Kentucky Firm Eager to Grow in ARMI's 'Fertile Research Ground"
Updated: Jun 10, 2020
MANCHESTER – Michael Golway is so bullish on Dean Kamen and someday manufacturing human organs that he is moving a dozen staffers to Manchester at year’s end.
The president and CEO of a Kentucky company, Advanced Solutions, Golway said he can foresee housing as many as 150 workers here within three years and perhaps 10 times that number years down the road – reaping potentially billions of dollars of yearly revenue.
“I think it has the opportunity for a small company to play a role in something that could be very big and profound and impactful – not only for our country but for a lot of people around the world,” Golway said by phone from Kentucky last week.
Golway is talking about the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute, which is ramping up in the Millyard. Kamen spearheaded Manchester securing ARMI and about $294 million in government and private investment committed. ARMI hopes to make the manufacturing of human body parts commercially viable.
Golway hopes his company’s invention of the world’s first 3-D human tissue printer that operates on a six-axis robot can be incorporated into ARMI’s work.
A subsidiary, Advanced Solutions Life Sciences, plans to set up “a research lab where we’re using 3-D printer technology to grow blood vessels outside the body,” he said.
“Certainly, the vision that Dean has to develop the way forward for mass producing the production of human organs, we think vascularization is going to be a key part of it,” Golway said. “We see a real fertile research ground where folks that will be involved with ARMI and BioFabUSA can potentially use our technology. The more we get to use it in different applications, the better we can get.
“It’s a learning and improvement opportunity,” he said. “We also have designed and built and we currently sell the first 3-D human tissue printer that uses a six-axis robot.”
During a recent speech in Concord, Kamen noted Advanced Solutions’ commitment to moving a dozen workers to “help the Millyard become the beginning of an ecosystem.”
Company officials were in Manchester for ARMI’s kickoff in July.
“My sense is they were beyond excited about collaborating with ARMI and really were impressed with what they were seeing in Manchester and with the Millyard and struck them as an environment where they could be successful,” said Mike Skelton, president and CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said.
Golway showed that excitement during a phone interview.
“I was definitely a little star-struck,” he said of meeting Kamen, whose inventions include the Segway Human Transporter and the first wearable insulin pump for diabetics. “He’s a powerful visionary and somebody that I’ve come to admire and trust.”
Golway thinks now is the time to move science to a higher level. “Just taking out all the barriers to discovery” and “bring subject experts together to accelerate discovery and move the science forward,” he said. “That’s very appealing to me as an entrepreneur and business owner.”
Using human fat cells, “we have a technique where we can extract the fat and 3-D print the microvessels” and grow them outside the body, he said.
Their efforts have shown promise in testing on rats.
“We can do implants into animals,” he said. “We have not gone to human trial at this point.” He hopes that will start in the next three to five years.
An engineer by training, Golway sees a human heart as a collection of cell assemblies just as a car has thousands of subassemblies.
“Our approach is to take it in small segments,” he said, and “bring the subassemblies into more complex structures.”
Think of stitching afghan squares together.
“It’s not like the printer prints the heart all at once,” he said. “We bring it together to make more complex structures all the way up to a full organ.”