LifeNet Health has acquired the assets of Alabama-based biotechnology company Vivo Biosciences, Inc., as part of the organization’s growing emphasis on applying cell-based innovations to the process of pharmaceutical discovery and personalized medicine.
Founded in Birmingham, Ala., in 2004, Vivo Biosciences was the first to develop “all-human” bioassay platforms for accelerating drug discovery, disease therapeutics and certain stem-cell applications.
These discoveries rely on its patented HuBiogel@ technology, which enables cells to mimic the 3-D biology and function of normal and diseased human tissues. Vivo Bioscience’s technologies facilitate rapid testing and analysis to predict efficacy, toxicity, and therapeutic response of a variety of drugs, including chemotherapy in cancer treatments. This novel technology will complement LifeNet Health’s Life Sciences division, which was formed in 2016.
“This signals our initial entry into personalized medicine and builds on the platforms of tissue recovery and cellular products,” said Rony Thomas, President and CEO of LifeNet Health. “These technologies are game changers for academic, government, and commercial institutions that are developing new and better drug treatments for diseases in many different medical areas.” The technologies acquired by LifeNet Health can help pharmaceutical companies make their drug-discovery processes more efficient while reducing cost. They will provide research centers and drug companies a unique pathway to precisely evaluate drug sensitivity, toxicity, and pre-clinical endpoints – and, most importantly, patient-based therapy response.
“These advances will enable researchers to better predict which medicines will be effective in fighting diseases such as cancer, saving time in treatments for patients,” Thomas said. “We hope we can give physicians and drug companies better ways to develop, and predict the effectiveness of current drugs and drugs in the pipeline.” Vivo Biosciences’s founder, Raj Singh, Ph.D., is a well-recognized researcher in oncology and the principal developer of the company’s technology. Dr. Singh will join LifeNet Health and continue to manage the biomedical advancements the acquired assets bring to LifeNet Health.
“LifeNet Health can now provide the strategic infrastructure, support and direction to bring our valued technology to the marketplace and to patients,” Dr. Singh said.
Gordon Berkstresser, LifeNet Health’s Chief Financial Officer, said, “In addition to leveraging these new technologies, LifeNet Health looks forward to continuing Vivo Biosciences’s relationship with the University of Alabama-Birmingham.” LifeNet Health has facilities in Hampton Roads, Va.; Research Triangle Park, NC; Pensacola and Jacksonville, Fla.; and Seattle, Wash.