CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Platelet BioGenesis, Inc. (PBG), the leader in stem cell-derived, on-demand human platelets (PLTs+™) and genetically engineered platelet-based therapeutics, announced today it received an award of $2.3 million from the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) – a 501(c)(3) biomedical technology consortium collaborating with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC). PBG will use the funding to accelerate the development of an automated, mobile bioreactor that produces PLT+ packs for use at field hospitals and other military medical posts.
MTEC partners with private industry, academic institutions, government agencies and other research organizations seeking to accelerate the development of medical solutions that prevent and treat injuries to U.S. military members. One of the organization’s current objectives is to identify devices or therapies that empower medics to do more treatment at the point of injury. MTEC’s work with PBG will enable the development of a mobile bioreactor that can produce PLTs+ on-demand in the regions where military operations are underway, alleviating platelet shortages in conflict zones caused by lack of donor availability, short platelet shelf life and sterility concerns.
“Military conflict zones are often in remote locations, meaning that medical technology innovations are paramount to effective interventions and recoveries,” said Kathy Zolman, MTEC Director of Program Operations. “The work Platelet BioGenesis is doing could help resolve the shortages that often affect U.S. military units. Developing the bioreactor for remote applications would enable platelets to be available on-demand, which would make an immense difference in treating traumatic injuries sustained during military activity.”
In another important development, PBG has added Uma Lakshmipathy, Ph.D. and Teresa Foy, Ph.D. to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to support the continued research and development of platelet-based therapeutic solutions. Dr. Lakshmipathy is the R&D Director at Thermo Fisher Scientific and is involved in the development of reprogramming, engineering and characterization solutions that support translation of primary and stem cells towards novel cell therapy platforms. Dr. Foy is Senior Vice President at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS, formerly Celgene), leading the Thematic Research Center for Immuno-Oncology (IO) and Cellular Therapy (CT). She is responsible for BMS's IO/CT discovery and early development pipeline, leading a team that is advancing novel drug and cell therapy candidates from discovery through clinical proof-of-concept.
“Dr. Lakshmipathy and Dr. Foy bring to PBG extensive experience in the development of cell therapies, which will be invaluable as we enter IND-enabling studies of our human stem cell-derived, donor-independent platelets in 2020. We look forward to working closely with both of these distinguished industry veterans as we continue to advance our novel platelet-based cell therapy platform,” said Sam Rasty, Ph.D., the company’s President and CEO. “In addition to bolstering our SAB with these highly experienced advisors, the MTEC award provides us with further non-dilutive funding and validation of our science and technology platform. We look forward to partnering with MTEC to advance the development of our mobile, automated PLT+ bioreactor.”
About Platelet BioGenesis
Platelet BioGenesis (PBG) has created the only platform that can generate human platelets at scale. The stem cell-derived, on-demand platelets will be the first donor-independent source of platelets to address the chronic shortage worldwide. The company is also developing genetically engineered platelet-based therapeutics, a new treatment modality for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. PBG’s platform is patented and cGMP-compliant. The company was spun out of Harvard University and has received venture funding from Qiming Venture Partners USA, Ziff Capital Partners and other investors and obtained grant funding from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense. Learn more at www.plateletbiogenesis.com and follow us on Twitter @plateletbio.