laboratories’ RealTime IDH2 assay that identifies specific gene mutations in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). BloodCenter’s breakthrough offering, which follows Abbott’s recent approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, helps to deliver new and more effective treatments to patients with relapsed and refractory AML.
BloodCenter’s test, IDH2 Abbott RealTime PCR, is more sensitive to detecting the IDH2 genetic mutation found in patients’ blood and bone marrow samples. The method detects single nucleotide variants (SNVs) coding nine IDH2 R140 and R172 mutations in patients’ DNA. With a five-day turnaround time, this test helps identify AML patients that could benefit from new treatments, including the recently FDA approved drug called IDHIFA®.
According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 21,000 people will be diagnosed with AML this year and more than 10,000 patients will die due to the disease. Between 8 percent and 19 percent of AML patients have IDH2 mutations.
“This new test is an exciting addition to BloodCenter’s molecular oncology diagnostics portfolio. Through our collaboration with Abbott, we can continue to help provide better treatment options and outcomes for AML patients,” said Dr. Matthew Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., VP and medical director of the Diagnostic Laboratories at BloodCenter of Wisconsin. “This test will help physicians to provide more customized treatment for patients, and is another example of how BloodCenter is advancing precision medicine in our areas of expertise.”
About BloodCenter of Wisconsin
BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., that specializes in blood services, esoteric diagnostic testing, organ, tissue and stem cell donation, medical services and leading-edge research. We advance patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise. The collective efforts of Versiti affiliates result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide. For more information, visit www.bcw.edu and www.versiti.org .
(CINCINNATI – AUGUST 10, 2017) After more than three decades in the field of blood banking, Hoxworth Blood Center Medical Director, Patricia “Chris” Carey, MD, is calling it a career.
Dr. Carey began that career at Hoxworth Blood Center in 1983, serving a one-year fellowship in Transfusion Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and continued to quickly advance, serving in roles such as Associate Medical Director from 1984 – 1990 and her current position as Medical Director, which she assumed in 1997. In addition to her work at Hoxworth Blood Center, Dr. Carey is also an integral member of the College of Medicine faculty. Carey serves as a professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the College of Medicine, and Program Director of Fellowship in Transfusion/Blood Banking; as well as Transfusion Service Director at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Read more click 2017_DrCareyRetirement