EXCLUSIVE: PrimeGen Biotech 's New VetCell Unit to Hire Soon, CSO Tells BioSpace
June 29, 2015
By Riley McDermid, BioSpace.com Breaking News Sr. Editor
Orange County-based stem cell research company PrimeGen Biotech Corporation has a new subsidiary, VetCell Therapeutics, which will be hiring as it fleshes out its new unit in Santa Ana, the chief scientific officer told BioSpace this week.
The new spinout will be focused on cell therapies for pets and companion animals living with degenerative and autoimmune diseases. Backed by investment from PrimeGen's CEO and founder Tom Yuen, formerly founder of AST Research and Chairman and CEO of SRS Labs, the groundwork for VetCell's hoping to compete with rivals in the space VetStem and Adistem.
VetCell will operate out of PrimeGen Biotech's new 10,000 square-foot CGMP compliant research facility and labs located in Santa Ana, Calif.
BioSpace chatted with Fari Izadyar, chief scientific officer, about the company’s timeline for the project—and when and where it expects to hire.
Will this create new jobs?
Yes. Our hiring plans have not been finalized, but our outlook is promising. We will be recruiting additions in our sales, customer support and Regulatory compliance area in the next 3 to 6 months. These Additions will be us based and require vet science and/or biology experience. Depending on business development results further resources may be considered in 2016.
If so, how many, and where, and when?
Manufacturing and distributing cell products requires trained people, specific equipment and cGMP environment. So it will increase the demand for reagents and equipment needed for manufacturing. It also creates more manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing jobs. Also more jobs will be created for veterinary professionals not only for applying these products, but as we anticipate a longer life span for the pets, more veterinary care, food and other pet related businesses will be demanded.
Can you talk about how this plays into PrimeGen’s larger strategy?
Many debilitating diseases in pets have similar counterparts in humans. The experience and knowledge acquired in veterinary stem cell therapy can directly impact the speed of the application of this advanced technology for human medicine. I anticipate cell therapy will change the protocol for many medical indications in the future. There would be more need in the future for outpatient clinics as cell products are expected to be deliverable in a clinic and not just hospitals.
What’s the timeframe for this project?
We are currently enrolling patients for our first clinical trial. We anticipate that our products will be available for marketing and distribution in as soon as six months.
What’s VetCell’s pipeline and focus look like right now?
The company's current adipose tissue derived cell therapy products are undergoing clinical trials, and the company is investing in the research of new advanced types of cell therapies that utilize allogeneic and autologous stem cells derived from various types of tissues for treatment of a wider scope of aging-related, degenerative and auto-immune diseases. As a subsidiary of PrimeGen Biotech, VetCell Therapeutics has rights to use its parent company's more-than 30 issued and pending patents regarding the use of stem cells for regenerative medical applications.
As Rumors Swirl About GlaxoSmithKline Bid, Who Could Suitors Be?
Rumors are swirling that Swiss-based Roche and U.S.-based Johnson & Johnson are eying the U.K. company for approximately $143 billion. But Roche and J&J aren’t the only companies though who have been thought could go after the elephant that is Glaxo.
Last month there was buzz that Pfizer Inc. was considering acquiring Glaxo, a year after it failed to acquire AstraZeneca PLC . Just this month over a third of respondents in a poll conducted by BioSpace believe that AstraZeneca PLC could be in the running to acquire struggling GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
So BioSpace wants to ask our readers again what they predict for this new dealmaking bonanza. Will Glaxo go—and if so, to whom?