RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – The nonprofit Regenerative Medicine Development Organization (ReMDO) in Winston-Salem and Cary-based analytics company SAS are joining forces to improve advanced manufacturing for regenerative medicine applications.

SAS will contribute its expertise in Internet of Things (IoT) analytics and smart manufacturing to ReMDO’s RegeneratOR Test Bed, a “manufacturing-in-a-box” facility that provides companies with state-of-the-art biomanufacturing equipment, industry expertise, talent, and training programs to support novel prototyping and commercial product development.

SAS also brings to the alliance decades of experience in the life sciences, providing technologies to help companies improve the development, manufacturing and commercialization of medical therapies.

RegeneratOR Test Bed Core Tech Katie Benson oversees the equipment
RegeneratOR Test Bed Core Tech Katie Benson oversees the equipment.
— ReMDO photo











The collaboration is intended to help regenerative medicine companies improve product yield while reducing variability, contamination and cost.

“Regenerative medicine has been called the next evolution of medical treatments, and SAS is excited to play a role in this innovative and important project,” said Udo Sglavo, vice president of advanced analytics R&D at SAS. “SAS’ IoT division and the Advanced Analytics Center of Excellence will apply our related industry expertise, proven software solutions and data analytics techniques to the RegeneratOR Test Bed to advance manufacturing potential and help achieve better outcomes.”

The Test Bed is provided by ReMDO, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to advancing regenerative medicine nationwide, and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), the world’s largest regenerative medicine institute.

Joshua Hunsberger, Ph.D., chief technology officer of ReMDO, said that SAS’ technology would be a game changer for startup companies.

“Smart manufacturing capabilities will be available for any company in our Regenerative Medicine Hub,” he said, referring to the Triad region’s regenerative medicine ecosystem. “These services will help companies optimize and predict the best manufacturing processes that could save time and money.”

Anthony Atala, M.D., director of WFIRM, said, “We believe the Test Bed, through its collaboration with SAS, has a lot to offer in terms of helping these companies be successful, and, at the same time, we can advance the regenerative medicine field nationally.”

The Test Bed is one of three focused areas that operate through ReMDO’s RegeneratOR initiative, which promotes biomanufacturing scale-up and automation to make technologies more affordable and speed up the translation to clinical practice.

The other two focus areas are the Innovation Accelerator, which supports innovation from research to commercialization for regenerative medicine companies of all sizes, and the Workforce Development program, which connects colleges, university programs and technical schools with biomanufacturing staff, engineers, and research leaders to train biomanufacturing technicians and researchers.

More than 30 companies and organizations are involved in RegeneratOR.

“It’s exciting to see world-renowned North Carolina expertise from academia and industry collaborating to help advance companies and attract new opportunities within this growing regenerative medicine hub,” said Nancy Johnston, executive director of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Piedmont Triad Office. The Center partners with SAS and WFIRM and its associated offshoots, and Atala is a member of the NCBiotech Board of DIrectors.

ReMDO, WFIRM and their various resources are based in Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter, a downtown district focused on research, business and education in biomedical science, information technology, digital media, clinical services and advanced materials.

Regenerative medicine is a relatively new and rapidly growing field of medicine that aims to augment, repair, replace or regenerate human or animal organs, tissues, cells, genes and metabolic processes damaged by disease, injury or aging.

The global market for regenerative medicine reached $9.8 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to $37.1 billion by 2030, a compound annual growth rate of 15.9%, according to a recent analysis by Emergen Research, a Canadian market research and consulting company based in Surrey, British Columbia.

(C) N.C. Biotech Center