BioForward is reaching out to members to highlight their organizations through a new member profile feature to tell more of their stories. BrainXell agreed to be interviewed as a part of our efforts to heighten the awareness of our region.

About your organization:

BrainXell was founded in 2015 with a mission of providing the highest quality neuron and glia model systems to the academia industry for use in CNS drug discovery and development. Guiding this mission is the core philosophy that model systems employed in biomedical research should have the highest possible relevance to normal human physiology and disease pathophysiology. Utilizing proprietary technology developed over the last two decades by Professor Su-Chun Zhang at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we generate high-purity, subtype-specific neurons, and glia that rapidly mature. Multiple neuron subtypes, astrocytes, and microglia relevant to a range of disorders are available. Additionally, any of these cells can be made in custom batches from 50 million to 10 billion cells from iPSC or ESC lines selected by the customer.

What do you find valuable about being a member of BioForward Wisconsin?

We have been pleased with the work BioForward has done as a champion for the Wisconsin biotechnology ecosystem. Over the years, the networking events have been fantastic opportunities to connect with other organizations in our industry and share ideas for growth. As a small startup, the BioSavings Program has been valuable for obtaining optimal pricing from numerous vendors. Additionally, BioForward and WEDC have provided valuable guidance and support for attending the BIO International Convention.

What are the key areas of or achievements by your organization that are impacting the state of Wisconsin and the overall biohealth industry?

BrainXell has become a globally recognized provider of the highest quality iPSC-derived neurons and glia for critical drug development projects. We have worked with hundreds of different iPSC lines from various disease states, generating billions of neurons and glia for delivery to the top pharmaceutical companies and research institutions in the world. Our expertise in neuroscience and stem cell biology has enabled us to grow steadily year after year and consistently meet our customer’s needs. We are delighted to contribute to the exceptional reputation that Madison and Wisconsin have in the stem cell industry.

What about the future of research, medical, technological innovation excites you the most?

Innovation is at the core of what we do at BrainXell, and the amazing rate at which knowledge has accelerated in the past 20 years is astounding. Discoveries are happening daily, and the ability to access that information enables our innovation. The potential for precision medicine continues to drive BrainXell and our customers. The possibilities are endless from stem cell reprogramming to gene editing and nucleotide sequencing and artificial intelligence.

Why Wisconsin? What does Wisconsin (and/or Madison/Milwaukee) offer for your company and/or your/its families?

The University of Wisconsin has a tremendous legacy for innovation and developing talented scientists. This foundation has been critical for the creation and growth of BrainXell. The technology that created BrainXell originated at the University, and we continue to collaborate with many researchers on campus. Beyond the depth of knowledge in the stem cell and neuroscience fields, Madison also benefits from being one of the most livable cities in the world. The wide variety of options for outdoor activities, such as biking, hiking, swimming, and skiing (in the winter) provides endless opportunities for fun. Most importantly, the people in Wisconsin are welcoming and engaging, making this a wonderful place to both raise a family and enjoy time with friends.

What would you recommend about or say to others about Wisconsin’s biohealth industry and research institutions?

Wisconsin is a hidden gem in the biotechnology world, with a diverse collection of both large and small, new, and mature companies located here. This rich environment allows companies to grow and succeed by learning from others in the community. The research institutions in Wisconsin are also among the top in the world, driving the development of innovative technologies, pioneering medical approaches, and training the next generation of life science professionals. This dynamic force makes Wisconsin a champion in the bio sector.

What is one thing others may not know about your organization?

BrainXell has grown consistently by being an extremely focused company. We provide the most relevant neuron and glia model systems to the research community to enable medical research. By providing the best products available, we hope to accelerate scientific knowledge in the most difficult discipline, but also one that has the potential to grow rapidly in the coming years.

Advance Your Career. Change Lives. Wisconsin’s biohealth industry is booming, making it a great place to live, work, and play! Learn more about job opportunities and find your future at biohealth companies on the Wisconsin Biohealth Career Opportunities site.