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The School of Medicine and Paragon Bioservices, Inc. Announce the Formation of a Public-Private Stem Cell Technology Consortium

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The University of Maryland School of Medicine's Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine and Paragon Bioservices, Inc., a contract research and GMP manufacturing organization—with its headquarters located at the University of Maryland BioPark—have announced the formation of a public-private partnership for developing and manufacturing stem cell therapies.

Dr. Curt I. Civin, Director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine—a pioneer in cancer research and an internationally renowned physician-scientist who has made significant contributions in the field of blood-forming stem cell transplantation—stated that “the main objective of the consortium is to accelerate the development of novel strategies for regenerative medicine, including new treatments and preventatives derived from stem cell research.”

The Center will work with Paragon Bioservices to establish a core facility that will offer stem cell services on a fee-for-service basis.  The services offered include cell banking and production of a variety of stem cell types.  Stem cells will be available for research purposes and, eventually, for clinical use.

The Consortium is being funded in part by a “Translational Research Award” from the Maryland Biotechnology Center. According to Dr. Judy Britz, The MBC’s Executive Director, “The Maryland Biotechnology Center evaluated 60 different proposals and The Consortium effectively competed for its award—since it is dedicated to crossing the translational medicine divide, it creates a model for sustainability and increases the likelihood of commercialization of new technologies.”

According to Dr Marco Chacón, Paragon’s President & CEO, “It is an honor to work with Dr Civin— as well as a privilege to play a minute role in the development of interesting technologies that could have a positive impact on public health and the economic development of our community.”

The partnership also includes Life Technologies, Inc., a global biotechnology company that is a provider of scientific products and reagents. LTI already provides innovative solutions for scientists engaging in stem cell research.  So — as part of their corporate commitment to global social responsibility—they will be providing training opportunities for research scientists.

As a partnership for better public health, the Consortium is openly seeking wider participation from other research institutions, State and Federal agencies, and private companies.

About Paragon Bioservices

Paragon Bioservices is a contract research and manufacturing organization (CMO) that provides a comprehensive portfolio of services—from research services and process development to cGMP manufacturing of monoclonal antibodies, therapeutic proteins, vaccines (VLPs), and stem cells. The corporate focus is to bridge the translational divide and enable protein and cell-based therapeutics to move into clinical trials. See www.paragonbioservices.com for more information.

About the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine

The goals for the Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine are twofold. The Center is exploring how to manipulate stem cells to allow for much better transplantation and transfusion therapies. Its scientists also are working to understand how stem cells contribute to diseases in order to develop ways to improve conventional treatment and prevention of these disorders. Visit their website for more information.

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