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San Antonio biotech company strikes big deal on its home turf
January 18, 2017

CEO Bob Hutchens says the San Antonio company has added some crucial firepower to bolster its global commercialization

By W. Scott Bailey, San Antonio Business Journal

StemBioSys Inc. has cleared a major hurdle on its path to commercialization in North America. The San Antonio-based biotech company, which has struck product distribution deals in Asia and Europe, has now gained crucial product support here in North America.

StemBioSys President and CEO Bob Hutchens said the Alamo City company has reached an agreement with VWR Corp. to exclusively market and distribute stem cell products in the U.S. and in Canada.

VWR (NASDAQ:VWR), which has its headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania, is a global player in the life sciences industry. Hutchens said the company will play a crucial role in StemBioSys' international expansion.

"This is a huge deal for us," Hutchens told me. "Early last year, we identified the need to significantly increase our sales efforts in the U.S. and Canada. We also recognized that our limited scope and resources meant that we could not do this alone. We needed to find a partner to help us grow."

StemBioSys initially entered into discussions with VWR in March 2016. Hutchens said those talks led to an agreement that will give the San Antonio company hundreds more sales personnel and other important marketing resources.

"The coverage with researchers in the U.S. and Canada we'll get is something we simply could not build on our own," Hutchens said.

He added that the deal also provides StemBioSys and its products with a "seal of approval" of sorts because of VWR's international track record. That endorsement is expected to provide an additional boost to StemBioSys' international commercialization efforts.

Currently, StemBioSys has similar deals with three other companies - Funakoshi, Nextcell and Seoulin Bioscience. Those agreements have allowed the San Antonio company to penetrate major markets in Japan, Europe and South Korea, respectively.

There is no additional distribution deal pending at this point. However, Hutchens said some of StemBioSys' existing agreements could be expanded to cover more products and geography.


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