Cook Regentec, Cook Group's first company in Indianapolis, cut the ribbon Wednesday on its new facility on Indiana Avenue and announced a collaboration with Indiana University School of Medicine aimed at developing tools and technologies that advance solutions in the emerging areas of immunotherapy, precision medicine, drug delivery, regenerative medicine and bioprinting.
Cook Regentec develops and commercializes research and clinical tools to advance regenerative medicine therapies. The company celebrated the completion of the transformation and rehabilitation of a former beer warehouse into a 22,000-square-foot innovation center with modern, collaborative office space and adjacent advanced laboratory facilities.
Founded in 2015 as an incubator/accelerator for biological and device innovations, Cook Regentec has created three early stage companies that have already commercialized 12 different products, including cellular growth media, solutions for cryopreservation and medical devices for the delivery of therapeutic agents.
The relationship with Indiana University School of Medicine delivers on Cook Regentec's mission to leverage the Indianapolis life sciences and advanced industry ecosystem to continue developing and commercializing new technologies across industries and disciplines. Cook Regentec scientists, engineers and product developers will connect with Indiana University School of Medicine researchers and scientists at The Collaboratory @ Cook Regentec. The new collaboration space is a 6,000-square-foot idea lab and collaborative technology incubator located at Cook Regentec's newly rehabilitated Indianapolis headquarters.
The teams will address unmet needs in the fields of cell and gene therapy and regenerative medicine. Research scientists, clinicians and biopharma companies worldwide use revolutionary cell and gene therapy approaches to uncover new and improved treatments for patients. Cook Regentec works alongside them to develop tools and technologies to address the specialized production, storage and delivery requirements of living cellular medicines.
"As an incubator and accelerator, Cook Regentec is in relentless pursuit of the best ideas and collaborations that will help us innovate technologies and create new ventures that make medicine better for patients," said Rob Lyles, president of Cook Regentec. "Our working relationship with Indiana University School of Medicine leverages the deep expertise of the nation's largest medical school and Cook Regentec's entrepreneurial and multi-disciplinary approach to technology and product development."
Cook Regentec has a proven record for the development and commercialization of emerging technologies and Indiana University School of Medicine has a long history of developing and testing new therapies for patients. In recent years the school has made aggressive investments in faculty expertise, infrastructure and technology necessary to make research breakthroughs in the emerging fields of cell and gene therapy through the IU Precision Health Initiative and with the establishment of its new Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering and Brown Center for Immunotherapy.
Cook Regentec and Indiana University School of Medicine will be the first collaboration team to use The Collaboratory @ Cook Regentec innovation space and plan to jointly focus on a number of key areas in need of enabling technologies. Initial collaborative projects may include battlefield and trauma applications of bioprocessing tools, targeted delivery of advanced biologic medicines, advanced bioprocessing technologies and molecular tools for the production of engineered cell lines and novel bioprinting applications.
"As a medical school, we are driven to develop new therapies for patients who are affected by devastating and life-threatening illnesses and injuries," said Dr. Jay L. Hess, dean of IU School of Medicine and IU's executive vice president for university clinical affairs. "This exciting new opportunity will enable us to tap into Cook Regentec's extraordinary expertise to ensure those discoveries are commercially viable and can be delivered to patients as efficiently as possible."
The collaboration with Indiana University School of Medicine represents the type of connections Cook Regentec envisioned when it chose Indianapolis for its newest venture. Its employees are within walking distance of central Indiana's core research assets, including the medical school and its Indiana Center for Regenerative Medicine and Engineering, the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, and the 16 Tech Innovation District.
"At its core, 16 Tech is an innovation hub, where creative thinkers and doers across the life sciences, tech and advanced engineering industries will collaborate and innovate," said Bob Coy, president and CEO of 16 Tech Community Corporation, the nonprofit operating entity for the 60-acre 16 Tech Innovation District. "Cook Regentec and the Indiana University School of Medicine have launched the exact type of collaborative relationship we expect to ignite at 16 Tech. We're looking forward to seeing the outcomes of this great partnership and the additional collaborations yet to emerge."