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August 19, 2020 | Categorised in: Press Releases
RUCDR Infinite Biologics Becomes Infinity BiologiX
Company spins off from Rutgers University to strengthen its impact and leadership position as a Next-Generation Central Laboratory
RUCDR Infinite Biologics, one of the world’s largest academic biorepositories and a leader in biobanking, bioprocessing, and analytics, today relaunched as Infinity BiologiX (IBX) after the sale of its business and assets by Rutgers University. The IBX team, including more than 400 scientists and technicians, will continue to operate at the Rutgers campus. The business received a significant infusion of growth capital from Viking Global Investors. With these milestones complete, IBX is now operationally and financially independent from Rutgers. The sale was approved by the Rutgers Board of Governors in June.
IBX, which will maintain its academic and scientific connections to Rutgers, remains committed to RUCDR’s founding mission of understanding the genetic causes of common, complex diseases and discovering new diagnoses, treatments, and cures. As an independent organization, the company will be able to rapidly advance this mission while amplifying its commercial presence, including the development of new and unique biomaterial-based solutions in regenerative medicine and oncology.
Leading the new company as Chief Executive and Scientific Officer will be Dr. Andrew Brooks, previously Chief Operating Officer of RUCDR. Brooks will retain an adjunct appointment as a Professor of Genetics at Rutgers. Other members of the IBX executive team include Robin Grimwood, President & Chief Operating Officer, and Russell Hager, Executive VP and Strategic Operations, both of whom worked with RUCDR in previous roles.
“The transition to IBX enables us to scale and innovate at a pace which will increase our footprint both here in the U.S. and abroad. RUCDR has made a profound impact in academia and industry in the areas of genomics, biological sciences, and medicine. We now look forward to the immense opportunity ahead as an organization independent from Rutgers while maintaining our core academic drive and mission,” Grimwood said.
IBX will serve as a next-generation central lab to support academia, government and industry. The company will provide global sample collection, processing, storage, and analytical services integrated with scientific and technical support in both the research and clinical arenas.
As a leader in biomaterials, IBX provides support to the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and research in the genomics, precision, and regenerative medicine arenas. “Rutgers and RUCDR Infinite Biologics built an incredible partnership and we are proud of what has been accomplished over the last 20 years.” said Dr. S. David Kimball, Senior Vice President, Office of Research and Economic Development at Rutgers University. “With its team of world-class scientists and strong executive leadership, IBX is now poised to become an even more influential next-generation central laboratory,” he added. The team has received worldwide attention since the spring when it received FDA emergency use authorization for its innovative COVID-19 saliva test. It was the first test to utilize saliva as the primary biomaterial for SARS-CoV-2, and RUCDR Infinite Biologics subsequently became the first company to offer at-home collection with this approach.
The new saliva collection method allows for broader population screening than the current method of nose and throat swabs. Brooks explained, “It means we no longer have to put health care professionals at risk for infection by performing nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal collections. We can preserve precious personal protective equipment for use in patient care instead of testing. We can significantly increase the number of people tested each day as self-collection of saliva is quicker and more scalable than swab collections. All of this combined will have a tremendous impact on testing in New Jersey and across the United States.”
Brooks continued, “Our development of the world’s first COVID-19 saliva test and the work that IBX will now embark on as we continue to improve and expand the test demonstrate the agility and potential impact of this new organizational structure. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, we developed a healthcare framework with industry-leading performance alongside our partners. The flexibility we now have as IBX will allow us to innovate the test to address changing needs over the coming months and expand production as the demand for population screening across the country intensifies. This agile and effective approach will be used to develop additional diagnostics and other more fully integrated programs with existing and new partners in the very near future.”
Hager said: “I’ve worked closely with RUCDR for nearly a decade and now look forward to being a part of the IBX executive team in this exciting new chapter. This transition will allow us to grow through technical platform expansion, scientific innovation, and commercial team development. Through these advancements, we will increase our reach and impact across a growing number of sectors.”