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Our Story

Our Story




Your partner in translating scientific discoveries

ESI BIO's mission is to be our customer's trusted partner in translating scientific discoveries to the clinic. We do this by providing breakthrough stem cell technologies as research grade and therapeutic grade products, lighting the path from research to the clinic in order to help our customers with their goal of treating disease.


A rich history with shared resources and shared goals

ESI BIO has been built upon a rich legacy of innovation and scientific firsts. We were established in Singapore as ES Cell International in 2000 where we made history by manufacturing the first translatable clinical grade embryonic stem cell lines for distribution to the international research community.


ESI BIO now conducts its operations Alameda CA. We are a member of the proud family of stem-cell-based subsidiary companies owned by BioTime, Inc., from which we benefit from a deep source of excellent science, intellectual property and stem cell technologies. We emphasize collaboration with our customers as a cornerstone of our strategy and we encourage individuality and autonomy among our staff to nurture creativity.



Historical Timeline


The Beginning - ES Cell International Pte Ltd (ESI) is incorporated in Singapore at the world-class Biopolis technical center as an academic startup based on stem cell technology developed by from Monash University (Australia), the National University in Singapore and Hadassah Medical Organization (Israel). ESI is one of the first groups in the world to isolate human Embryonic Stem Cells (hESC) and the company's earliest therapeutic efforts focuses on the development of islet cells from hESC to treat diabetes.


ES Cell International


NIH Support - ESI is among 10 groups selected by the US National Institutes of Health to have stem cells eligible for federal funding. Search eligible cell lines »




Synthetic ECMs - Glycosan BioSystems is established to develop an exclusive line of synthetic extracellular matrices including HyStem® hyaluronic acid based hydrogels (licensed by the Center for Therapeutic Biomaterials at the University of Utah).




The First Clinical-grade hESC - ESI announces the generation of six clinical-grade human embryonic stem cell lines (Crook et al, 2007 The Generation of Six Clinical-Grade Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Cell Stem Cell Nov;1(5):490-4) using manufacturing techniques that are compliant with Good Tissue Practices (cGTP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). PMID: 18371388



The ACTCellerate Initiative - BioTime announces the ACTCellerate Initiative and publishes its creation of over 140 clonally pure and distinct human embryonic progenitor cells, ultimately becoming the current family of PureStem® Human Progenitor cells.



ESI is Acquired - BioTime, Inc. announces the acquisition of ESI. Go to press release »



CIRM Partnership - ESI and BioTime announce that they will give access to both research-grade and clinical-grade banks of hESC lines to researchers funded by the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Read the agreement »




HyStem Hydrogels - BioTime, Inc. announces the acquisition of Glycosan BioSystems and its family of HyStem hydrogel cell matrix products.



New Leadership - BioTime appoints Jeffrey Janus as CEO of ESI and rebrands under the new name ESI BIO in late 2013. BioTime's stem cell research product portfolio is consolidated under new name and leadership. Go to press release »

ESI BIO New Identity


New Corporate Identity - ESI BIO launches new responsive design website and expands product portfolio to include antibodies, small molecules, and growth factors for stem cell research.



Distribution Partnerships - ESI BIO expands reach in UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg by signing distribution agreements with 2BScientific and Sanbio. Go to press release »



Merge with Hepregen Corporation and enter into Cross License with GE Healthcare to form Ascendance Biotechnology - ESI BIO merged with Hepregen Corporation (Medford MA) and entered into a cross license agreement with GE Healthcare to form Ascendance Biotechnology to add drug testing and screening to its products and markets. Go to press release »



Enter into agreement with GE Healthcare to Provide Cytiva® Stem-Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes - ESI BIO merged with Hepregen Corporation (Medford MA) and entered into a cross license agreement with GE Healthcare to form Ascendance Biotechnology to add drug testing and screening to its products and markets. Go to press release »



Sale of Ascendance Biotechnology; ESI BIO Products Provided by BioTime Inc. and AgeX Therapeutics - Ascendance Biotechnology and its HepatoPac® product line was sold. As part of the sale, the ESI BIO HyStem hydrogel product line was consolidated into BioTime Inc. and its BioTime’s wholly owned subsidiary AgeX Therapeutics obtained the ESI BIO Stem Cell Product lines, including the PureStem® human embryonic progenitors, the ESI human embryonic stem cells and the Cytiva® cardiomyocyte products. Go to press release »