April 13, 2016

Mayo Clinic and GE Ventures launch company that will accelerate patient access to cell-based therapies

By Lindsey Kirkeby

As published in Mayo Clinic News Center

Photo: Mayo Clinic and GE Ventures launch company that will accelerate patient access to cell-based therapiesOn April 11, Mayo Clinic and GE Ventures announced the launch of Vitruvian Networks, Inc., a company founded to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of cell therapies for cancer and other chronic diseases. Through its advanced software and manufacturing platform, the company will provide clinical-grade regenerative medicine products that will offer patients scaled access to therapies.

Regenerative medicine that includes diverse cell-based therapeutics is a game-changing area of medicine that unlocks the body’s potential to heal itself. These transformative therapies often referred to as autologous therapies are derived from the patient’s own body, expanded and then returned to the patient. These regenerating cells then act as an engine and drive restorative function and healing.

“Autologous therapies in the area of regenerative and personalized medicine have shown great promise in treating life-threatening diseases,” says Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine. “We are excited that Vitruvian Networks will further drive standardization of the industry, increase scalability and bring forward the realization of critical therapeutic potential to address the unmet needs of patients around the world.”

The new company will pair GE’s business intelligence, IT solutions and a data analytics capability with Mayo Clinic’s expertise in regenerative medicine, laboratory medicine and protocol design, and wealth of data on biomarkers and associated clinical outcomes. Vitruvian Networks will be led by experts in life sciences and software development and will initially focus on the production of autologous cell therapies to target cancers.

“Merging GE’s operational excellence with emerging cell and gene therapies will enable faster, more effective and safer treatments for patients,” says Sue Siegel, CEO, GE Ventures and healthymagination. “Mayo Clinic is a key leader in patient treatment delivery in cancer care and regenerative medicine, so we are honored to have incubated this solution in joint partnership.”

Vitruvian Networks also will build on GE Healthcare’s expertise in software development and data analytics and draw upon the expertise of Mayo Clinic scientists and technologists who have pioneered techniques and procedures for stem cell culturing.

“This collaboration speaks to the depth and breadth of Mayo Clinic spanning  the emerging fields of regenerative medicine, individualized medicine, laboratory medicine and pathology - including the institutional human cell therapy and information technology know-how,” says Dr. Terzic.

The company will be headquartered in the Bay Area, and will have access to the GE Store – a way of bringing together inventions from all over GE – to repurpose analytical capabilities and manufacturing process excellence from business units as diverse as GE’s Cell Therapy business, GE Aviation, to GE Energy, as well as Mayo Clinic’s data related to biomarkers and outcomes to guide further development of cell-based products.

The collaboration is being managed through the Center for Regenerative Medicine along with the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology  and Mayo Clinic Ventures.

For a related story, see GE Ventures and Mayo Clinic Launch Company to Scale and Digitize Cell and Gene Therapies

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