Bloomington-based Cook Regentec has opened its first facility in Indianapolis. The company has transformed an old beer warehouse into space at the high-profile 16 Tech innovation district. Part of the space will be dedicated to what the regenerative medicine therapy incubator and accelerator is calling The Collaboratory, where its scientists, engineers and product developers will partner with Indiana University School of Medicine researchers.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, President Rob Lyles discussed the focus areas of the Cook Group subsidiary. "What we’ve found is there is a lot of need for new tools and new technologies that can help bring these new cell and gene therapies to market," Lyles said. "We’re working on things like chryostorage, we work on advanced deliver of these therapeutics — getting them in the body, getting cells out of the body — but it’s an exciting time, because this is all about living medicines. It’s about taking cells and tissues and actually having those be the medicine. It’s revolutionizing all sorts of areas of medicine: cancer treatment, autoimmune diseases, chronic diseases, and so, we’re just trying to be part of that revolution."
IU School of Medicine Associate Vice President of Research for University Clinical Affairs Anantha Shekhar says plans for the Collaboratory @ Cook Regentec came together swiftly, but will provide partnership opportunities for both the academic and business sides. "We’re both going to invest — not only people, but resources and space, obviously, and bring the teams together," he said. "We hope in five years from now, we’ll be recording multiple products that have come out of this Collaboratory, so we’re really excited about this opportunity."
Initial projects could include bioprocessing tools for battlefields and trauma situations, targeted delivery of advanced biologic medicines and molecular tools for engineered cell line production.
In August, IUSM detailed the launch of the $20 million Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering in Indianapolis, which will focus on the emerging field.