- About InVitria
Leaders in Serum-free Media and Cell Culture Media Optimization
InVitria, a division of Ventria Bioscience Inc., was founded with the goal of providing the biotechnology industry with innovative products to improve cell culture and biomanufacturing. InVitria allows customers to eliminate animal components from their cell-based processes. Removing these components helps improve consistency, safety, and efficiency. InVitria’s products are recombinant proteins that are manufactured in our manufacturing facility in Junction City, Kansas. These products have many uses across the life science industry including in regenerative medicine, cellular therapy, biomanufacturing, vaccines, diagnostics, and medical devices.
Animal components such as fetal bovine serum (FBS), human serum, and serum derived proteins like albumin, transferrin, insulin, and growth factors have been popular ingredients in many biological processes. However, in the 1990s scientists began searching for ways to remove serum and other animal products due to concerns about product quality, safety, and animal stewardship. Animal products are undesirable because they pose a risk of transmitting infectious agents such as prions (Mad Cow Disease) and virus (HIV). In addition, animal components and blood derived products are undefined leading to high batch-to-batch variation. For these reasons, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European Medicines Agency (EMA), and other regulatory bodies discourage use of these animal components.
InVitria has developed and commercialized several recombinant proteins and cell culture media supplements and continues to develop components, media products, and growth factors leveraging its patented technology.
Scott E. Deeter, President
Mr. Deeter is InVitria’s President and serves as CEO of InVitria’s parent company, Ventria Bioscience Inc. Previously, he started and led a joint venture between Cargill and F. Hoffmann-La Roche that commercialized several novel pharmaceutical ingredients. Scott has served as President and CEO of CyberCrop and was a member of the Technology and Life Sciences Group of Salomon Brothers. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas (BSc-Economics), University of Chicago (MBA), and London School of Economics (MSc-Economics).
Vladimir Akoyev, Ph.D., Vice President, Analytical Development & Manufacturing Sciences
Dr. Akoyev leads the team responsible for analytical method development, validation, and support. His expertise includes a wide spectrum of biophysical and biochemical methods of protein characterization including mass spectrometry, HPLC, capillary electrophoresis, spectroscopy, scanning calorimetry, and ultracentrifugation. His team is also responsible for product stability programs and potency bioassay development. Before joining InVitria in 2010, Vladimir was a Senior Scientist at Kansas State University. Prior to this, he was a Research Scientist in the Institute of Cell Biophysics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, where he received his Ph.D. in Biophysics and Hematology.
Randall Alfano, Ph.D., Vice President, InVitria Product Development
Dr. Alfano joined InVitria in 2012 and currently leads the product development team, where he uses his expertise in media design and optimization. Prior to joining the company, Randy was the Process Development Manager for XBiotech in Austin, TX where he specialized in the development and optimization of the company’s cell culture processes in mammalian cells for cancer biologics. Previously, he was promoted from Postdoctoral Fellow to Senior Scientist at the Cancer Research Institute of Scott and White Hospital where he developed in vivo animal models for metastatic prostate cancer and was instrumental in developing thorough in vitro and in vivo models for immunostimulatory antigens. Dr. Alfano received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.
Ron Backman, Vice President, Quality
Mr. Backman leads InVitria’s Quality Assurance, Quality Control, and Facilities teams. He has over 23 years of biopharmaceutical Quality and Supply Chain experience with increasing responsibilities throughout his career. He joined the company in 2018 after previously managing Product Quality, Stability and Microbiology services at KBI Biopharma, a global contract development & manufacturing organization in Durham, NC. Prior to KBI Biopharma he managed Quality Control and Support at Diosynth Biotechnology. Ron started his career in the Quality department of Boehringer Ingelheim. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from Kansas State University.
Derek Schneweis, Ph.D., Vice President, Upstream Product Development
Dr. Schneweis leads Ventria’s genomics, plant biotechnology, protein expression analysis, product and process development, master and working seed bank development, greenhouse/nursery, USDA Regulatory, and plant production teams. Derek earned his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Bachelor of Science in Biology and Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from Kansas State University.
Genna Jenkins, Director of Regulatory Affairs
Ms. Jenkins leads all aspects of regulatory compliance for both Ventria Bioscience and InVitria. Working closely with the quality and products teams, she ensures that regulations from the USDA, FDA, and associated global agencies and pharmacopoeias are incorporated into our SOPs and corporate culture. Prior to joining the company, Genna worked for the Kansas State University Department of Agronomy Plant Physiology and Cropping Systems Department. She is a graduate of Kansas State University where she received her M.S. in Plant Pathology and B.S. in Political Science with a legal emphasis.
Andrew Simon, Director, Molecular Biology
Mr. Simon joined the molecular biology team in 2015 where he works with the team responsible for plant transformation and screening new products developed in the ExpressTec system. Prior to working with the company, Andrew was a research scientist for Edenspace Systems Corporation in Manhattan, KS. There he used his plant tissue culture knowledge to genetically modify maize, lettuce, carrot, and poplar trees for various projects. Andrew received his B.S. in Microbiology from Kansas State University.
Trung Trieu, Director of Manufacturing
Mr. Trieu is responsible for all manufacturing operations for InVitria at the Junction City, KS facility. Trung maintains 24/7 manufacturing with his production team and collaborates with other departments such as Quality and Supply Chain in order to meet high product specifications and regulatory expectations. He went to Kansas State University to study Mechanical Engineering. His career in bio-manufacturing started in 2007 since joining the company.
Andy Young, Director, Product Marketing
Mr. Young is responsible for marketing, product management, and related commercial operations at InVitria. Andy has over 20 years of experience in various product management and commercial leadership roles for Danaher, GE, and Suez where he focused on Life Sciences markets and applications. He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington, an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia, and an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.
Interested in a career in advanced biotech? InVitria is actively hiring across its operations in both Junction City, KS and Denver, CO.
Manufacturing & Quality
From entry-level positions through to tenured operations management, we are looking for people with a passion for biotechnology manufacturing and quality. Whether it’s working with Mr. Trieu and his team to focus on operations excellence or with Mr. Backman and his team to advance quality and compliance, InVitria’s manufacturing environment can be an excellent place to apply your skills and grow.
Molecular Biology & Product Development
InVitria continues to innovate with it’s line of blood-free components and products. People specializing in plant sciences, biology, or biochemistry who are interested in gene synthesis, biotransformation, and plant tissue culture, should contact us to learn how to become part of one of our exciting R&D teams. From next-generation proteins and cytokine development in Drs. Akoyev and Schneweis’ labs or in custom formulations and processes in Dr. Alfano’s lab, there are myriad opportunities to contribute to the Life Sciences community’s growth.
Our Process Applications team works daily with customers across a broad spectrum of Life Sciences applications. We actively consult with scientists and product development teams to better understand their unique challenges and how we might apply InVitria’s equally unique set of products and services. It’s also an exciting time at InVitria as we continue to develop our marketing and product management groups. If you’re interested in applying your technical acumen in a commercial capacity with the benefit of working directly with the company president, Mr. Deeter, please submit your resume and cover letter below.
Send your PDF resume to firstname.lastname@example.org