Trailhead Biosystems

Trailhead Biosystems

Trailhead Biosystems merges developmental biology with cutting edge hardware, and computerized experimental design and analysis to develop optimized cell therapy recipes.

Typically cell culture optimization is done using single-factor techniques. One factor is held constant while another is varied and a response measured.  The highest response of both experiments then dictates the optimized condition.  Most cell culture differentiation media formulations contain 3-6 factors, so employing classical empirical testing is tedious and expensive, and fails to identify combinatorial effects in cell culture.

What sets apart Trailhead Biosystems from other companies is the combination of robotic fluidics, industrial mathematical modeling software, and strong developmental biology knowledge to interpret the results and devise optimized cell culture recipes.  Much of these methods are used in the pharmaceutical industry to develop new drugs but has never before been applied in animal cell culture.  The primary reason is that there was not a need in the academic setting to optimize the manufacturing methods and meet a market demand.  This has changed and new methods are now required for regulatory approval and reduce scale-up manufacturing costs. Trailhead can perform 12-factor, simultaneously tested experiments which maximize information gathering, reduce cost and time, and identify important media combinations necessary for efficient differentiation and expansion.

Trailhead is a spinout of a Case Western Reserve University core facility, OH-Alive, created from a 2013 Ohio Third Frontier Innovative Platform Program grant. We’re 5 employees and plan to expand this to 10 in the next year.


Location: Northeast Ohio

Technology Sector: Medical

Funding Type: Series A


Michael Gilkey

Chief Executive Officer

Jan Jensen

Chief Scientific Officer