Columbus, Ohio – Neurxstem, a predictive and precision genomic medicine company that delivers the world’s first and most advanced synthetic human ’brain-diseases-in-a-dish’, has opened a facility at the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority in Heath, Ohio, to begin COVID-19 research and testing. The company’s Neural Organoid Platform™ closely mimics the human central nervous system, allowing Neurxstem to diagnose brain disorders and diseases early; discover novel upstream therapeutic targets; and perform drug toxicity, safety and efficacy (TSE) testing.
In May, Neurxstem received a $1.6 million award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) HEAL initiative for developing opioid lethality countermeasures, and subsequently opened its facility in the Port Authority’s Horton Building at 785 Irving Wick Drive West. The 1,000-square-foot cleanroom space will allow the company to conduct research around reducing COVID-19 infections and mortality, while continuing its work to prevent and cure other diseases of the brain.
“Our new facility in the Port Authority gives us the space and resources we need to join the fight against COVID-19,” said Neurxstem Founder and CEO, Dr. Rene Anand. “We’re excited to be a part of the Columbus Region’s growing life sciences sector and look forward to furthering our research on the many applications of Neurxstem’s neural organoid platform.”
Previously a professor at The Ohio State’s College of Medicine, Dr. Anand first announced his research on the synthetic neural organoid platform in 2015. This now operational technology – patented by Neurxstem – replicates human brain tissue from an individual’s skin cells for personalized diagnosis and therapy. In addition to its capabilities for COVID-19 research and testing, the technology has wider applications for mass diagnosis and therapies for Autism, Alzheimer’s, and other brain-related human diseases, as well as substance use disorders such as opioid addiction.
“We are thrilled to welcome such an innovative company to the Port Authority and look forward to seeing Neurxstem’s growth over the months and years ahead,” said Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority President and CEO Rick Platt. “The Port Authority owns one of the largest concentrations of cleanroom space in the world, so Neurxstem is a natural fit.”
The Columbus Region has a history of innovation – a history that continues today. Named the most intelligent community in the world, the Columbus Region is home to R&D operations for major powerhouses as well as startups being developed by talent at the Region’s 50-plus college and university campuses and attracted by a bevy of venture capital. Heath is located in Licking County, which is home to an estimated 175,769 residents.
“Neurxstem’s advanced technology and its applications toward not only COVID-19, but also substance abuse and brain-related diseases, will help diversify the Columbus Region’s life sciences hub,” said One Columbus President and CEO Kenny McDonald. “The company’s decision to open an office in the Columbus Region is a testament to this already growing sector and we are excited to support their future impact and successes.”
About Neurxstem Neurxstem delivers the world’s first and most advanced synthetic mimic of the human ’brain-in-a-dish’. Dr. Rene Anand and Ms. Susan McKay developed the Neural Organoid Platform™ that is a novel, first in class system to study human brain disease mechanisms and to provide drug discovery, efficacy and safety testing. Neurxstem is also a winner of the Center for Advancing Innovation’s International ‘Brain Race’ to find cures for brain cancer. Learn more at neurxstem.com.
About One Columbus As the economic development organization for the 11-county Columbus Region, One Columbus’ mission is to lead a comprehensive regional growth strategy that develops and attracts the world’s most competitive companies, grows a highly adaptive workforce, prepares our communities for the future, and inspires corporate, academic and public innovation throughout the Columbus Region. One Columbus expertly guides companies through the location decision process. Through strategic business outreach and customized research, the One Columbus team leverages public, private and institutional partnerships to grow the Columbus Region’s economy and strengthen its national and international competitiveness. Funding is received from more than 300 private organizations, local governments, academic institutions and JobsOhio. Learn more at ColumbusRegion.com.
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Dr. Rene Anand