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SA biotech firms selected by governor's office to represent Texas at global biomedical convention
June 9, 2016

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's Office of Economic Development invited two San Antonio biotech companies to help represent the state at the 2016 BIO International convention in San Francisco.
Andy Jacobsohn

W. Scott Bailey,Reporter/Project Coordinator
San Antonio Business Journal

A pair of San Antonio-based biotech companies - INCELL Corp. and StemBioSys Inc. - are among the 10 Texas life science entities that were selected by Gov. Greg Abbott's Office of Economic Development and Tourism to represent the Lone Star State at the 2016 BIO International Convention in San Francisco this week. The invite afforded both firms critical access to key industry players from across the world.

BIO International is considered one of the world's largest biotech conferences. More than 22,000 people from some 69 countries were expected to participate in the event, which opened on June 4 and concludes on Thursday.

StemBioSys CEO Bob Hutchens said the state invite was a rare opportunity for the company to gain worldwide exposure at a critical period in its evolution.

"This conference has given us an opportunity to meet with a number of potential business partners," Hutchens told me. "We also had the opportunity to meet with the U.S. representative of Funakoshi.

Last week, I reported that StemBioSys had entered into a deal with Funakoshi Co. Ltd. to market and distribute its products in Japan. The initial agreement involves StemBioSys' cell expansion product - the BM-HPME.

StemBioSys is an emerging player in the regenerative medicine arena, focused on the development of advanced stem cell technologies. Its patented and proprietary technology platforms, licensed from the University of Texas System, address key obstacles to creating clinically useful stem cell therapies.

INCELL Corp. has also gained some footing outside the U.S. The company has entered into a joint venture with a Belgian investment group to form a new venture called BioTurnKey. The new firm plans to accelerate the development and manufacturing of regenerative and personalized medicine products and services.

INCELL officials said the deal is expected to create 50 new jobs at its San Antonio headquarters in the short term. The longer-term impact on the Alamo City company could be more profound as BioTurnKey grows its client base in the U.S. and abroad.

The exposure in San Francisco could open more doors for INCELL and for StemBioSys.

"We had several meetings with U.S. government personal who work in a variety of countries to support the introduction of U.S. products into those markets," Hutchens said. We met with personnel from Taiwan, Korea and Germany."

Hutchens said the companies selected to attend BIO International were nominated by local biotech groups.

"The companies were then evaluated at the state level," Hutchens said. "One key criteria to make the final cut at the state level was to have a product that is export ready."

W. Scott Bailey covers health care, tourism, sports business, economic development; he also plans and edits some special reports.

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