Hope Biosciences Founder and CEO, Donna Chang.
2020 was a historic year in many regards. The global Coronavirus pandemic brought economies to a standstill, disrupted normal routines, and caused untold heartache and loss for millions. As the year draws to a close, it’s important for us at Hope Biosciences to reflect on the year by going over our work and the accomplishments we’ve made. As always, our clients, partners, and supporters were central to all of our efforts.
This was a landmark year for us at Hope. We established the Hope Biosciences Stem Cell Foundation, received FDA clearance for seven clinical trials, added 13 new team members, and produced over 88.4 billion stem cells for treatments. Many things needed to come together to accomplish this, chief among them were the dedicated efforts of our Manufacturing, Quality Control, and Clinical teams. When we rang in the new year 12 months ago, we could never have imagined the strides we would make as an organization in such a grueling period.
The first couple of months in 2020 saw a dramatic decline of activity across countless business and industries. Restaurants, night clubs, live music venues, hair salons, and everything in between were asked to shut down their normal functions as people everywhere went supermarket crazy; stocking up on everything they could get their hands on in preparation for these uncertain times. Despite the initial furious response to news of an impending pandemic, the actual concerns for health and well-being were justified. Back in March, almost no one anticipated that by year’s end we would have surpassed 300,000 American deaths to COVID-19 while rejoicing in the development and authorization of multiple vaccines for a virus that hadn’t even existed a year earlier.
Many of the years of our lives may blend and blur together, but not 2020. We were just as jolted as everyone else by the “new normal” that set in during the first couple of months of the year. We were staring into a tunnel of uncertainty for the work we had planned for the year; not knowing if we could even remain operational.
Do we send our team home indefinitely? Do we pause our clinical efforts on ALS, Alzheimer’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and all other indications? If so, for how long?
But we also asked ourselves what proved to be the most important question: How can we be a part of the solution to this looming nightmare?
Members of the Hope Biosciences Manufacturing Team promoting the use of COVID-19 safety measures.
At Hope Bio, we’ve always looked at adversity as a reason to adapt and innovate. Our main purpose here is to challenge the established methods of treatment and health care by bringing the future within reach. There are truly great people doing incredible work to combat the horrible illnesses and conditions that continue to plague our communities, and we believe our work is a compliment to those efforts; born out of the belief that there must be more that can be done. We’ve always maintained that there are better and more natural ways to treat disease and injury, and throughout our time in operation, we’ve made amazing headway on that end.
In 2020, we successfully obtained 7 FDA approvals for clinical trials and Expanded Access and completed our first trial for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Clinical trials for COVID-19, ALS, Severe Osteoarthritis, and Chronic Pain were all approved. We also built a trusted list of 72 people who’ve banked their own or their newborn’s stem cells with us believing, as we do, that hope can stem from within in the very near future. If tragedy strikes, the best medicine the body knows is close at hand.
Linette Rehkopf and David Gonzalez at United Memorial Medical Center, Houston, Texas.
As the year comes to an end, we are wrapping up our second COVID-19 clinical trial, one aimed at protecting First Responders and Frontline Workers from contracting the virus, and spent months treating 54 coronavirus patients at United Memorial Medical Center in North Houston. Additionally, we continued to further our reach and message to couples, families, and individuals to bank their stem cells for a lifetime of security, as well as continued progress on other clinical trials and right-to-try cases. Our manufacturing, quality control, and clinical teams went all out this year. In doing so, they largely validated our vision. They suited up 2,632 to enter our cleanrooms to produce the 88.5 billion stem cells that were administered through 661 individual treatments. They rose up in the face of unrivaled challenges and purposefully drove us day after day to this year’s end. We set goals and met them as a united team. And if given the opportunity to do things all over again, we couldn’t wait to bunny suit up again.
Click to expand our infographic quantifying Hope Biosciences’s progress of 2020, including over 100.2 billion stem cells made for banking & infusions.
Looking at some of the year end numbers, it’s safe to say we shocked even ourselves. Companies typically release their year-end results to the public as a sign of progress and success. But instead of posting a balance sheet, we wanted to share a different set of tallies. To get a real sense of the process it is revelatory to note that it took 16,040 tubes to conduct sterility tests, that if lined up, would stretch 1.24 miles long! We cleared 120 cell samples for cryopreservation, using 201 gallons of our proprietary HB-101 stem cell growth medium and enough flasks that, when stacked, would reach all the way to the capstone of the Washington Monument. We had 177 total participants across our separate COVID-19 clinical trials. As of mid summer, we have received FDA clearance for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Hip Osteoarthritis Expanded Access, and just 2 months ago finalized the groundwork for our next clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. The only thing we couldn’t quantify was the actual amount of Hope delivered.
As this year draws to a close, we hope to build on the progress we’ve made heading into 2021. There is tremendous work being done behind the scenes to lay the groundwork for upcoming clinical trials. Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, ALS, and Dementia are just a few of the indications we are looking to break ground on. As long as COVID continues it’s assault on our healthcare workers and first responders, we plan to be there to provide immune boost support. We know there will be a lot of exciting things to come because we feel we’re just getting started. Our banking services for adult and newborn clients is slated to add many more people to our Hope family as we look to continue offering the type of peace-of-mind that only follows lifetime stem cell banking. On a popular sentiment from 2020, we didn’t come this far to only come this far. See you in 2021!