The founders of two biotech research companies are moving their lab to the University of New Orleans in July. LaCell LLC, and its spin-off company, Obatala Sciences, will be housed on the second floor of the Science Building within the Advanced Materials Research Institute (AMRI).
“We are excited about these new companies moving into AMRI. This will expand the number of startups in the institute, further increasing internship and job opportunities for our students,” said John Wiley, director of AMRI. “Further, the unique materials these companies are working on will greatly complement current AMRI faculty research programs, allowing for the development of new, cutting edge materials including those of technological and medical importance.”
LaCell LLC was founded in 2010 by Dr. Jeffrey Gimble and Dr. Xiying Wu and, in 2017, they founded Obatala Sciences with Trivia Frazier. The companies synergize and focus on creating biotech products that help increase efficiency and reduce costs of drug development.
The focus of LaCell LLC is on stem cell research and the clinical translation of that research, according to its website. Obatala is a tissue-engineering company that offers, among other services, a 3-D human adipose tissue culture system that is marketed for disease modeling and drug discovery within the obesity, diabetes, metabolism, pharmaceutical and academic sectors.
The University of New Orleans was selected by Obatala and LaCell because of the University’s ability to meet their rapidly growing needs for space, core facilities, and trained personnel, company officials say.
“We are excited to be a part of the University. We believe our company can help provide an opportunity to train undergraduate students as well as collaborate with the UNO faculty,” said Frazier, CEO and president of Obatala Sciences. “Our company is on the cutting edge for bio technology. We are confident that this partnership brings mutual growth to the University and our business.”
LaCell LLC and Obatala Sciences will join startups InnoGenomics and Advano already on campus in AMRI facilities.