BAMF Investing $30M to establish HQ along Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile

GRAND RAPIDS – Global theranostics and radiopharmacy innovator Bold Advanced Medical Future Health will establish its headquarters within Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile.

The announcement was made last week by The Right Place and the City of Grand Rapids.

The company expects to add more than 200 life science jobs and invest $30 million in its new facility, which is expected to contain the world’s most advanced cyclotron-equipped radiopharmacy, molecular imaging clinic and theranostics clinic.

The first-of-its-kind dual-cyclotron radiopharmacy will produce novel radiopharmaceuticals on-site so cancer patients will receive confirmed diagnosis and treatment in a cutting-edge theranostics clinic during their same day visit. The facility will also supply both diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals to hospitals and independent clinics in the West Michigan area.

The company will lease at least 35,000 square feet in the new Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building, located within Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids Innovation Park at the Northeast corner of Monroe Avenue and Michigan Street at the west end of the famed Medical Mile corridor.

Aside from the radiopharmacy and theranostics clinic, the location will serve as corporate headquarters for BAMF.

“The BAMF Health Precision Medicine Platform is considered the first and only platform of its kind in the world,” said BAMF Health founder and chief executive officer Dr. Anthony Chang. “We are eager and honored to bring BAMF Health’s lifesaving technology to patients in 2022. Our approach to achieve intelligence-based precision medicine will focus on effective therapies through precise and early diagnosis. It will guide patients to the most effective treatment, prevent unnecessary procedures and side effects, improve quality of life and outcomes, and reduce cost.”

The Right Place provided a wide variety of wrap-around business services to ensure BAMF’s successful landing in Grand Rapids. The organization first began partnering with BAMF in late 2016, making numerous connections and introductions for the fledgling startup. In 2017, The Right Place introduced the company (then called Rethink Imaging) to Michigan State University and Dr. Norm Beauchamp. As that new relationship quickly grew, The Right Place team went on to provide connections with local capital resources for financial support and custom research services.

“This project was a ‘must-win’ for our team,” said Randy Thelen, president and CEO, The Right Place, Inc. “The technology and innovation that BAMF is bringing to the area of cancer detection and treatment, has the potential to save countless lives and significantly boost the global exposure of Medical Mile.”

Beauchamp, MSU’s executive vice president for health sciences, said the MSU Grand Rapids Innovation Pakr is “designed to create a health care innovation hub that will spur collaboration between academic research (biomedical, bioengineering and technology), health care providers and health industries to commercialize, patent and license health innovation.”

“The radiopharmacy that BAMF Health is leasing from MSU in the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building embodies that vision and came about through collaboration between The Right Place, the city of Grand Rapids, private philanthropy and Michigan State University. Ultimately, this is finding new and better ways to bring health to all,” Beauchamp said.

The new BAMF headquarters is set to open in February 2022, corresponding to the opening of the 210,000-square-foot Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building. Throughout the planning and development of the Grand Rapids Innovation Park, the City of Grand Rapids has played an instrumental role in ensuring the park is a success.

“With its cutting-edge innovation and bold vision for improving health outcomes, BAMF Health is the type of anchor company that epitomizes what all of the partners in Michigan State University’s Grand Rapids Innovation Park have worked to create,” Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said. “There is enormous significance to their decision to locate in the Doug Meijer Medical Innovation Building, on the Medical Mile, in downtown Grand Rapids. It is a testament to the work done to develop and attract world class resources and assets in our health care industry, and of what can be achieved with a shared community vision. We look forward to watching BAMF and their partners thrive in Grand Rapids.”

BAMF is led by Chang, along with co-founder and chief technology officer Anderson Peck and chief operating officer Chad Bassett. Before founding BAMF Health, Chang and Peck worked together in Chang’s lab to advance medical imaging technology. Dr. Chang is an accomplished scientific leader and educator. During his academic years, he was one of youngest imaging center directors in the world.

Theranostics is a promising new field in medicine that combines the power of molecular imaging and molecular targeted radiation therapy to accurately diagnose and treat patients. The procedure is a simple IV injection that delivers treatment directly to where it is needed, minimizing damage to surrounding tissue.

“Currently, there is no dedicated platform for the efficient and effective translation of radiopharmaceutical technology to the clinic, resulting in an inevitable time-consuming and high-cost process that stops new radiopharmaceuticals from reaching patients,” Chang said. “With a new approach to data security, BAMF’s platform allows clinicians, researchers, and developers to facilitate the clinical trial process while maintaining the highest standards of quality. Running AI algorithms on big data across multiple institutions eliminates bias, achieves high accuracy and enables better patient outcomes.”

The Grand Rapids clinic will be the home to never-before-seen theranostics treatment for cancer patients, especially those who are in late-stage. Potential cancer applications will start from prostate and neuroendocrine tumor and expand to breast, pancreas, lung, gynecological, colon, brain and pediatric oncology. Additionally, BAMF Health will pursue diagnostic and therapeutic applications in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Endometriosis, chronic pain, PTSD and depression and cardiac diseases. “We want to make the best technology accessible and affordable to every patient who needs it, as soon as possible,” Chang said. “Together with MSU, The Right Place and the Grand Rapids community, BAMF is here to make the Grand and Rapid impact.”