SMITHFIELD, Va. – An April 12 announcement by Smithfield Foods Inc. detailed a new strategic platform based on using the byproducts of meat processing to develop pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and medical device solutions. According to a statement from the company, Smithfield plans to take a leadership position in the development and support of a range of biotechnology solutions in human therapeutics, tissue fabrication and regenerative medicine.
“Our commitment to innovation and sustainability stretches across all aspects of our company," Kenneth Sullivan, president and CEO of Smithfield Foods, said in a statement. "Smithfield Bioscience reflects these same values by finding new uses for byproducts that benefit the health and well-being of others.”
Currently Smithfield sells byproducts to companies that develop drugs used to treat issues ranging from indigestion to hypothyroidism to deep vein thrombosis. Smithfield Bioscience will take these efforts a step further by focusing on processes such as tissue regeneration and the availability of viable, human, transplant organs.
“This dedicated team is solely focused on the responsible and transparent pursuit of these science-based endeavors,” the company statement said.
Smithfield Bioscience has joined in participating in the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI) as one of its first projects. The public-private US manufacturing initiative has brought 100 academic, robotic and pharmaceutical organizations together to develop future technologies and manufacturing processes for cell, tissue and organ development. The US Dept. of Defense has provided funding for the group and it will initially focus on the technology that enables the repair and replacement of tissues of soldiers injured during combat. Smithfield Science will also work on immunology therapy with Harvard Medical School and Columbia Univ.
"Smithfield is a longstanding 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 US medical and pharmaceutical industry achieve significant, scalable developments in biologics."