Newswise — Boston, MA and Edison, NJ – December 15, 2021: Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive health network, is proud to announce its support of the clinical development of a highly-differentiated immuno-oncology platform by Boston-based Alloplex Biotherapeutics, Inc.

Alloplex has refined cellular drug candidates aimed at “training’’ a patient’s white blood cells to recognize and to kill cancer cells - and the company is poised to start a first-in-human clinical trial of SUPLEXA therapeutic cells in Australia early next year.

This investment in Alloplex is Hackensack Meridian Health’s fifth through the Bear’s Den, the health network’s successful innovation program, which seeks to drive medical science forward by supporting strategic candidates in biotech and pharma.

“Innovation is in our DNA and we are proud to support this promising new treatment concept,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health. “The Bear’s Den is foundational to our efforts to transform healthcare and deliver more value to the communities we serve.”

“Hackensack Meridian Health’s investment represents a significant vote of confidence in our highly-differentiated approach to cellular therapy,“ said Frank Borriello, M.D., Ph.D., Alloplex’s Scientific Founder and CEO. “We are very appreciative of the investment which not only supports our initial clinical trials but also establishes a foundation for collaboration in the years ahead.”

SUPLEXA Therapeutic Cells are an autologous therapy made from activated and reprogrammed peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) - derived from the patient’s whole blood. SUPLEXA are generated rapidly and in abundance through a robust ex vivo manufacturing procedure to give them the capacity to kill all tumor cells tested - without affecting normal cells. SUPLEXA are comprised of a heterogenous mixture of cells of both innate and adaptive phenotypes, thereby employing a multi-modal anti-tumor strategy. The company believes, by using the patient's own cells activated through naturally occurring receptors rather than external substances, this therapy may be better tolerated than using foreign substances, while maximizing anti-cancer effects.

Alloplex was founded in 2016 by its CEO, Dr. Borriello - a Harvard-trained immunologist with over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to Alloplex he led the Search and Evaluation function in multiple pharmaceutical companies. 

Launched in 2017, Bear’s Den features a panel of experts, including Hackensack Meridian Health CEO Garrett, leading physicians, key network executives, venture capitalists, patent attorneys, who gather regularly to vet proposals from entrepreneurs. The health network’s novel incubator has vetted many products and strategies to streamline care delivery, reduce infections, lower hospital readmissions, and help patients partner in their care with physicians.

“Hackensack Meridian Health is interested in pushing innovation forward, not just through our own considerable research efforts - but also through investments of this caliber,” said Ihor Sawczuk, M.D., FACS, the chief research officer and president of the Northern Region of the health network. “We believe the future is an exciting place.”


About Alloplex Biotherapeutics 

Alloplex Biotherapeutics Inc is a privately owned Boston-based cellular therapeutics company with headquarters and laboratories located in Woburn MA, USA; and a wholly owned subsidiary Alloplex Australia Pty Ltd. 

Led by Scientific Founder and CEO, Dr. Frank Borriello, M.D., Ph.D, the organization has developed an autologous cellular therapy derived from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These SUPLEXA therapeutic cells, which are comprised of cells of both innate and adaptive phenotypes, display broad anti-tumor activity. Alloplex has established a robust GMP manufacturing procedure for SUPLEXA and as an autologous therapeutic are expected to be well-tolerated and safe.

The first in-human clinical trial – designed to yield both safety and efficacy data and anticipated to commence in early 2022 is a basket design and will enroll patients with a variety of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.

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Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care.

Hackensack Meridian Health comprises 17 hospitals from Bergen to Ocean counties, which includes three academic medical centers – Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune and JFK University Medical Center in Edison; one university teaching hospital – Ocean University Medical Center in Brick; two children’s hospitals - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in Hackensack, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune; eight community hospitals – Bayshore Medical Center in Holmdel, Old Bridge Medical Center in Old Bridge, Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair, Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen, Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin; a behavioral health hospital – Carrier Clinic in Belle Mead; and two rehabilitation hospitals - JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison and Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Brick.

Additionally, the network has more than 500 patient care locations throughout the state which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, fitness and wellness center, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers and physician practice locations. Hackensack Meridian Health has more than 36,000 team members, and 7,000 physicians and is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy, committed to the health and well-being of the communities it serves.

The network’s notable distinctions include having more top-ranked hospitals than anyone in New Jersey, as recognized by U.S. News & World Report, 2021-22. Hackensack University Medical Center is the only hospital in New Jersey with the #1 adult and children’s hospital rankings.

John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center is New Jersey's best cancer center, as recognized by U.S. News & World Report, 2021-22.  This premier cancer center is also the largest and most comprehensive center dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management, research, screenings, and preventive care as well as survivorship of patients with all types of cancers. John Theurer Cancer Center is part of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center.

Additionally, the network partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to ensure that patients have access to the highest quality, most individualized cancer care when and where they need it.

The Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first private medical school in New Jersey in more than 50 years, welcomed its first class of students in 2018 to its campus in Nutley and Clifton. The Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation (CDI), housed in a fully renovated state-of-the-art facility, seeks to translate current innovations in science to improve clinical outcomes for patients with cancer, infectious diseases and other life-threatening and disabling conditions.

Hackensack Meridian Health is a member of AllSpire Health Partners, an interstate consortium of leading health systems, to focus on the sharing of best practices in clinical care and achieving efficiencies. To learn more, visit


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Newswise: Hackensack Meridian Health’s Bear’s Den Supports Company Developing Novel Way to 'Train' Patients' Own White Blood Cells



Newswise: Hackensack Meridian Health’s Bear’s Den Supports Company Developing Novel Way to 'Train' Patients' Own White Blood Cells



Newswise: Hackensack Meridian Health’s Bear’s Den Supports Company Developing Novel Way to 'Train' Patients' Own White Blood Cells