SA biotech companies make deal for stem cell product manufacturing

Two San Antonio biotech companies are doubling down on their tag-team approach to moving more stem cell-based technologies to market.

The companies — GenCure, which is a subsidiary of BioBridge Global, and StemBioSys Inc. — have forged a product development and manufacturing agreement that could give the Alamo City a big boost in its bid to become a more prominent global player in stem cell research and regenerative medicine.

Under the agreement, GenCure will be the exclusive manufacturer of stem cell-based products developed by StemBioSys. It will also own that exclusivity for similar products that the two companies develop jointly.

“We have been working closely with BioBridge Global and GenCure on a number of things over the last couple of years,” StemBioSys CEO Bob Hutchens said. “This agreement became the next logical step for us to extend our relationship. The agreement allows us to work together seamlessly from the time a new product is conceived all the way to commercial production.”

There is strong familiarity between the two companies. Becky Cap, chief operating officer for GenCure, said Hutchens’ first board meeting with StemBioSys after taking over as its CEO was held at the BioBridge Global campus where GenCure is based.

In October, the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium, a nonprofit corporation created by the U.S. Army’s Medical Research and Material Command, awarded a $7.8 million contract to a group of four biotech organizations headed by BioBridge Global to enable the development of large-scale manufacturing capabilities for clinical-grade stem cells. StemBioSys is also part of that group.

“As our relationship has evolved, StemBioSys has used a number of source materials from the donations we receive from the cord blood bank to conduct research and identify new lines of cells they can use in production,” Cap said. “So now, we are opening a contract development and manufacturing organization, a new line of business for GenCure. And they are our first development partner.”

Cap said the deal with StemBioSys will serve as the soft launch for the new business.

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