7 Biotech Companies in Winston-Salem to Keep an Eye On  

11 minute read

Over the last 20 years, Winston-Salem has been growing in reputation as a place where life science and biotech companies can grow and thrive, a reputation that was solidified earlier this year when the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded one of its first Regional Innovation Engines grants to our area. Winston-Salem is home to the world’s largest regenerative medicine cluster, and this prestigious award will pour millions of dollars into creating and commercializing regenerative medicine technologies, as well as training a regional workforce to sustain the economic growth of the region.  

But what are the companies that are part of this effort? And what makes them so exciting, to the point where millions are being invested in their growth? 

Isaac Perry, head of life sciences and biotech ecosystem development for iQ
Issac Perry, Head of Biotech and Life Science Ecosystem Development, Innovation Quarter

We asked Isaac Perry those very questions.  

Perry is the head of biotech and life science ecosystem development, a dual role that sits between the Innovation Quarter and Greater Winston-Salem, Inc. His title may be a mouthful, but essentially it just means that this area is so important to these entities that they partnered together to bring in someone to help that sector thrive.  

“I’ve lived in Winston-Salem my whole life, and I’m passionate about this sense of renewal and the ability to create jobs and drive capital investment into our region,” Perry says. “I’ve always been such an advocate for Winston-Salem and I love that I get to make a difference in a field that I am passionate about.” 

Biotechnology development is tricky, and it really helps to have someone devoted to assisting biotech companies and supporting their progress. Hence, the creation of Perry’s position. 

Before Perry took the role, he worked for Miracles In Sight, a local biotech nonprofit, for many years, and he developed a passion for bringing together stakeholders to achieve a mutual goal. In his current position, Perry gets up every morning, thinking about biotech and how to help biotech companies move to and thrive in Winston-Salem.  

Perry’s role matches biotech companies in the iQ with economic development opportunities in order to grow the bioeconomy of Winston-Salem as a whole, such as connecting companies with potential investors or pointing them toward key resources. He recruits companies to come to the iQ and helps them grow once they’re here.  

Perry gave us his thoughts on some of the biotech companies making waves in the iQ and why they are the companies to watch this year.   

And the Biotech Companies to Watch in the iQ Are… 

Axiom Space 

Axiom Space is the leading provider of human spaceflight services and developer of human-rated space infrastructure. Axiom Space operates missions to the International Space Station (ISS), while developing its successor, Axiom Station, the world’s first commercial space station in low-Earth orbit. Through a partnership with the RegenMed Development Organization (ReMDO) and Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM), Axiom Space established an in-space biomanufacturing hub in Winston-Salem focused on studying the way tissues and cells behave in low-Earth orbit and addressing the challenges in creating tissues and organs for transplantation. 

Sector: Aerospace 

Company Size: 501-1,000 employees 

Company Headquarters: Houston, Texas 

Company Stage: Startup. Axiom Space is on track to launch its first module to the ISS by late 2026, as well as launching its fourth human spaceflight mission, potentially by the end of this year. 

Perry’s Take  

“We see a lot of startups growing in the iQ, but also more established companies planting R&D and product development arms here in Winston-Salem to be near all of the great research happening. Axiom Space purposefully located here in ReMDO’s Innovation Accelerator within WFIRM and the work happening in regenerative medicine, setting the foundation for a lot of research to come. Axiom Space is also partnering with WFIRM on the NSF Regional Innovation Engine grant to establish an In-Space Technology core focused on using microgravity to research the manufacturing of functional human organs.”   

BMI OrganBank 

BMI OrganBank is a medical device company that develops organ and tissue transplant solutions. The company tackles the preservation issues that plague organ transplantation, developing multiple products that can improve the evaluation, preservation, and transportation of organs–starting with kidneys–with the ultimate goal of decreasing the number of patients on waiting lists for organ transplants.  

Sector: Medical Device 

Company Size: 2-10 employees 

Company Headquarters: Winston-Salem, NC 

Company Stage: Early Stage. BMI OrganBank is conducting preclinical research, but keep an eye out. BMI OrganBank is working toward FDA approval for clinical trials and just announced a deal with Atrium Health to help test its technologies in a hospital setting.  

Perry’s Take  

“BMI OrganBank is offering something that could transform kidney transplantation, which is beneficial to thousands of patients, but could also alleviate a massive burden on the medical system. The recently-announced deal with Atrium Health is impressive for a company at this stage and creates a lot of appeal as BMI OrganBank seeks further investment. It’s very appealing to potential investors for the company to already have this foundational support from the end user of their technology.”   


Making science fiction into reality, Brinter is developing 3D bioprinted tissue implants. Combined with a proprietary manufacturing process, Brinter’s platform technology will have broad application to soft tissue repair and reinforcement. With a unique bio-synthetic design for tissues, Printer’s technology can be used to repair injuries such as tendon tears, hernias, and breast tissue reconstruction. With this product, Brinter’s goal is to improve patient outcomes by lowering complications and improving recovery speed. 

Sector: Regenerative Medicine & 3D Printing  

Company Size: 2-10 employees 

Company Headquarters: Winston-Salem, NC 

Company Stage: Early Stage. Brinter is currently involved in preclinical studies which will contribute to a submission for FDA approval this summer, with the goal of launching a commercial product sometime next year. 

Perry’s Take  

“By creating a technology that can be used for so many applications, Brinter has done a good job de-risking their platform as they raise funds. And now, the company is everywhere. If you look at any big conference, Brinter is almost always a featured company that’s pitching and getting a lot of traction at a time when many startups are finding it difficult to find investors.”  

Charter Medical 

At its West Point Boulevard location, Charter Medical designs, develops, and manufactures single-use solutions for healthcare applications such as biological fluid handling and processing, cell growth, and frozen storage. Charter’s products support bioprocessing and advanced therapy manufacturing processes, so life-saving therapies can be delivered to patients. The company’s recent expansion into the iQ grows their capabilities to support customers in regenerative medicine. Specifically, the Charter Medical Innovation Hub features a state-of-the-art lab space where single-use studies for freezing, transportation, and protection are performed to support logistics for the biopharmaceutical industry. 

Sector: Biomanufacturing  

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Company Headquarters: Winston-Salem, NC 

Company Stage: Mature. This established company recently opened a new development site in the iQ and is expecting to grow its staff over the coming years. 

Perry’s Take  

“Charter Medical continues to grow. They just opened up an Innovation Hub in the iQ, and I expect them to keep growing their staff over the coming years. By setting up shop here, they are able to collaborate with startups and researchers, offering new services and tapping into the growing workforce in this area. I’m really excited about the Innovation Hub because I think it can unlock a lot of enabling services and technologies for the smaller biotech companies in Winston-Salem.”  


CryoCrate aims to innovate biobanking in the life sciences by developing an effective cryopreservation technology platform for donor and bioartificial tissues. Funded by grants from a range of entities like the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and National Institute of Food and Agriculture, CryoCrate’s mission is to work with academic and industrial partners to create a collaborative network (Life in Nano Ice®) that will enhance tissue donation and transplantation efforts while strengthening the supply chain infrastructure for the regenerative medicine industry. 

Sector: Cryopreservation 

Company Size: 2-10 employees 

Company Headquarters: Winston-Salem, NC 

Company Stage: Early Stage. Its new location in the iQ could make it a key partnership for other biotech companies in Winston-Salem, helping the company grow further. 

Perry’s Take  

“CryoCrate is a small, early stage company, but it’s been successful in securing a lot of grant money at the federal level. CryoCrate will continue to grow by helping other companies and academic researchers, and that’s what I think being in the iQ is really all about–this notion that proximity breeds collaboration. The companies here find these opportunities to really support each other and grow at the same time.” 


Elemance exists to raise the bar for human-driven design by providing licensing and engineering services for a sophisticated family of virtual human body models that simulate how the human body responds to its environment and evaluates the ability for devices to mitigate injury risk. Elemance’s human body models can be applied to a wide variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, military, sports, and healthcare, helping companies and researchers understand how their projects and designs impact human beings in a broad range of scenarios. 

Sector: Engineering  

Company Size: 11-50 employees 

Company Headquarters: Winston-Salem, NC  

Company Stage: Growth Stage. Elemance began as a startup in the iQ and now works across many industries and companies, including major automotive manufacturers, the Department of Defense, and NASCAR.  

Perry’s Take  

“Elemance has some really incredible opportunities ahead. Using their models, they can test and understand forces happening on muscles, bones, organs, basically all of the human body systems. These modeling capabilities have the possibility to help with regulatory processes. In the automotive industry, in particular, there are changes in the regulatory process on the horizon that will create a need for modeling on this level, which really creates a massive opportunity for Elemance to utilize their platform and grow substantially in the coming years.” 


Mercodia provides a range of bioanalytical products and services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and academic institutions that assist with preclinical and clinical research. Mercordia specializes in areas like bioanalytics for therapeutics, assay development and validation, immunogenicity testing, and biomarker testing, all with the goal of helping their partners develop high-quality data. Mercodia recently established its North American headquarters in the iQ.  

Sector: Biotechnology   

Company Size: 51-200 employees 

Company Headquarters: Uppsala, Sweden 

Company Stage: Mature. This well-established international company continues to expand, adding new locations and expanding its workforce, as well as adding a new bioanalytics service line. 

Perry’s Take  

“Mercodia is growing. They just opened their new North American headquarters here in the iQ, and I believe they’re considering further expansion here already. It’s great to see companies move to the iQ and then start growing here, especially mature, established companies like Mercodia. Their presence is great for the ecosystem. They can help support some of the early-stage companies around them by providing much-needed services for startups who have to make the most of every dollar.”  

Building an Ecosystem One Company at a Time 

As biotech companies continue to move to and grow in Winston-Salem, they’re contributing to an ecosystem that builds upon itself. Each company that enters adds new dimensions and new opportunities for collaboration and growth, as you can already see happening among just these seven companies. To learn more about Winston-Salem’s life science and biotech companies and the ecosystem that they are a part of, visit the iQ website.