Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Rochester firm working with genetically engineered pigs acquires San Francisco start-up's research

Cytotheryx, a Rochester firm co-founded by Mayo Clinic that uses genetically engineered pigs to make human liver cells, recently acquired the intellectual assets of a San Francisco biotech company.

Cytotheryx logo

ROCHESTER — Cytotheryx , a Rochester firm co-founded by Mayo Clinic that uses genetically engineered pigs to make human liver cells, recently acquired the intellectual assets of a defunct San Francisco biotech company.

Cytotheryx, co-founded by Iowa-based Exemplar Genetics and Mayo Clinic in 2018, announced last week that it picked up the intellectual property assets of Ambys Medicines, Inc. Exemplar is known for developing transgenic pigs for use in medical research.

Ambys was also launched in 2018 with a $100 million investment with a goal to “reverse disease in patients with decompensated liver disease.” When a $47 million investment was announced in December 2021, Ambys’ chief science officer described the company as a “moonshot” due to the “tremendous challenge” of producing the types of needed cells at scale.

At the end of 2022, Ambys quietly closed its doors. That opened the opportunity for Cytotheryx to add Ambys’ work to its assets.

“We are excited about the opportunity to move this technology forward to address this critical unmet medical need. The Ambys Medicines IP includes innovative approaches to treat liver disease that, if successful, will redefine how it is viewed medically,” stated Cytotheryx CEO Dr. John Swart in the announcement of the deal. “Our team is well-positioned to integrate the Ambys Medicines IP portfolio into the Cytotheryx clinical pipeline, accelerating our progress to that goal.”


Swart is also a co-founder of Exemplar Genetics.

Adding Ambys’ technology and research is expected to significantly bolster Cytotheryx’s preclinical cell therapy program and adds to its clinical applications. Company leaders say the goal is for Cytotheryx to enter the research market in 2024.

Cytotheryx has been active in the past few years in Med City in the Mayo Clinic Business Accelerator and One Discovery Square in downtown Rochester as well as in other Mayo Clinic facilities.

Rochester Area Economic Development Inc. presented Cytotheryx with a $200,000 Economic Development Fund loan in 2021.

“The EDF funds will allow our team to continue to focus on advancing the science and building a successful company for which our whole community can be proud,” stated Cyotheryx Director of Business Development Anna Haugo, when the EDF loan was announced.

Heard Around Rochester - Jeff Kiger.png

Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard Around Rochester," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. The opinions of my employer do not necessarily reflect my opinions. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.
What To Read Next
Get Local