Ossium Health: Streamlining Stem Cell Therapies
A robust stem cell therapeutics pipeline powered by a massive bone marrow donor bank
Alumni Ventures portfolio company Ossium Health is well-positioned to develop a leading solution in the global stem cell therapy market, projected to reach $31.4 billion by 2030. Powered by the world’s largest bone marrow donor bank, Ossium is leveraging an unprecedented amount of data on stem cell behavior and characteristics to develop therapies for blood, immune, and inflammatory diseases.
Unlocking the Potential of Stem Cell Therapies
The next great biotech solution might have been discovered over 60 years ago. Since the first successful bone marrow grafts in 1958, scientists have identified the significant potential of stem cells to treat a wide array of diseases by replacing damaged cells and regenerating organs.
Stem cell research has been stymied by both technical limitations and social friction over the use of embryonic cells. There are roughly 22,000 stem cell transplants in the U.S. each year, addressing only a fraction of the more than 80+ cancers, blood diseases, and other disorders that could be treated by stem cells.
Ossium Health: The Promise of Bone Marrow Banking
Listen to a presentation from Ossium Health CEO Kevin Caldwell at the Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa. He argues that the true potential of stem cell therapies hasn’t been realized due to limitations with sourcing and explains how Ossium is leveraging the vast, untapped organ donor ecosystem to radically improve bone marrow transplants.
See video policy below.
Unrivaled Access to Donor Bone Marrow
Ossium’ strategy to develop advanced stem cell therapies is driven by extensive access to donor bone marrow. According to Ossium, the company has secured exclusive access to 47% of the bone marrow from deceased donors in the U.S., with a path to reach 85% by 2026.
Ossium has used its donor bank to address constraints of stem cell therapies across all stages of the supply chain. The company’s IP covers high-quality cell recovery from deceased donors, cryogenic preservation, high-yield thaw, and ultimately, directed use across multiple diseases.
Ossium has seven therapies at various stages of the FDA’s drug development process, including:
- Blood Cancer: Phase 3 clinical trial
- Inflammation: Phase 1 clinical trials (irritable bowel syndrome and asthma)
- Organ Transplants: Phase 1 clinical trials
Streamlined Drug DiscoveryNew drugs typically reach commercialization after 10 to 15 years and hundreds of millions of dollars spent on R&D, clinical trials, and FDA approval.* With seven therapies in its pipeline, Ossium expects to bring its first drug to market as early as 2024. Meanwhile, Ossium has unlocked recurring revenue with research grants and sales of its stem cells and orthopedic byproducts to hospitals.
Commanding Market PositionOssium reports that it has exclusive access to nearly half of the deceased donor bone marrow in the U.S. The company is also partnering with BeTheMatch, the country’s largest donor-matching platform.
Expert Team & InvestorsOssium was co-founded by CEO Kevin Caldwell (former McKinsey biotech consultant) and Chief Science Officer Erik Woods (a leading cryobiologist). The team has attracted capital from several Midas List VCs, including Bill Trenchard (First Round Capital) and Hemant Taneja (General Catalyst). Ossium’s Series B lead, Vivo Capital, is an established healthcare investor with nearly 80 exits.**
How We’re Involved
Spike Ventures (for the Stanford community) sponsored our investment in Ossium’s $52 million Series C led by CPMG, with participation from First Round Capital, Manta Ray Ventures, Asahi Kasei, and Vivo Capital. Other Alumni Ventures funds that invested in the round include Congress Avenue Ventures (for the University of Texas community) and Nassau Street Ventures (for the Princeton community), as well as AV’s Deep Tech Fund and Total Access Fund.
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*Peter Corr and David Williams, “The Pathway from Idea to Regulatory Approval: Examples for Drug Development,” National Library of Medicine, 2009
**Vivo Capital, “Portfolio,” Accessed September 8, 2023