AlloSource Strives to Advance Healing
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 09/26/2017
Colorado-based company balances unique mission with medical innovation
AlloSource® began with a simple principle: to transform tragedy into possibility.
Since that moment nearly 25 years ago, the company has transformed the possibilities of human tissue donation by finding new ways to help heal patients. The organization started as a local, Denver-based tissue bank and has grown into one of the largest allograft providers in the country. Today, AlloSource’s work focuses on regenerative medicine and the potential power of cellular technologies, making the company the world’s largest processor of cellular allografts for transplant and the leading provider of skin allografts for burn survivors.
AlloSource scientist Elissa Flaumenhaft examines cell colonies.
When someone passes away and is a tissue donor, a compassionate and complex series of events unfolds to ensure the gift of life reaches patients in need. Tissue transplanted from one person to another, called an allograft, can help heal patients through a variety of procedures across nearly all medical disciplines.
“What truly sets us apart is our unique position of being a patient-driven company with a sacred responsibility to our donors and donor families,” said Thomas Cycyota, President and Chief Executive Officer. “When you talk to a donor family and learn that donation played a positive role in their grieving process, it’s very powerful, and so is meeting a patient who can be active again because of the allograft they received.”
AlloSource recently launched ProChondrix, an osteochondral allograft for patients suffering from debilitating cartilage injuries. The product provides live functional cells and other biological components necessary for the repair and regeneration of damaged cartilage tissues.
“In the regenerative medicine field, understanding biology at a cellular level is very important in moving this space forward,” said Peter Stevens, PhD, Chief New Ventures Officer. “Finding opportunities to advance therapies for patients, whether it’s through our own innovation or in collaboration with other entities, is an exciting part of our work.”
In 2013, AlloSource began a strategic partnership with Humacyte, a biotechnology company focused on developing technology with the potential to regenerate human blood vessels. AlloSource serves as the manufacturing partner for Humacyte’s investigational bioengineered technology, HUMACYL. The World Economic Forum recently selected Humacyte as a 2017 Technology Pioneer, an award designated for organizations that are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.
“We are growing blood vessels currently used in clinical trials for hemodialysis,” said Cycyota. “That’s incredible. Work taking place here in Colorado has the potential to impact patients around the world.”
Since its inception, AlloSource has been a part of the Colorado bioscience community. The organization’s allografts are distributed throughout the United States, as well as internationally, so its proximity to Denver International Airport is a great advantage to help ensure products are shipped in a timely, efficient manner. The state is also an ideal location for AlloSource because of access to Colorado’s renowned research institutions and universities. The employee population is well-educated and motivated to meet AlloSource’s mission.
“Colorado has a highly skilled, highly educated workforce, which is very advantageous for us,” said Cycyota. “Finding people who are curious problem-solvers with a passion for helping people is critical to our success. We come to work every day and ask, ‘How can I honor a tissue donor by advancing the possibilities of medicine today?’”