Ohio stem cell development and production facility is alive and kicking

July 31, 2012

Last week the Ohio Third Frontier Commission unanimously awarded Case Western Reserve University’s National Center for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM) $2.4 million for its OH-Alive Innovator Platform: A Process and Manufacturing Platform for Cell Therapy.

OH-Alive will establish a unique facility offering expertise in producing stem cells for therapeutic purposes. Ohio’s most recent investment in cell therapy will be used to purchase state-of-the-art and customized equipment and form a team of skilled personnel tasked with intellectual property retention, regulatory submissions to the FDA, and commercial development for startups. Like many Third Frontier-funded projects, OH-Alive features a host of diverse Ohio partners: Athersys, BioEnterprise, BioOhio, BioSpherix, Cleveland Clinic, TECAN, Renovo Neural, and Nanofiber Solutions.

“By bringing together novel technologies for cell therapy in the OH-Alive platform, we will create a national center for biotechnology development and have significant impact on innovation in Ohio and across the country,” said Stanton L. Gerson, MD, Director, NCRM and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

OH-Alive services will be made available to basic researchers and biotechnology companies in Ohio and other states who wish to translate their adult and pluripotent stem cell research from the bench to the patient.

The Third Frontier investment will be matched by NCRM and its collaborators to reach total funding of $4.8 million.

“We already have a strong local presence in future cell therapy in Cleveland, represented by the NCRM, leading national hospitals, and companies such as Athersys,” said Jan Jensen, PhD, Eddie J Brandon Chair of Diabetes Research at the Cleveland Clinic, and Technical Director of OH-Alive. “OH-Alive will strengthen this further, extending our reach throughout the state collaborating with academic institutions and companies from Cincinnati to Cleveland.”

BioOhio will help connect OH-Alive to its extensive Ohio-based network of companies and institutions that may be candidates for collaboration. BioOhio staff also will provide the partnership with workforce training and business development assistance.

photo source: CWRU’s Think