Australian stem cell company Genea Biocells is expanding its operations to the United States with the opening of a new facility in San Diego, California.
Genea Biocells’ new premises are located in the Torrey Pines Science Park and include office and laboratory space to accommodate the company’s cell and culture media manufacturing, research services and R&D.
The move represents a substantial investment in California with the new site housing over US$2 million worth of equipment, including sophisticated robotics and instrumentation for high-throughput/high-content screening, all of which is instrumental to the company’s chemical biology approach and the research services it provides. The site is expected to be fully operational from September 2015 and by early 2016 will house up to 15 scientists, the majority of whom are PhD-level. Genea Biocells’ VP Chemistry and VP Business Development are already based in the US. Genea Biocells will also retain a small team of scientists in Sydney, primarily for the derivation and banking of new human pluripotent stem cell lines.
“This is an exciting strategic move and the next step to grow Genea Biocells into a world leading stem cell company. The new facility not only places us directly into our main market, the USA, but also in the midst of one of the largest biotechnology clusters in the world,” Genea Biocells General Manager Dr Uli Schmidt said.
“Being in California also offers a new range of funding opportunities that we will explore to support our R&D programs on neuromuscular diseases.”
According to BIOCOM, the region’s Life Science Trade Association, the San Diego area is home to more than 900 biotech companies as well as over 80 research institutes, including The Scripps Research Institute, University of California San Diego and the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences.
Genea Biocells will be represented by six team members: Dr Uli Schmidt (General Manager), Dr Alex Kiselyov (VP Chemistry), Dr Jamshid Arjomand (VP Business Development), Mr Colin Tristram (European Director of Business Development), Dr Heather Main (Senior Scientist) and Dr Alan Colman (Senior Scientific Advisor).