Cincinnati Children's and CTI Announce Name and Managing Director of Joint Venture

Covington, Kentucky--(Newsfile Corp. - April 19, 2022) - Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the research service provider CTI Clinical Trial & Consulting Services (CTI) today announced the selection of both a name and a managing director for their new joint venture, which will focus on providing cell and gene therapy manufacturing services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Named Current Biologics, as a nod to both the cutting-edge technologies it will help develop and the Ohio River that connects Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, the company will be led by Robert Preti, PhD.

"Dr. Preti has more than 30 years of experience in the regenerative medicine space, including time spent as chairman of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine," said Tim Schroeder, who is chairman and CEO of CTI as well as chairman of Current Biologics. "He has been involved in the development of Current Biologics since the initial discussions, during which he provided invaluable guidance. His leadership will be crucial in these formative years."

Preti will lead the growth of Current Biologics - overseeing the design and construction of a multimillion-dollar facility, recruiting top talent for a team of more than 150 employees, and initiating business development opportunities.

"I've been working in the world of cell and gene therapy for decades, and I'm looking forward to bringing the lessons I've learned from previous experiences to this joint venture," Preti said. "The teams from CTI and Cincinnati Children's, who have been spearheading efforts up to this point, have been great to work with - and 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."

Steve Davis, MD, president and CEO of Cincinnati Children's, said 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 said. "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.

"The announcement of Dr. Preti as Current Biologics' first employee is a major step and sets the tone for the new company," said Thomas Finn, vice chair of the Cincinnati Children's board and president of the Current Biologics board of managers. "We see a significant need in the market for cell and gene therapy manufacturing services, and his direct expertise will be instrumental in guiding the company to both short-term and long-term success."

The joint venture will include a new state-of-the-art clinical Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility capable of producing multiple vectors for cell and gene therapy research, which will be able to support dozens of clients focusing on early-stage development and have built-in flexibility for future needs in the fast-changing industry. 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.

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Robert Preti, PhD, Managing Director of Current Biologics

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About Robert “Bob” Preti, PhDDr. Robert “Bob” Preti is a forerunner in the Cell & Gene space, with extensive experience in advancing these therapies. He was recently honored by the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) with their 2022 Career Achievement Award, the organization’s highest honor. He was co-founder for Progenitor Cell Therapy (PCT, later known as HCATS and now Minaris), a contract development and manufacturing firm specializing in the production of cell and gene therapy products. Before Preti founded PCT, he held several leadership positions in the cell therapy and blood banking fields. Some of his positions included chairman, CEO, president, chief strategy officer, and director. Additionally, Preti spent six years as vice chairman, member of the board and Executive Committee, and then chairman of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine. And he was a founding member of the International Society of Hematotherapy and Graft Engineering, which is now known as the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT).

About Cincinnati Children's

Cincinnati Children's ranks among the top five in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's 2021-22 listing of Best Children's Hospitals. A nonprofit, academic medical center established in 1883, Cincinnati Children's is one of the top three recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The medical center is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education, and innovation. Additional information about technologies developed at Cincinnati Children's may be found at Innovation.CincinnatiChildrens.org

About CTI

CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services is a privately held, full-service contract research organization, delivering a complete spectrum of clinical trial and consulting services throughout the lifecycle of development, from concept to commercialization. CTI's focused therapeutic approach provides pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device firms with clinical and disease area expertise in rare diseases, regenerative medicine/gene therapy, immunology, transplantation, nephrology, hematology/oncology, neurology, infectious diseases, hepatology, cardiopulmonary, and pediatric populations. CTI also offers a fully integrated multi-specialty clinical research site, as well as complete global laboratory services. Now in its third decade, CTI is one of the 20 largest CROs in the world, with associates in more than 60 countries across six continents. CTI is headquartered in the Greater Cincinnati area, with operations across North America, Europe, Latin America, MEA and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit www.ctifacts.com

Contacts

Cincinnati Children's: Barrett J. Brunsman | Barrett.Brunsman@cchmc.org
CTI: Caitrin Cardosi | ccardosi@ctifacts.com

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