Foundation board tour soon-to-open GenCure Biomanufacturing facility

February 13, 2020

Members of The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation board of directors got a look at the future of healthcare at their first meeting of 2020.

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Becky Cap, Chief Operating Officer of GenCure, addresses members of The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation board of directors at their first meeting of 2020.

The board met at the GenCure Biomanufacturing facility, which is part of the VelocityTX bioscience hub on San Antonio’s East Side. After the formal meeting, board members took one of the first tours of the facility, which is scheduled to open this spring.

“This facility is going to allow us to fill a very big gap in the field of regenerative medicine and work on cures that patients like Bella Sanchez and Taylor Castro needed in their lifetime,” said GenCure Chief Operating Offer Becky Cap, who noted that she had been talking to researchers around the world about working with GenCure.

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Becky Cap, Chief Operating Officer of GenCure, talks to members of The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation board of directors in the process development laboratory at the GenCure Biomanufacturing facility.

The facility will work with scientists developing therapies under strict regulations set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Union and/or the Japanese ministry of health.

In a series of modular clean rooms at the facility, GenCure will expand adult stem cells into quantities large enough for researchers to use them for clinical trials, a key part in the development of therapies for everything from traumatic injuries to Alzheimer’s disease.

Work on the facility began in February 2019 on three parallel tracks – the remodeling of the space at VelocityTX (formerly Merchants Ice Building), the construction of clean rooms by G-Con Manufacturing in College Station, and the purchase, delivery, testing and validation of the laboratory’s equipment.

“We are going to be one of the few facilities in the country with the capability to scale up stem cell production in large-scale bioreactors,” said Mike Fiske, Vice President, Cell Manufacturing.

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Mike Fiske, Vice President, Cell Manufacturing with GenCure, points out some of the features of the facility’s clean room suite to Foundation board of directors.

In addition to 6,500 square feet of clean room space, the new facility includes a process development laboratory, offices and meeting rooms, and the open space where The Foundation board met on Monday.

“Where you’re standing now will be part of phase two,” Fiske said.

When the facility has reached its capacity and branches out to support stem cell treatments that have been approved for patient therapies,  more clean rooms will be constructed off-site, moved to San Antonio and installed in the open space, he said.

“We want to make San Antonio an international destination for these kinds of bioscience activities,” said Randy Harig, CEO of the Texas Research and Technology Foundation, which is developing VelocityTX.

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Learn more about the GenCure Biomanufacturing facility: