Rodney Nash was trying to grow cancer cells and human stem cells in his lab when he realized something fundamental was wrong.
The growth media, the substance many scientists use to grow cells in petri dishes and flasks, typically contain animal products. And that can skew the results of research involving human cells.
Essentially, the medium that so many scientists rely on is “a contaminant,” Nash said.
He couldn’t find many alternatives on the market, so he began mixing ingredients to make his own media, creating a new product that could be a boon to researchers trying to find a cure for cancer and other diseases.
“We thought, if we want to grow the cells for human testing, we need some type of human media,” said Nash, the president and chief executive officer of Jeevan Biosciences Inc., a stem cell company in Georgia State University’s CollabTech biotechnology business incubator. “We’re trying to make a human model that people can use to study. You can’t use animal products.”
Jeevan Biosciences Inc. has applied for a patent for the product called Neuro-X™, which is free of animal and blood products. Nash also landed a distributor, Worldwide Medical Products Inc., and the product is being sold commercially. Because it doesn’t include serum, a blood product, the media do not require refrigeration, which reduces shipping costs, he said.