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BioBridge Global Announces Formation of Regenerative Medicine Advisory Board

The board will be made up of industry leaders with a wide range of scientific, product development and business experience, to support the organization’s continued growth in regenerative medicine.

/EIN News/ -- San Antonio, Texas, July 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioBridge Global today announced the formation of a new Regenerative Medicine Advisory Board, composed of industry leaders with a wide range of scientific, product development and business experience, to support the organization’s continued growth in regenerative medicine.

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BioBridge Global provides a wide range of blood, tissue and cellular source materials, products and services through its three operating entities: GenCure, QualTex Laboratories and the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.  These include blood and tissue collection, processing and distribution, biological testing, process engineering and biomanufacturing.

The initial members of the BioBridge Global Regenerative Medicine Advisory Board are:

  • Phil Vanek PhD, General Manager of GE Healthcare’s Cell and Gene Therapy business strategy. Dr. Vanek also served as Head of Business Development for Cell Therapy and later as Head of Innovation for Lonza’s pharmaceutical division.  Dr. Vanek received his doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Georgetown University.
  • Gregory Bonfiglio JD, Founder and Managing Partner of Proteus LLC, an investment and advisory firm focused solely on regenerative medicine, and Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto, Canada.  In 2013, Bonfiglio was listed 14th among the Top 50 Stem Cell Influencers in the world.
  • Kenneth Bertram MD, PhD, FACP, is the former Commander of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and Principal Assistant for Acquisition for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.  Dr. Bertram is board certified in internal medicine and has been board- certified in hematology and medical oncology.

Full biographies are below.

“We recruited these highly regarded individuals because of their deep understanding of regenerative medicine, including needs, opportunities, roadblocks and how the field may change in the future,” said Martin Landon, Chief Executive Officer of BioBridge Global. “As we advance our work at BioBridge Global, we are fortunate to have access to Phil, Greg and Ken, not only for their advice as industry leaders, but for their shared commitment to realizing the potential of regenerative medicine to heal and save lives.”

About BioBridge Global: BioBridge Global (BBG) is a San Antonio, Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that offers diverse services through its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and the Blood & Tissue Center Foundation. BBG provides products and services in blood resource management, cellular therapy, donated umbilical cord blood and human tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide. BBG is committed to saving and enhancing lives through the healing power of human cells. It fulfills part of this mission by supporting groundbreaking research, addressing unmet clinical needs and enabling the development and commercialization of novel biotechnology products.

BioBridge Global Regenerative Medicine & Cell Therapy Advisory Board biographies:

Phillip Vanek, PhD: Vanek is General Manager of GE Healthcare’s Cell and Gene Therapy business strategy, a business initiative funded in part through GE Ventures and GE Healthymagination, a $6 billion strategy to revolutionize the world’s health by improving the quality, access and affordability of care.  Prior to joining GE, he was Head of Business Development for Cell Therapy, and later Head of Innovation, for Lonza’s pharmaceutical division, helping to drive new technology initiatives focused on cell, protein and viral therapeutic manufacturing.

Vanek’s career has included a number of innovation, business and market development roles at Becton Dickinson, Invitrogen and Life Technologies, as well as two start-up biotechnology companies in the Washington, D.C., area.  Additionally, he was an Instructor for Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Programs, teaching Biotechnology Marketing for several years while working at BD and Lonza.

Vanek received his doctorate in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Georgetown University Medical Center and subsequently held an IRTA fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology and the Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

He is an active board member of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, where he has served as an officer and chair of the Governance and Oversight committee. He also has been a board member of the ARM Foundation.  Vanek serves on the board of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto, Canada, where he chairs the HR and Governance committee.  He has published a number of industry position pieces and serves on the Editorial Board of Cell and Gene Therapy Insights.

Gregory Bonfiglio JD: Bonfiglio is the Founder and Managing Partner of Proteus LLC, an investment and advisory firm focused solely on regenerative medicine.  Formed in 2006, Proteus provides fund management and consulting services to the regenerative medicine industry.   Proteus works with regenerative medicine companies across all levels of development, from early stage entities to large pharma and biotech companies, as well as governmental organizations pursuing regenerative medicine initiatives.       

He is the Chairman of the Board of the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto, Canada.  Bonfiglio serves on the Board of Healios KK, one of the largest publicly traded regenerative medicine companies in Japan. In addition, he has served on the boards of several other regenerative medicine companies, including VistaGen Therapeutics (in vitro tools from hESCs); Advanced Cell Technologies (hESC therapeutics); California Stem Cell (hESC tools and therapeutics); and StemCyte, Inc. (cord blood storage and therapeutics).

Bonfiglio was an early investor in the field of stems cell and regenerative medicine, and he continues to be actively involved in the field.  He is a frequent speaker at regenerative medicine conferences and is a member of the ISSCR, as well as serving on its advisory board, as well as its Finance Committee.  He also is a member of the ISCT.  In 2013, Bonfiglio was listed 14th among the Top 50 Stem Cell Influencers in the world.

He has more than 25 years’ experience working with technology companies.    From 2000-05, Mr. Bonfiglio was a General Partner with Anthem Venture Partners – an early stage venture fund in California.    While at Anthem, Mr. Bonfiglio led investments in both biotechnology and IT.   

Prior to joining Anthem, he was a Partner with Morrison & Foerster, where he worked extensively with technology clients. Bonfiglio was an Adjunct Professor of Law at Stanford Law School from 1996-2000.  He has been a Guest Lecturer at the Stanford Business School on the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine Technologies.  From 1995-2005, he was a regular Guest Lecturer at the UC Berkley Haas Business School in the Entrepreneurship Program.    

Bonfiglio received his bachelor of arts degree in Mathematics (magna cum laude) from Michigan State University in 1975, and his J.D. (magna cum laude) from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981.

Kenneth Bertram, MD, PhD, FACP: Bertram is retiring as the Principal Assistant for Acquisition for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC), Fort Detrick, Maryland, and as a member of the Senior Executive Service.  He is responsible for the advanced development and acquisition of medical products (drugs, vaccines, and devices) for the U.S. Army.  In addition, Bertram serves as the Surgeon General’s Sponsor’s Representative to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and as the U.S. Army’s Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) for medical products and therefore is responsible for the life-cycle management of fielded medical products (research, development, acquisition, and sustainment).

He is a member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps and is Acquisition Level III Certified in both Program Management and Science and Technology Management. Bertram has been awarded the highest recognition for Army civilians, the Department of the Army Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service by the Secretary of the Army for his contributions to the Warfighter.

Bertram previously served in the U.S. Army, retiring as a colonel in the Medical Corps after 24 years of active duty. His assignments included: Commander, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; Chief of Staff, USAMRMC; Director, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (USAMRMC); and Chief, Hematology/Medical Oncology Service at Madigan Army Medical Center. Bertram’s military honors include two Legion of Merit awards, the Army’s The Surgeon General’s “A” Proficiency Designator in Hematology/Oncology, and the Order of Military Medical Merit.

He is board certified in internal medicine and has been board certified in hematology and medical oncology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians (F.A.C.P.). He completed both his Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship and Internal Medicine Residency at Madigan Army Medical Center. Bertram received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Washington and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.

Mary Uhlig
BioBridge Global
210-731-5519
mary.uhlig@biobridgeglobal.org

Distribution channels: Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals Industry