RoosterBio, Inc. is a relatively new biotechnology startup located in Frederick, Maryland in the Frederick Innovative Technology Center. It was founded by Dr. Jon Rowley and Dr. Uplaksh Kumar with the main purpose to focus on the building of a sustainable Regenerative Medicine industry. This startup seems to be paving the way for the rapidly growing field of regenerative medicine through synthetic biology. As described by Keynote speaker Britt Wray at Concordia University’s synthetic biology conference, Synthetic biology is really a “field of science where an engineering mindset gets applied to biology in an attempt to build things out of nature from an intentional design perspective.” With this concept in mind, RoosterBio, Inc. has used synthetic biology and engineering concepts to build biological products that have the ability to be used in medical purposes. The purpose of regenerative medicine is to enable the body to regenerate damaged tissues and organs by replacing the damaged parts with new organs or by encouraging the body’s own repair system to heal itself. In the case of replacing the damaged organs with new tissues/organs, the process is usually done in a laboratory where scientists grow new organs to implant in the body. This process can eventually help to eliminate the shortage of organs available for donation and the ongoing problem of organ transplant rejection. If the new organs are synthetically designed by the patients own cells in a laboratory, then the patient can be sure that his/her body will accept the new organ and have a successful transplant.
Regenerative medicine has the capability to replace damaged heart muscles, skin tissues on burn victims, spinal cord restoration, regeneration of pancreatic tissues for insulin production in diabetics and more. However, as expected, the cost of regenerative medicine is extremely high and therefore development has been slow in the field. Rooster Inc. is determined to expedite the process of development by manufacturing large amounts of standardized primary cells and high quality materials to researchers at a low cost.
RoosterBio’s products are receiving much praise in the synthetic biology market. The principal and official project is their human bone marrow-derived cells. Many customers are enthusiastically waiting for the product to launch as it will give them a “sufficient number of MSCs(Mesenchymal Stem Cells (hBM-MSC)) to immediately start experiments” and save weeks of waiting time for cells to expand to volumes that allow experiments to commence. Usually, it take around 4-8 weeks for cells to efficiently expand to hundreds of millions or billions of cells for experiments. Rooster Inc. however has accelerated this process to 1-2 weeks which, according to Dr.Kumar, will “at least triple the efficiency of the average laboratory.” Not only does this speed up the time, it will allow researchers to spend less time cultivating cells and more time working on research questions. In the past few years, the tissue engineering and regenerative medicine have become one of the most rapidly growing industries in the science sector- the total spending on these industries in 2011 was $17.1 billion. This number has been predicted to increase to $40.5 billion by 2020. A large portion of this spending comes from stem cell products which accounted for $1.38 billion in 2010 and is expected to increase to $3.9 billion by next year, and up to $8 billion by 2020.