In 1974, a group of forward-thinking doctors, with the support of the Bexar County Medical Society, recognized the need for the establishment of a blood collection center dedicated to serving area hospitals.
They created the South Texas Regional Blood Bank. In its first year, the new enterprise drew 25,000 blood components used by local and regional medical providers for the patients they served.
By 1976, larger accommodations were required. After two more moves, the blood bank settled in 1994 into its current space at 6211 Interstate 10 and renamed itself, due to expanded capabilities, the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center. Nearly 40 years’ worth of growth led the nonprofit organization to change its name in 2013 to BioBridge Global (BBG). BBG now is the umbrella company for the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center; QualTex Laboratories, which tests blood and plasma products for clients worldwide (including STBTC); GenCure, which procures and processes donated human tissue, cells and umbilical cord blood; and The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation, which raises funds and awareness for BBG’s work.
“Our journey in 40 years from being a regional blood bank to becoming a multifaceted biomedical organization with international clientele has been really incredible,” said Linda Myers, CEO of BioBridge Global. “Every entity we’ve partnered with along the way, especially those in San Antonio, has helped us get where we are today. I’m optimistic about our position as we head into the future of new and exciting medical frontiers.”
BBG is becoming an international player in biosciences and the relatively new field of regenerative medicine, evidenced by it being asked to be a co-organizing partner of the World Stem Cell Summit. The 10th annual summit is taking place in San Antonio on Dec. 3-5, and BBG will be hosting an exclusive pre-conference lunch and tour for conference registrants along with the Texas Biomedical Research Institute and Southwest Research Institute.
Acting as host city for the summit that brings together the largest contingent of international stem cell and regenerative medicine experts and stakeholders is truly a coup for our city. A delegation of San Antonio’s top bioscience participants, including BioBridge Global, as well as city and county leaders such as then-Mayor Julián Castro and Henry Cisneros convinced WSCS organizers to locate in San Antonio, snatching the conference away from much larger cities.
For his work as a champion of San Antonio’s bioscience industry and as chairman of BioMed SA, Cisneros will be a Stem Cell Action Award honoree for leadership at the event. There’s still time to register at worldstemcellsummit.com.
This fall, employees of BioBridge Global and its subsidiaries – including a laboratory in Atlanta – are celebrating the organization’s 40-year legacy as well as a promising future as a leader in regenerative medicine.
“We will continue moving forward to make a difference in the lives of those in our San Antonio community as well as around the world,” Myers said. “With a history of service and advancement behind us, along with the support of our local business partners, I have no doubt that we’re in for another successful 40 years and more.”