Since the late 19th century, scientists from around the globe have contributed to the discovery of platelets, the many roles they play in the body, and how to regulate them.
Some of the earliest work was done at Massachusetts General Hospital, where Dr. James Homer Wright first observed how progenitor cells called megakaryocytes form long arms inside the bone marrow, which then bud off platelets into the bloodstream.
A Hungarian scientist first proposed that a growth factor regulating the production of platelets must exist in 1958. Yet it wasn’t until 1994 that five groups working independently discovered thrombopoietin almost simultaneously.
Since then, scientists have focused on how to stimulate the production of platelets, and ultimately, how to make platelets ex vivo. Much of the science that forms the basis of Platelet BioGenesis comes from the laboratories of Joseph Italiano, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Jonathan Thon, Ph.D., who also headed a lab at Brigham and Women’s before joining the company as Chief Executive Officer in 2017. Yet we realize that our work stands on the foundation built by dozens of scientists who have worked for more than a century to understand the complex and crucial role played by platelets. It is our hope that having a predictable, donor-free source of functional platelets will help doctors treat patients dealing with trauma, cancer and many other conditions more effectively.