By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
The Bahamas’ first stem cell treatment facility yesterday confirmed it has been acquired by a UK-based medical provider, with a deal designed to grow the operation and the number of patients it treats.
Freeport-based Okyanos Cell Therapy has been purchased by Thorn Medical PLC, which recently obtained its license to conduct stem cell research and therapy in this nation from the National Stem Cell Ethics Committee (NSEC).
While the purchase price was not disclosed, the deal is expected to expand Okyanos’s business and boost its ability to reach and treat more patients.
Matthew Feshbach and Manual Vianna, Okyanos’s co-founders, invested around $14 million in establishing the facility, which provides stem cell therapy to chronically ill patients in a bid to improve their quality of life.
“We have created the world’s leading, purpose-built cell therapy facility, selected a first-class medical and administrative team, and most importantly have safely treated nearly 200 patients and achieved some truly remarkable outcomes,” the pair said in a statement issued by Okyanos.
“Having made it a priority to provide leading edge technology and standards of safety and care to our patients, our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for each life we touch.
“Thus, we are happy to announce to you and the medical and business communities that we are joining Thorn’s international healthcare group in an overall strategy to grow Okyanos and reach more patients.”
Okyanos opened in Freeport in 2011. Some 200 patients have been treated to date at its clinic in the First Commercial Building on the Mall.
“Importantly, Thorn Medical and Okyanos share a common vision of making better healthcare options accessible to patients. Thorn is also committed to the Bahamas, and we are proud to join an international healthcare group with such an alignment of interests,” Messrs Feshbach and Vianna said.
Thorn Medical was founded in 2014, and has focused on the development of, scientifically-validated medical technology and healthcare services companies.
Jack Kaye, its chief executive, said: “Okyanos is a Cell Therapy Centre of Excellence with a world-class medical and scientific team.
“They have already successfully treated nearly 200 patients, achieving remarkable outcomes and greatly improving their quality of life.
“We plan to leverage the state-of-the-art facilities and expert staff of Okyanos to quickly become the leading adult stem cell therapy company in the Western world. We look forward to welcoming the Okyanos team to the group.”
Mr Feshbach added: “We have demonstrated clinically that multiple conditions can respond to Okyanos cell therapy in a single treatment, greatly improving the quality of life for our patients.
“Our advanced technologies allow us to perform real-time stem cell therapy by harvesting, isolating and returning ADRCs to the same patient in the same day”.
Mr Vianna said: “We have very high patient satisfaction and are now ready to rapidly increase patient numbers. We were looking for a partner to help speed up our growth, so are delighted to have joined Thorn Medical’s international healthcare group.”
Thorn Medical PLC also provides management services to medical technology, pharmaceutical product and healthcare services companies worldwide.
It focuses on disease prevention, immunity optimisation, disease treatment, and research and development. Thorn Medical also offers clean waste development, creative supply and pharmaceutical solutions; develops hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities in the Bahamas; develops antibiotics to destroy pathogenic and antimicrobial-resistant bacteria; researches, develops, and markets medical devices for use in disease treatment, such as helix lock products; and provides e-pharmacy solutions for healthcare products and services.