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Gov. Evers, state leaders tour UW biotech spinoff Stratatech

December 20, 2021 By Kristina LeVan

UW–Madison ingenuity was on display Friday, Dec. 17, as state officials and university leadership toured Stratatech Corp. in University Research Park in Madison.

Gov. Tony Evers, Department of Safety and Professional Services Secretary Dawn Crim, and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Deputy Secretary Sam Rikkers joined Chancellor Rebecca Blank and representatives from University Research Park and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) as they learned more about the UW–Madison origins of Stratatech’s technology and engaged in a demonstration of its regenerative skin tissue product, StrataGraft.

“Stratatech is an excellent example of the innovative ideas coming out of UW–Madison and universities across the state,” Evers said. “Wisconsin’s technology and biotechnology sectors continue to see rapid growth that is boosting the state’s economy and workforce.”

Stratatech, founded by former UW–Madison researcher and pathology professor Lynn Allen-Hoffmann, is an example of the university’s investment in research discoveries. Allen-Hoffmann founded Stratatech in 2000 to develop a cell-based therapeutic to help treat burn victims using a unique skin cell line discovered in her UW laboratory. Her motivation for the innovative product came after watching a UW–Madison burn surgeon operate on a farmer who suffered third-degree burns and recognizing the need for alternatives to the currently available treatments.

“The work being done at Stratatech is a reminder of the extraordinary value of the life-changing research being done at UW–Madison. The discoveries that come out of classrooms, laboratories and research stations across the state are saving lives in Wisconsin and around the globe,” Blank said.

Stratatech, now owned by global biopharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt, went on to develop StrataGraft, a bioengineered, living, human cell-based construct, which received FDA approval for use by health care providers in June 2021. Manufacturing for StrataGraft has started in the Stratatech facility in Madison.

“UW–Madison is such an integral part of StrataGraft history, and we’re proud of the innovative spirit that has fueled this journey from the university lab to use in burn centers across the nation,” said Steven Romano, executive vice president and chief scientific officer at Mallinckrodt. “Our employees and the scientific talent here in Madison have deep roots with the university, and we’re so thankful for the continued collaboration. It truly is making a difference in patients’ lives.”

The company is one of more than 400 startups to emerge from research and education at UW–Madison since 1990. These startups generate an annual economic impact of $10 billion in Wisconsin, as well as 42,855 jobs and $320,224,874 in state and local tax revenue, according to a report released in February.

Discoveries like these are made possible by UW–Madison’s billion-dollar research engine that actively supports research-based product development, and through university-affiliates such as WARF, which issues one new patent to UW–Madison every two days through its leading patent system.