Roundup: Aastrom, Gale, STEM summer camps, Beringea, HelloWorld
Here’s a look at news you may have missed from around Southeast Michigan’s innovation community:
—Aastrom Biosciences (NASDAQ:ASTM) has appointed Ross Tubo as chief scientific officer and David Recker as chief medical officer. Tubo was formerly vice president of stem cell research and chemokine biology at Genzyme, where he oversaw R&D for two of the first FDA-approved autologous cellular therapies. Recker most recently served as senior vice president of clinical studies at Takeda Global Research and Development.
Ann Arbor-based Aastrom says Tubo and Recker will play key roles in directing the future development of ixmyelocel-T, a multicellular therapy derived from the patient’s own stem cells to treat severe, chronic cardiovascular diseases. In March 2013, Aastrom announced it was scrapping its REVIVE-CLI Phase 3 clinical study of the company’s multicell therapy for patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI). Aastrom also slashed its workforce in half in a reorganization of its R&D operation. At the time, newly appointed CEO Nick Colangelo told Xconomy that Aastrom was aligning its corporate structure to go with a new strategy, which is to focus on the Phase 2b study of ixmyelocel-T. The appointment of Tubo and Recker seem to indicate the continuation of that strategy.
—Farmington Hills-based Gale, which is part of Cengage Learning, has launched Career Online High School to its public library partners, including the Los Angeles Public Library. Available to public libraries nationwide, Career Online High School allows library patrons to earn a high school diploma online. Gale said the system is designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for a job or post-secondary education. Once enrolled, students are paired with an academic coach, who offers the student a custom career plan, ongoing mentorship, and performance evaluations.
—This week, Wayne State University’s College of Engineering announced two upcoming summer camps to promote STEM education. The camps, held on the university’s campus in Detroit, are open to students ages 9 to 18.
Camp Engineering will run June 16 to July 10, Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students will learn about biomedical engineering and how to write Android software. The cost of the camp is $350 and includes lunch. Computer Science Summer Camps will run July 7-24, Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Depending on their age, students will learn about creating high-tech toys, robotics, animation and movies, Web technology, Android apps, and computer gaming. The cost of the camp is $495 and includes lunch. Discounts are available; click here for more information.
—Beringea, a private equity firm with offices in Farmington Hills and London, announced this week that it has exited from Eagle Rock Entertainment, which has been sold to Universal Music Group for an undisclosed sum. Eagle Rock Entertainment is the largest global producer and distributor of music programming for DVD, TV, and digital media. Its catalog features the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, U2, Paul McCartney, and more. In conjunction with the deal, Eagle-I Music has been spun out of Eagle Rock as a separate company, and will continue to be supported by Beringea’s investment.
—HelloWorld, the Pleasant Ridge-based tech company formerly known as ePrize, has awarded two computer science students its inaugural technology scholarship. In partnership with the Michigan Colleges Alliance, the HelloWorld Technology Scholarship provides financial assistance to college students while connecting them to potential internship and employment opportunities. A total of two $5,000 scholarships were awarded for the 2014-2015 academic year to Andy Peterson of Calvin College and Samuel Delamarter of Aquinas College.