Smithfield Foods Inc. announced April 12 the launch of a new strategic platform within the organization that leverages byproducts from the meat production process for the development of pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and medical device solutions. The company said it is taking a leadership position in developing these types of cutting-edge initiatives, which support a range of biotechnology solutions in areas of human therapeutics, tissue fabrication and regenerative medicine.
"Our commitment to innovation and sustainability stretches across all aspects of our company," Kenneth Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods, said. "Smithfield Bioscience reflects these same values by finding new uses for byproducts that benefit the health and well-being of others."
Smithfield currently sells byproducts to pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies, which use these materials to develop drugs that treat a range of issues, from indigestion to hypothyroidism to deep-vein thrombosis. The company said Smithfield Bioscience will expand upon these efforts by exploring new methods and technologies for addressing concerns such as tissue regeneration and the availability of viable human organs for transplantation; the dedicated team will solely focused on the responsible and transparent pursuit of these science-based endeavors.
One of Smithfield Bioscience's first projects is participation in the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI), a public/private U.S. manufacturing initiative that brings together 100 organizations across academia, advanced robotics and pharmaceutical to develop next-generation technologies and manufacturing processes for cells, tissue and organ development. With funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, the consortium is initially focused on technologies that would enable the repair and replacement of human tissue for soldiers injured in combat. Smithfield Bioscience is also working with Harvard Medical School and Columbia University on the research and development of immunology therapies.
"Smithfield is a long-standing leader in sustainability and renewables with a broad geographic presence and strong manufacturing expertise," said Courtney Stanton, vice president of the new Bioscience Group for Smithfield Foods. "With these capabilities, our vertical integration and a reputation for transparency and quality, Smithfield Bioscience is well-positioned to help the U.S. medical and pharmaceutical industry achieve significant, scalable developments in biologics."