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REPROCELL USA Inaugurates New GMP Laboratory

By Eric Paz, B.Sc.

In his opening remarks during a welcome reception at the 27th annual meeting of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy, Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kevin Anderson touted the most recent accomplishments of biotech companies including Regenexbio, MaxCyte, and AstraZeneca. What these companies have in common is that they are all in the heart of Maryland’s biotech corridor in Montgomery County and their successes contribute to Maryland’s mission to make the state a biotech hub.

On May 15, 2024, REPROCELL USA stepped into the spotlight by holding an inaugural ceremony for its new GMP BioManufacturing Laboratory. The new lab houses a BioSpherix Cytocentric Xvivo system that will allow REPROCELL to generate hiPSCs and hMSCs in a strictly closed environment, ensuring the cultured cells are free from contamination. With this new offering, REPROCELL USA has positioned itself to be a valuable source for customers seeking clinical and GMP grade hiPSCs and hMSCs for use in stem cell research and therapy development.

 

On hand for the festivities was none other than Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kevin Anderson. According to Secretary Anderson, being able to visit businesses throughout the state is the fun part of his job. State engagement with Maryland businesses, particularly those focused on biotech and the life sciences, is vital if Maryland wishes to be at the forefront of cutting-edge scientific advancements. Also in attendance from the Maryland state government was Deputy Secretary of State Michael Lore, who was very eager to visit. Maryland’s Department of State is in charge of its Sister-State program and given the fact Japan-Maryland Night took place just two months prior, it was a valuable opportunity for Maryland state representatives to visit a company with deep ties to both Japan and Maryland.

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Pictured left to right: Dr. Ben Antebi, Ebony Stocks, Commerce Secretary Kevin Anderson, Rama Modali, Dr. Ruchika Nijhara, Deputy Secretary of State Michael Lore, and Chikafumi Yokoyama.

Also among the invited guests were Dr. Ruchika Nijhara and Dr. Ben Antebi from the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund (MSCRF). Dr. Nijhara and Dr. Antebi’s presence emphasize how important MSCRF support is to REPROCELL USA. Within the past several months, REPROCELL USA was awarded with funding for three grant proposals, one of which will allow for future expansion of the new GMP lab.

Ebony Stocks from the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation was also in attendance. Ms. Stocks, who visited REPROCELL USA years prior, was impressed by how far the company has grown over the past several years. And the fact that REPROCELL USA is not just a Maryland company, but also a Prince George’s County company, proves that biotech can flourish throughout the state, a sentiment the Maryland state government continues to promote.

Rounding out the invited guests were Dr. Mahendra Rao from panCELLa/Implant Therapeutics and Dr. Kishor Bhatia from Lantern Pharma, both of whom REPROCELL has collaborated with for many years.

Emceed by yours truly, the inauguration started off with opening remarks. REPROCELL USA CEO Rama Modali expressed a wholehearted welcome to everyone who came from near and far to attend the inaugural ceremony and REPROCELL Global CEO Dr. Chikafumi Yokoyama said the collaboration between Maryland and Kanagawa Prefecture is of great value. Not only does it promote business success locally, but also globally. Several of the invited guests then gave their congratulatory remarks. Secretary Anderson said that Maryland is proud to be the home of REPROCELL USA and Deputy Secretary Lore expressed that Maryland is honored to have Kanagawa Prefecture as a sister state. According to Dr. Nijhara, the new GMP lab is a milestone and it re-affirms REPROCELL’s role in advancing stem cell research and regenerative medicine. Dr. Rao praised the Maryland state government and the surrounding scientific community for contributing to REPROCELL’s success. And Dr. Bhatia attested that because of REPROCELL, Lantern Pharma has gained greater understanding of its clinical trials.

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REPROCELL Global CEO Dr. Chikafumi Yokoyama giving his opening remarks.

At last, the time had come to cut the ribbon. With much excitement from everyone, both Commerce Secretary Anderson and REPROCELL USA CEO Rama Modali shared the ribbon-cutting responsibilities and officially inaugurated the new GMP laboratory. A plaque commemorating the inauguration was also unveiled and Secretary Anderson was pleasantly surprised to find his name engraved on it.

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Commerce Secretary Anderson and REPROCELL USA CEO Rama Modali officially cutting the ribbon.

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Inauguration plaque for new GMP lab.

As the new GMP BioManufacturing Laboratory was officially inaugurated, guests were given an in-depth overview of the BioSpherix system as well as a tour of REPROCELL USA’s facilities. After closing remarks and gratitude expressed by REPROCELL USA CEO Rama Modali and REPROCELL Global CEO Dr. Chikafumi Yokoyama, everyone indulged in an offering of sushi and a variety of Indian delicacies. Despite the rainy weather, a good time was had by all and the day was a complete success.

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REPROCELL USA Stem Cell Scientist Cliona O'Driscoll explaining the BioSpherix system.

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REPROCELL staff.

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” REPROCELL USA is a testament to this quote. The successes REPROCELL USA has achieved over the past 10 years, from increasing the services offered to facility expansion, are very much owed to the dedication and hard work of its employees. And in an environment where state and local government as well the surrounding scientific community lend their support, REPROCELL USA will continue to grow and prosper.

To view the video of the inauguration, click on the link below.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Yx6tIkczr2GwkYtq9MpC6uqJigMiMbji/view?usp=sharing

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