Sanatela Moves Breakthrough Cancer Product into New Clean Room Manufacturing Facility in Fairport, NY
Thursday, January 14, 2021
ATVenture Center, LLC, announced today that its Sanatela cancer biotechnology subsidiary has moved into a 2,000 square foot clean room space in Fairport, NY and will begin ramping up production of the Sanatela MatrixTM, an advanced biomaterial that can be used as a tool for early cancer detection and treatment.
The Matrix platform is initially being sold as a research and investigational tool to researchers who benefit from its unique ability to capture and culture Cancer Stem Cells in vitro, in the lab. It is currently being investigated in clinical trials to determine its effectiveness at screening treatments against the cancer stem cells that cause Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
Sanatela has also just been named “Newcomer of the Year” by MedTech, New York’s trade association for the bio/med industry. “Despite this year’s challenging business environment, Sanatela assembled a team of experts to launch advanced technologies out of research labs into the marketplace and is on course to commercialize potential breakthrough precision cancer screening, chemo-sensitivity testing and regenerative wound care products”, said award presenter Ben Burton, CEO of iuvoBioscience.
Over the past decade, the world’s leading cancer research centers have determined that cancer stem cells are the root cause of cancer, but their unique properties help them elude detection and resist chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments. As a result, patients often relapse after treatment as cancer stem cells survive and spread to other parts of the body.
“Cancer metastasis causes 90% of cancer deaths, and that’s because of cancer stem cells,” says Michael Crowley, co-founder and CEO of Sanatela and the ATVenture Center. “Before the Sanatela Matrix, researchers had been unable to capture, target and kill these “seeds'' of deadly cancers.”
The Matrix is a Single Treatment Option Platform (STOP) that enables doctors to screen and test a full range of therapies to create a precision cancer treatment plan for every patient. It can also potentially serve as an early screening platform that can find cancer stem cells in a patient's blood long before they show any sign of cancer.
To help fund the staffing and infrastructure needed to produce the Matrix cancer screening kits at scale and complete the on-going trials, Sanatela today kicked off a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo (https://igg.me/at/Sanatela) to raise $500,000. Proceeds will be used to fund two clinical studies and quickly expand production capacity to get the Sanatela Matrix into the hands of research oncologists, cancer researchers, and drug discovery firms in the U.S. and around the world.
“The inability of most current conventional cancer therapies to kill cancer stem cells is the primary reason why we are still losing the War Against Cancer,” says Sanatela co-founder and COO Erin Crowley Ellis. “Our patent-pending biotechnology is the first of its kind. This tool has the potential to lead to a long lasting cure for cancer.”
In 2019, Sanatela acquired a worldwide exclusive license from the University of Rochester (UR) to commercialize and manufacture its invention of Sanatela’s 3D Bioengineered Decellularized Wharton’s jelly Matrix, now called the Sanatela Matrix. The UR also sponsored Sanatela’s application to obtain its certification in June 2020 as a START-UP NY company.
START-UP NY is designed to attract cutting edge advanced manufacturing firms like Sanatela to locate in New York through tax-based incentives and innovative academic partnerships. This certificate program, operated by the NY’s Empire State Development agency, gives Sanatela the opportunity to operate tax-free for ten years at its NextCorp headquarters in downtown Rochester.
Erin Crowley said “Without the assistance of UR, Monroe County Economic Development, Greater Rochester Enterprise, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and NY’s Empire Development Agency, it would have been highly unlikely that Sanatela would have located its biotech business operations in New York State. We looked very closely at locating our operations to Texas, Florida and Boston, however, in the end - by working with our local and state development agencies to become a START-UP NY firm - it made the decision to stay in the greater Rochester area very easy for us.”
Sanatela currently has a dozen start-up team members who have been working tirelessly for two years to launch the company to the manufacturing stage of development and it expects to employ about a total of about 20 people in well paying job within the next three months.
Working with a team of industrial and biomedical engineers at Rochester Institute of Technology’s (RIT) Kate Gleason College of Engineering, led by Professor Michael Kuhl, Sanatela greatly improved the efficiency of its biomanufacturing process. That has helped it make the move from a small university lab to full-scale production and manufacturing at its new facility in Fairport, NY.
Two university cancer research hospital clinical studies have already been planned by Sanatela. In one study, we will work with our university partners to access Acute Myeloid Leukemia patients who were treated in the past (“retrospective”) and in the other study we want to fund a clinical trial accessing patients who will be treated in the future (“prospective”) by comparing the treatment results of one set of AML patients using a standard cancer protocol versus a second set of AML patients treated using the Sanatela Matrix Single Treatment Option Platform tm. Sanatela’s team of scientists believes that these university-based trials will help accelerate many important advances in medical science by demonstrating how killing cancer stem cells can finally win the “War on Cancer” declared over 50 years ago.
What is the Matrix and How does it Work?
The Sanatela Matrix is bioengineered from 100% Decellularized Wharton’s Jelly harvested from the core of donated umbilical cords from healthy live hospital births. It is a natural biomaterial tissue that is homogenized and lyophilized (freeze-dried) to form a sturdy gauze-like material. At a microscopic level, the Matrix mimics the microenvironment of bone marrow, the natural home of many stem cells.
When a small drop of cancerous blood is placed into the cell wells of a Sanatela Single Treatment Option Platform preloaded with a small amount of the Sanatela Matrix gauze, cancer stem cells naturally “home” into the Matrix biomaterial and become embedded in it. Because the environment is so similar to that of the human body, these cells remain healthy and active, forming clusters and replicating themselves.
Oncologists working with the Sanatela Single Treatment Option Platform will now be able to readily determine the effectiveness of a treatment by screening very small amounts of each cancer drug, at various strengths, against the patient’s individual cancer stem cells. When a particular drug or therapy kills cancer stem cells at a particular strength or dose, the cell well turns from purple to black.
In effect, the cancer drug screening that is currently being done in a patient’s body can be performed safely and effectively in the lab. The hospital pharmacist would use the oncologist’s Sanatela system results to create the precisely targeted drug or therapy that will potentially kill all of the patient’s cancer stem cells at the patient’s bedside.
About the AT Venture Center, LLC: Venture Builders
AT Venture Center (ATVC) is an advanced technology Venture Builder start-up factory or venture studio that builds startups by building their own acquired ideas/inventions, startup teams and in-house resources. ATVC hires co-founders, managing executives, scientists and engineers to run the startups that already have a patent application, a working product prototype and a prototype business model, and deliverables that mean that there is a clear pathway to a perfect and timely deployment.
ATVC operates by applying Lean Startup, Design Thinking, Design Sprint, Agile principles as process management, validated learning, iteration, and innovation accounting to the venture building process. The firm also leverages its extensive network and ecosystem reaching out seasoned entrepreneurs for shared resources (capital, skills, and market expertise).
There are five core activities in which ATVC Venture Builders engage: identifying business ideas, building teams, finding capital, helping govern or manage the ventures and providing shared services.
The AT Venture Center is located in Suite 840 in the Legacy Tower building located at One Bausch & Lomb Place, Rochester, NY 14604. ATVC acquires, “de-risks” and commercializes university or research center created technologies, including biotechnologies, fintech, medtech, dentaltech, AI, blockchain, cybersecurity, e-commerce, and other advanced technologies At present, is in the process of launching eight advanced technologies from university labs to the manufacturing stage of development.