Research Horizons


Introducing…Current Biologics

Cincinnati Children’s and CTI announce name for joint venture and select a managing director

Cincinnati Children’s and the Northern Kentucky-based research service provider CTI Clinical Trial & Consulting Services will call their cell and gene therapy manufacturing joint venture Current Biologics.

And the company will be led by Robert Preti, PhD, a 30-year veteran in the regenerative medicine space.

The name, Current Biologics, is a nod to both the cutting-edge technologies it will help develop and the Ohio River that connects Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

Preti’s career includes time spent as chairman of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, co-founder of Progenitor Cell Therapy (now Minaris), and other leadership positions in the cell therapy and blood banking.

Now, Preti will oversee the design and construction of a multimillion-dollar facility, talent recruitment for a team of more than 150 employees, and initiating business development opportunities.

The planned clinical Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility will be capable of producing multiple vectors for cell and gene therapy research. It will be able to support dozens of clients focusing on early-stage development and will have built-in flexibility for future needs.

The specific location has yet to be determined, but the facility will be in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region. The opening date is expected to be 2023.

Steve Davis, MD, president and CEO of Cincinnati Children’s, says the joint venture will enable the medical center to expand on the work of its existing Translational Core Laboratory, which manufactures and tests services for cell and gene therapy clinical trials.

“The formation of Current Biologics will help ensure that our patients–and others around the world ­–have ready access to the most innovative and effective therapies,” Davis says. “It also will support Cincinnati Children’s efforts as one of the leading medical centers committed to scientific research, training and education.”

CTI and Cincinnati Children’s agreed in December 2021 to form the joint venture, noting that medicine is rapidly evolving toward cell- and gene-based therapies.

Cell-based therapies involve the administration of live cells to a patient to treat or cure a disease by replenishing or replacing damaged/dysfunctional cells. Gene therapy involves the introduction, replacement, removal, or change in the content of an individual’s genetic code to treat or cure a disease.

Tim Schroeder, chairman and CEO of CTI as well as chairman of Current Biologics, notes that Petri has been involved in the development of Current Biologics since initial discussions.

Preti says the teams from CTI and Cincinnati Children’s have been great to work with.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to collaborate as we establish Current Biologics as the go-to resource for emerging companies in the cell and gene therapy space,” Preti says. 

Read the full news release about the joint venture