(Photo courtesy of Danny Rogers/JHU)
In May, Sysmex Inostics moved its local operation into a new space at the tech and research hub that’s growing around Johns Hopkins University’s medical campus in East Baltimore. Executives from its Japan-based parent company Sysmex, including CEO Hisashi Ietsugu, visited earlier this month to show off how the growth in Baltimore is resonating beyond the city.
The molecular diagnostics company moved about a block from the JHU’s Rangos building to the 1812 Ashland building, which opened in 2016 to provide space for startups and established companies, as well as the university’s commercialization activity.
The new space offers more room overall, including office space that’s integrated with its labs, which will help the company as it expands its clinical testing services, said Dan Edelstein, the company’s vice president of commercial operations
Moving within JHU is fitting, as the team that operates there today traces its roots to the university: In 2008, Inostics formed as a Hamburg, Germany-based company that was based upon BEAMing technology pioneered by Dr. Bert Vogelstein and Dr. Kenneth Kinzler, co-directors of Hopkins’ Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
According to the JHU, the company pioneered the use of liquid biopsy. As we’ve reported, liquid biopsy uses a different approach to cancer testing than taking tissue samples through a traditional biopsy. Sysmex Inostics’ approach requires a blood draw and uses circulating tumor DNA as a biomarker.
The company initially established a testing lab at the JHU medical campus in 2011. Two years later, Inostics was acquired by Sysmex, which specializes in hematology analysis, lab automation and integrated lab information systems. Both outside the U.S. and abroad, the company provides disease focused liquid biopsy testing that can be used in both the clinical trial setting as well as in the clinic.
The newly expanded space shows how the connection to Johns Hopkins is continuing, and how its Baltimore operation plays a role for the company in the U.S.
“We believe the U.S. is a key to success due to the advanced market in the U.S. and unique opportunities to commercialize novel clinical tests,” Sysmex CEO Hisashi Ietsugu said while visiting the lab this month. “The laboratory here in Baltimore, connected to the Johns Hopkins campus, enables us to work together with colleagues at JHU to bring new technologies to market.”
To us, it shows one way discoveries with big implications for patients that were made at a local institution can have an impact on business growth. 1812 Ashland has been known has a home for startups, but now, there are established companies moving in, too.
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