Startup Stories

Allevi Joins Johnson&Johnson's JPOD Philadelphia Community

As new applications continue to be developed within the Allevi community, we feel the responsibility to join larger ecosystems that connect us with more engineers, scientists, and physicians that can benefit from the power of Allevi’s solutions. Our first successful relationship with a broader ecosystem has been with VWR. They continue to help us introduce our platform to accelerate science around the world. Adding geometry to biology is becoming a standard to be able to generate accurate representations of the body outside the body. 

At Allevi, we are now ready to begin to understand how to translate our communities’ scientific discoveries into the breakthroughs of tomorrow. To do this we realize that we need to co-create solutions with those at the front lines who are bringing new drugs to market, fighting diseases at the bedside, and producing novel solutions for the healthcare system.

Therefore, we are excited to join the Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS JPOD @ Philadelphia community. We believe access to this ecosystem helps us connect with those who understand how Allevi’s applications can serve the healthcare industry. These interactions will guide our community today and in the future. Together we can target healthcare’s biggest needs by creating more accurate, predictable 3D biology models.

As we continue to collaborate with the Johnson & Johnson Innovation community, we will look forward to receiving mentorship, brainstorming with great minds in the industry, and continuing to grow Allevi. It takes a village to raise a company and we are happy to have the JLABS village help us reach new heights.

Dr. Robert Langer Joins the A-Team

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At Allevi, we believe that the democratization of bioprinting can help millions lead longer and healthier lives. By empowering scientist to make complex, relevant, personalized 3D tissues so many breakthroughs will be achieved within healthcare and humanity. And we are at the heart of catalyzing this change.

We have already seen so much success from our users bringing to life new ideas. They have shown us how patterning cells and biomaterials in new ways can generate scientific results unseen before. For example, Dr. Binatta Joddar from the University of El Paso Texas published how the difference between lattice and rectangular sheet structures matter for cardiac tissue engineering. On that same note, Dr. Parr and Dr. McAlpine from The University of Minnesota published how the specific placement of iPS neuron cells in relation to supporting cells matters to achieve relevant spinal cord tissue engineering. And these are just a few examples out of the multitude of papers being created by Allevi products.

As Allevi’s publication list grows, we are excited to begin to understand how we can translate these relevant scientific results into impactful products for the benefit of patients. However, we understand that to help millions in the future we have to continue learn from those who have helped millions in the past.

Therefore, we are excited to announce Dr. Robert Langer has joined our Scientific Advisory Board to teach us the fundamentals of how he has translated so many breakthroughs to patients and created new industries. Dr. Langer a Professor at MIT, has helped start several biotechnology companies, has licensed or sub-licensed over 350 patents to different companies and runs one of the largest bioengineering research labs in the world. “I’m delighted to be working with Allevi and their excellent team,” stated Dr. Langer.

We will work closely with Dr. Robert Langer as well as our other amazing advisors, Dr. Anthony Atala, Dr. Yu Shrike Zhang, and Dr. Aleksander Skardal to understand the best way to translate breakthroughs in our bioprinting community to begin to directly help patients at the bedside.

Allevi Bioprinting in Space

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The physical exploration of space began in the 1950s with the race between the Soviet Union and the United States for who could take those weightless first steps.  Orbiting above earth, astronauts have since made countless discoveries of the galaxy we live in and the science of the stars. On top of the celestial research, space exploration has yielded humanity practical tools that improve our daily lives, such as the GPS in your car, the ear thermometer in your medicine cabinet, and the joystick on your gaming console. Without the constraints of gravity, astronauts are able to study and innovate in a truly novel way.

As we continue to explore deeper into space, astronauts are spending more time in orbit than ever before and need tools that are adaptable and customizable for any given task. This is the ethos behind Made in Space, an organization that focuses on increasing human capability in orbit by bringing 3d printing technology onto the International Space Station (ISS). Accessibility to 3D printing on the ISS has allowed astronauts to print custom plastic tools and parts that are needed to successfully achieve their mission. No need to come back to earth to fetch that tool, you can now print it at zero g.

Here at Allevi, we are driven by the goal of being able to 3D bioprint replacement organs for humans. While we continue to understand the capabilities and constraints of 3d biofabrication here on Earth, the ability to explore cellular function in space could afford us novel discoveries of organ form and function that have never before been studied.

Allevi zeroG bioprinting in space on ISS

In pursuit of this novel research, we have partnered with Made in Space to develop the first bioprinter in space; the Allevi ZeroG. We have designed a compatible extruder that can be outfitted onto Made In Space’s existing Additive Manufacturing Facility on the ISS. The ZeroG bio-extruder will allow scientists on the Allevi platform to simultaneously run experiments both on the ground and in space to observe biological differences that occur with and without gravity.

We are excited to continue to revolutionize how we study biology, not only on the ground but now in space. And perhaps one day, the Allevi ZeroG will aid astronauts in 3D bioprinting replacement organs for deep space travel. We’re excited to participate in this next generation space race.

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allevi zerog bioprinting in space

New Board, Who Dis?

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We're excited today to announce our newly formed board of directors, observers, and scientific advisors.  Individually, each member brings a specific skill set and background to the company and the aggregation of their expertise is what makes this an amazing team. We know that this group will help us crush our goals in 2018 and beyond.

The new board members range in background from successful entrepreneurs to leaders in the life sciences industry. We would also like to introduce our scientific advisors who are leading researchers in the field of regenerative medicine with expertise in bioprinting platforms, developing bioinks, and tissue engineering.

Board

Ricky Solorzano, CEO of Allevi, guides the vision, strategy, and day to day operation. He has been obsessed with tissue engineering for 8 years, understands how to position the company to be successful within the industry, and has been a Forbes 30 under 30, Inc 30 under 30, and Business Insider 100: The Creators #65

Madeline Winter is chief operating officer for Allevi and is responsible for sales, marketing and daily business operations. Her background in mechanical engineering provides her with a data driven and detailed approach to problem solving. She is responsible for ensuring strategic vision translates into profitable operations. Ms. Winter’s efforts have helped grow Allevi from a company of a few users to a leader in biofabrication worldwide.

Evangeline Gonzalez loves building new things! Evangeline first started off her career at Life Technologies understanding the necessary fundamentals to drive product commercialization for company growth. She rose the ranks to Chief Marketing Officer and drove $3.2B worth of revenue.

David S. Joseph has over forty years of healthcare management and life science experience including CEO of five life science companies. He served as Co-founder, President and CEO of Othera Pharmaceuticals; Orthovita, public company acquired by Stryker Corporation in 2012. Prior to Orthovita, Mr. Joseph co-founded two medical device companies: Surgical Laser Technologies, Inc., an IPO in 1989 and SITE Microsurgical Systems, acquired by Johnson & Johnson Corporation in 1983.

John M. Ballbach has a deep understanding of navigating the life science industry as a whole. He understands how the industry moves and is able to maneuver it to achieve success. As Chairman, President, and CEO of VWR he accomplished above market revenue growth rates, margin expansion and double-digit earnings growth.

 

Board Observers

Frank McCaney is an accomplished executive with more than 25 years of demonstrated growth and success in medical devices and drug development.  Whether big or small Frank has seen it all. Experienced in Business Management at the CEO level, drug development, raising capital, M&A, Sales and Marketing, and turnarounds.

Angelo Masciantonio was a 5-time E&Y Finalist and Winner starting in 1988, started 3 successful companies and has 30 years of CEO experience. Angelo has a deep passion for starting, accelerating and growing companies. He has deep experience creating venture based companies and has a great sense to bring the right people together.

Karen Griffith Gryga is an experienced venture capitalist, investor and entrepreneur with over 25 years of startup and emerging growth company experience. Karen is Chief Investment Officer for DreamIt. Karen is also co-founder of Dreamit Health and founder of the DreamIt Athena program which focuses on female founders. Karen has helped launch over 200 companies that have generated over $1.5 billion in shareholder value.

Jenn Hartt is Director of Investments, Health & Digital Health, for Ben Franklin. Hartt directs all of Ben Franklin’s life sciences investments in companies with technologies ranging from clinical healthcare IT, medical devices and diagnostics to therapeutics.

 

Scientific Advisors

Dr. Anthony Atala is the Director of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine and the W. Boyce Professor and Chair of Urology at Wake Forest University. Dr. Atala is a practicing surgeon and a world leading researcher in the area of regenerative medicine. His work focuses on growing human cells, tissues and organs.

Dr. Shrike Yu Zhang currently holds a faculty position of Instructor of Medicine and Associate Bioengineer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. His research interest include organ-on-a-chip, 3D bioprinting, biomaterials, and developmental biology.

Dr. Aleksander Skardal currently is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest. He is a world class leader in understanding bioink for bioprinting and has a great understanding of bioink future development and applications.

Happy Holidays from the A-Team!

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Thank you for being a part of our company's journey! And what a year it has been... We had an incredibly successful rebrand, launch the Allevi 6 and the game-changing Allevi Software, presented at TEDMED, were named one of Red Herring's Top 100 Global promising companies and continued to grow this amazing community of innovators and pioneers.

None of this would be possible without your help and support. From our users, to our suppliers, to mentors, and investors - together we can shape the future. Our vision to create and study the body outside the body, to change the face of medicine, to push the human race forward would not be possible without each and every one of you. Thank you for being on team Allevi.

We wish you and your family a restful holiday season. We're excited to get back to making our dent in the universe in 2018.

Happy Holidays,
Your friends at Allevi