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The combined companies will provide research- and clinical-grade human immune cells, blood products, and related services.
On August 9, 2018, Key Biologics, a Memphis, TN-based supplier of human cells, blood products, and related services, and Astarte Biologics, a Bothell, WA-based company that offers characterized immune cells and reagents, announced that they have merged to provide research- and clinical-grade human immune cells, blood products, and related services to the biopharmaceutical industry.
Astarte states that the merger combines Key’s experience providing human cells used in fundamental research, cell-therapy manufacturing and process development, and commercial immunotherapies with Astarte’s complementary immunology expertise. The merger expands the combined company’s cell characterization, cell culture, and cell-line and assay development capabilities. The merged company also received an investment from Ampersand Capital Partners to continue expanding in the rapidly evolving cell and gene therapy markets.
In addition to maintaining presences in Memphis and Seattle, the merged company plans to open a third site in Boston, MA, by 2019. Joe Gentile has been appointed as CEO of the joint company and Bill Mercer to the board of directors. Dr. Edward Scott, founder of Key Biologics, and Dr. Anne Lodge, founder and CEO of Astarte Biologics, will serve as chief medical officer and chief scientific officer of the combined business, respectively.
“Our partnership with Key represents a highly complementary union of cell collection with downstream processing, characterization, and model and assay development capabilities,” said Dr. Anne Lodge, founder and CEO, Astarte Biologics, in a company press release. “The combination enables us to accelerate programs in drug discovery and safety testing, enhance fundamental research, and streamline manufacturing process development. As the industry continues to appreciate the role of the immune system in disease pathology, as well as the ability to modulate it to treat various conditions, our unrivaled expertise in T-cell biology positions us very well to support current and future customers.”
Source: Astarte Biologics