Skip to Main Content

biopharmaceuticals

  • sam patrick posted an article
    How Lou and Bill Kennedy brought Nephron Pharmaceuticals home... and are making a difference in SC see more

    Compliments of The State

    Bill and Lou Kennedy consider their first date to be a trip to Blue Marlin in Columbia’s Vista, after a Georgia-South Carolina football game where they first met. While at the restaurant, Lou started asking about Bill’s business, a Florida-based manufacturer called Nephron Pharmaceuticals.

    “I asked how many customers he had, and he said ‘three, my old company and two people who used to work for me’,” Lou Kennedy remembers. “And I said, ‘don’t you think you ought to diversify?’ That was the first time we ever met.”

    Today, they have been married 20 years, and Nephron is based in Lou Kennedy’s home county, operating on a 715,000-square-foot campus in a Lexington County industrial park. Thousands of workers develop, produce and distribute a wide range of medical products. Lou Kennedy went from an interested outsider to the majority owner, now overseeing the company’s latest expansion during a time of growing needs in the medical field and a global pandemic.

    Read the entire article at: https://www.thestate.com/news/business/article259185098.html

  • sam patrick posted an article
    SCBIO not playing games with workforce development see more

    Compliments of GSA Business Report

    For those raising the next generation of workforce talent at home, it may be a no-brainer that 12-year-olds are more likely to learn about future career opportunities from TikTok, YouTube or Duolingo than LinkedIn.

    Yet much of the online conversation surrounding new career developments remains resigned to the adult corporate sphere.

    SkillsGapp, a Greenville-based app platform, seeks to broaden that conversation to include the audience making those first steps toward a career.

    The startup offers apps for a variety of fields including skilled trades, aerospace and advanced manufacturing, as well as the fast-growing life science industry. SkillsGapp’s newest app, RadLab, gamifies life science careers for middle schoolers.

    RadLab first bubbled into existence through conversations between SkillsGapp founder and CEO Tina Zwolinski, Upstate SC Alliance and SCBIO.

    “We understand, and the industry understands, that we got to fill that pipeline,” SCBIO CEO James Chappell told SC Biz News, adding that middle school is a key time in the development of interests that later feed into career paths. “So we want to catch them early enough.”

    The free game allows students to try a number of jobs — ranging from the R&D side of the equation to manufacturing to nursing — on for size and level up through a variety of challenges. Teens can test new medicines, obtain Food and Drug Administration approval, manage the manufacturing of products and use them to treat hospital patients.

    Geofencing will link players to the non-virtual world of life sciences during game play through prompts that offer information on local industries and education pathways into the careers they are sampling.

    “They will not only be playing the game and understand what it means to go in these different career paths, but they’ll also have a pop-up that says, if you’re in Columbia, did you know that Nephron is in your area and they have an average of this amount per year, or if they drive by another company, in the Upstate, it’s the same thing,” Chappell said. “They’re getting life science skills without even realizing it, and also learning about these companies and the specific opportunities that there are here.”

    If an educational program, such as a certificate at a local tech school, isn’t available within a certain radius, the mileage limit will expand and alert players to the nearest programs.

    “It’s really helping that player and that student navigate their own interests, which Gen Z does, and then be able to flip the conversation,” Zwolinski said.

    She hopes that students we be more likely to tell their parent or guidance counselor or teacher about careers that spark their interest and how to pursue them instead of the other way around.

    Both in-game and out-of-game incentives help sweeten the pot.

    RadLab, a single-player game, drives up the competition through a leaderboard and badges that teens can earn as they navigate a “skill tree.” There is also an in-game resume that can be used to inform apprenticeship or internship decisions come high school.

    Other competitions could earn students the opportunity to observe a surgery, tour a lab, host a pizza party or win a free semester at a technical college.

    “We’re giving them real-world experiences to connect them out of game, but making them fun, making them exciting to align with the in-game play,” Zwolinski said.

    The game’s strategic planning phase launched in April and is set to conclude later in May. In the meantime, Greenville’s Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School and the Governor’s School of Science and Mathematics is piloting the program, but Zwolinski expects to form partnerships with institutions and summer camps across the state, especially Allendale County in the Lowcountry.

    A soft launch is scheduled for this summer and a 12-month deployment plan, including a launch poster designed by students at Fisher Middle School, is slated to begin this fall.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Student find recruiters "ready and waiting" to interview themfor life sciences jobs see more

    In recognition of the importance of adding talented workers for the booming life sciences industry in South Carolina, Midlands Technical College is the first in the state to launch the all-new SCBIO Life Sciences Pharmaceutical Manufacturing certificate program. The program will help to build a workforce pipeline for positions in what is now the Palmetto State’s fastest-growing industry.

    To the gratification of many but the surprise of none of the organizers, the class was completely filled within 48 hours of registration opening. The inaugural class graduated May 6, 2022.

    Developed in conjunction with SCBIO, the statewide organization dedicated exclusively to advancing and growing life sciences in South Carolina, the 48-hour curriculum was developed in partnership with numerous industry partners. The certificate program is the first of several planned for rollout over the next 12 months. A similar program is nearing launch at Greenville Technical College.

    Highlights of the program include an overview of the pharmaceutical industry; introduction to quality assurance principles; a regulatory overview; documentation practices and measurement skills; and 12 hours towards Essential Skills for the Workplace certificate.

    “Midlands Technical College is proud to be the educational partner for this pilot program that supports the life science industry, a high growth industry in the Palmetto State. We are always interested in providing our community with the education needed to be successful in the workforce,” said  Ryan Hemby, Business Solutions Director for Midlands Technical College.

    Tuition for the program is covered by industry partners. People interested in registering for upcoming classes should visit https://midlandstech.formstack.com/forms/scbio.

    The pilot program, the first of its kind in South Carolina offered by the Technical College System, reflects the growing demand for skilled workers to continue fueling the rapidly expanding life sciences industry, which has a presence in 42 of the state’s 46 counties, boasts a more-than-$25 billion annual economic impact, and features average wages nearly 80% higher than South Carolina’s average wage.

    “Life sciences is a major driver of South Carolina’s economy today, and this new certificate program is a first step in addressing the talent needs of the industry’s surging growth, reach and rapidly rising economic significance,” noted SCBIO Executive Vice President and COO Erin Ford, a key organizer of the statewide initiative. “We’re laser focused on doing all that we can to train, retrain and encourage South Carolinians to pursue and prepare for careers in life sciences, an industry that improves quality of life and economic standing for South Carolina citizens.”

    While SCBIO is focused on developing programs for the Technical College System, it also has initiatives underway with state colleges and universities, connecting students interested in careers in life sciences with industry partners seeking talent, and with K-12 students where life science career paths and awareness of STEM opportunities are shared with schools and students statewide.

    Recently, Governor Henry McMaster issued a proclamation recognizing South Carolina Life Sciences Week in the Palmetto State in testament to its growth of more than 42% since 2017. Since 2017, South Carolina also is growing its life sciences industry employment at a faster rate than any other Southeastern state, Ms. Ford noted.

    Even the growth of the state’s firm count is extraordinary, having grown from 402 firms counted in the Palmetto State in the 2016 study to 1,033 firms today in the rapidly expanding ecosystem. And life sciences impact the entire state, with a current presence of industry organizations in 42 of 46 state counties.

    For additional information on SCBIO, visit www.SCBIO.org.  For additional information on MTC, visit www.MidlandsTech.edu.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    KIYATEC expands team by adding two executives see more

    KIYATEC, the leader in clinically correlated, published functional precision oncology technology today announced two key appointments as the Company builds utilization of clinical 3D Predict™ assays and grows its pharmaceutical services portfolio for KIYA-PREDICT™. KIYATEC is pleased to welcome Bruce Yeager as Vice President Market Access & Reimbursement effective March 21, 2022, and Steven Holshouser, Ph.D., as Director, Business Development, effective March 8, 2022.

    Chief Executive Officer Matt Gevaert, Ph.D., said, “We are pleased to welcome both Bruce and Steven to our growing team of experienced leaders in their respective fields. Bruce’s significant experience and effectiveness in securing and expanding Medicare and private payer reimbursement and coverage will support the commercialization of 3D Predict™ Glioma and Ovarian assays in 2022 and lays the foundation for reimbursement and coverage plans for our non-small cell lung, rare tumor, and breast cancer assays in the future. Steven’s track record in securing pharmaceutical services contracts will expand revenues from our growing portfolio of clients using KIYA-PREDICT™ therapeutic response and 3D cell culture technology applications in their drug development plans.”

    KIYATEC’s clinical and pre-clinical technology platforms, 3D PredictTM and KIYA-PREDICTTM, respectively, are leading the functional precision oncology space with published evidence of predictive response correlated to clinical outcomes. Recently the Company represented its 3D Predict™ Ovarian publications at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO) Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer and announced six abstract acceptances to be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research from April 8-13, 2022 in New Orleans.

    About KIYATEC

    KIYATEC is a functional precision oncology company that measures the response of individual patient live cancer cells with its innovative 3D cell culture technology platform. The Company offers clinical tests for high-grade glioma and is developing tests for ovarian, breast, non-small cell lung and rare tumors in its CLIA-certified lab. The Company works with leading biopharmaceutical companies to unlock response dynamics for their investigational drug candidates across the majority of solid tumor types. For more information, visit www.KIYATEC.com and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    South Carolina's fastest-growing industry stars in new SCBIZ Magazine features see more

    The story on life sciences in South Carolina just took a big step forward to becoming even better known as SCBIZ Magazine featured the booming industry as its Summer 2021 cover story -- out now.

    The 14-page feature spanned four stories, from the trends driving the rapid growth of life sciences in South Carolina, to major advances in life science research happening here at home. A fabulous story on how SCBIO and life sciences organizations are working to close the workforce gap is also included, as well as an industry salute for our role in helping America emerge from COVID.  It's a tremendous section.

    Over 20 organizations are featured in stories, and nearly as many industry leaders from across SC are quoted in articles, enriched with photos, industry data on segments and market penetration, and more.

    More than two years in the making by the SCBIO team who worked with SCBIZ to bring this first-ever magazine feature on the industry to life, SCBIZ intends to build on this year's momentum and do another life sciences feature next Summer.  READ THE ENTIRE SECTION HERE!

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Hundreds of nation’s industry leaders to gather for strategic partnership development, insights see more

    With the biggest story of 2021 – the global COVID-19 pandemic – serving as a backdrop, the largest life sciences conference in Palmetto State history will convene both in-person and virtually February 22-24 to address how South Carolina and America are accepting the challenge of  achieving health and prosperity for all, South Carolina life sciences industry officials have announced.

    Themed “Challenge Accepted,” the 2-day SCBIO 2022 event will feature national speaker sessions on Transformational Technologies, Next Generation Patient Care, Ensuring Opportunity for All, and Embracing Collaboration & Innovation – fundamental forces driving the state’s fastest growing industry: life sciences.

    Currently listed as a $12 billion industry, national economist Dr. Joseph Von Nessen of University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business will report findings of a just-completed economic impact study of the state’s life sciences cluster, last analyzed in 2017.

    FDA Associate Director of the CDER Drug Shortage Staff Valerie Jensen is the first announced featured major speaker for the 2-day conference, addressing the gathering in a Program “Challenge Accepted:  Delivering Next Generation Care to Patients Now.”  A trained clinical pharmacist, Captain Jensen was one of the initial developers of FDA’s Drug Shortage Program and was named Associate Director in 2012. She continues to manage the Drug Shortage Staff at FDA. Joined by MUSC Health CEO Dr. Pat Cawley, Velocity Clinical Research executive Steve Clemons, and USC Provost Dr. Stephen Cutler, the panel will focus on the industry’s success in to expediting development of medicine, devices, technologies and vaccines in record time and with startling efficacy – and what it means for care around the world going forward.

    Captain Jensen will be joined by more than 25 additional presenters and honorees at SCBIO 2022, which brings together leaders and executives from life science organizations across the nation to South Carolina. In deference to the pandemic, FDA protocols on safety are being rigorously adhered to and events are also being presented and distributed virtually, organizers revealed.

    The conference will feature a significantly expanded exhibit hall showcasing scores of life sciences industry businesses, institutions of higher learning and essential support industry partners from across America, as well as presentation of the prestigious Pinnacle Awards by South Carolina Life Sciences to the outstanding 2021 Organization of the Year and Individual of the Year. Also to be honored with Pinnacle Awards will be an inductee into the SC Life Sciences Hall of Fame, and an award for an industry Rising Star under 40 years of age.  

    New SCBIO CEO James Chappell will deliver a highly anticipated “State of South Carolina’s Life Sciences Industry” address, while hundreds of in-person and virtual attendees will take advantage of meetings and connection sessions through the conference’s Partnering Portal. Additional speakers will be announced shortly, as well as posted online.

    Registration to attend the 2-day conference is now open online.  For more details, visit the 2022 Annual Conference section at www.scbio.org. Registration and exhibiting are free to many SCBIO investors. Early bird general admission pricing provides significant discounts to interested companies, industry supporters, students interested in life sciences, faculty and teachers. Limited Exhibit  space and sponsorships are also available by inquiring at info@scbio.org.

    The 2-day conference annually draws attendees from across America for networking, innovation updates, opportunity discovery, partnership making and strategic discussion. Already committed attendees include officials across a broad spectrum of life sciences industries including medical devices, bio manufacturing, drug discovery, R&D, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and testing, digital health and health IT, bio-ag and more.

    SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. The industry has more than 700 firms directly involved and over 43,000 professionals employed directly or indirectly in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental, and agricultural biotechnology products.  In early 2021, Governor Henry McMaster issued an Executive Order making it a state priority to continue to grow and expand the life sciences industry in the Palmetto State.

    “Life sciences is a major driver of South Carolina’s economy, and this conference’s growth is testament to the industry’s surging impact, reach and rapidly rising economic significance in our state and region,” noted SCBIO President and CEO James Chappell. “Already accounting for thousands of highly-skilled jobs in the Palmetto State, this sector has tremendous growth potential, and we’re excited to showcase top companies, research universities and leaders from across our state and country at SCBIO 2022.” 

    Among leading biotech and med-tech industry brands participating in the conference are Nephron Pharmaceuticals, BIO, Johnson & Johnson, AVX, PhRMA, Medpoint, AdvaMed, Poly-Med, VWR, Rhythmlink, SoftBox Systems, ZEUS, Patheon Thermo Fisher, Zverse, Abbott, Alcami and more. All of South Carolina’s research universities – MUSC, Clemson and the University of South Carolina – are represented, as are major healthcare systems, and economic development entities including the South Carolina Department of Commerce, SCRA, South Carolina Hospital Association and others.

    As the official state affiliate of BIO, PhRMA and AdvaMed, SCBIO members include academic institutions, biotech companies, entrepreneurial organizations, service providers, thought leaders, economic development organizations and related groups whose members are leading the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products that transform how we heal, fuel and feed the world.

    For additional information on SCBIO or to register for SCBIO 2021, visit www.SCBIO.org.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Product developed, to be marketed by Columbia, SC company see more

     The Ritedose Corporation has announced the development of and plans to commercialize the first new way to dispense single-dose liquid medications in two decades.

    After five years of R&D, the Columbia-based developer of blow-fill-seal unit dose technology is launching SuredoseRx™, an easier and more convenient way for healthcare workers to administer, and patients to take, single doses of liquid medications.

    The single-unit doses will be individually wrapped and bar-coded for ease of use by hospitals and other clinical settings.

    SuredoseRx will debut with three of the most-used liquid drugs in the first quarter of 2022, followed by rollouts of many others.

    Historically, single-dose liquid medications have been supplied in small foil-lidded plastic cups where the seal must be manually pulled off.

    In contrast, the Ritedose package is a small low-density polyethylene ampoule with a twist-off top that is designed not to spill. Medication comes out in force only when the ampoule is squeezed.  In the event the ampoule is dropped, the design allows for less spillage.

    “This resolves problems of accidental spillage that many healthcare providers and patients have experienced with the old-style cups,” said Jody Chastain, CEO of The Ritedose Corporation. “We heard story after story of nurses and patients accidentally dropping the cups after opening them with some of the medication spilling. At that point, you have no way of knowing how much is remaining.  SuredoseRx is purposely designed to help prevent these problems, and we think it is a game-changer to make life easier for patients and those who care for them.”

    The five years of research and development of SurdoseRx started in a hospital room where Chastain’s wife was being treated for cancer.

    He watched as a nurse unsuccessfully struggled to pull the lid off a medication cup. She then cut the top open with scissors as a last resort.

    “That one act immediately compromised the drug my wife was supposed to take,” Chastain said. “I asked the nurse to get another cup.”

    Based upon that experience, Chastain initiated a research and development project that resulted in a revolutionary new design of a single-dose liquid medication dispensing device for a $93 million market nationwide.

    “We take our job personally and we realize we don’t make drugs for faceless patients," Chastain said. “This is a case where the experience of a family member resulted in a new product that will make the medication experience better and for everyone.”

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Nephron Pharmaceuticals continues on rapid growth curve... see more

    Compliments of the Post and Courier

    Nephron Pharmaceuticals’ expansion is progressing as production gets underway on a spate of new business ventures — from at-home COVID-19 test kits to chemotherapy drugs.

    Since 2020, the West Columbia drug maker has invested $215 million to build out its campus in Lexington County’s Saxe Gotha Industrial Park. In the past month, the company hired 1,500 new part-time workers as it ramps up production of new product lines, CEO Lou Kennedy said, bringing it to 1,200 full-time employees and 2,500 part-timers.

    The hiring spree comes as Nephron produced 30 million doses of reagent for Abbott Laboratories’ at-home COVID-19 test kits last month and assembled about 1 million kits. Kennedy hopes to increase kit production to 2 million per month in January as demand for them has skyrocketed amid new variants of the deadly virus. 

    CONTINUE READING FULL STORY HERE...

  • sam patrick posted an article
    The life sciences cluster in Charleston, SC -- and across the state -- is booming see more

    Compliments of CRDA and Investment Monitor

    Aligned by a shared vision for a healthier world, a united life sciences sector is a powerful thing. In the Charleston, South Carolina, market, strong synergies between new and established businesses, academic institutions and state-led initiatives provide prime opportunities for scientific innovation and business success. A growing cluster of life science companies prove testament to the power of the region’s networks.

    When considering possible locations for a new office, laboratory or manufacturing site, life science businesses will have a long checklist. This includes a provision of talent, access to markets, ease of transport and connectivity, quality of life and support from local government. When these elements come together an additional benefit is created: a thriving scientific ecosystem that generates a virtuous circle of advantages for businesses and their employees.

    The Charleston region’s ecosystem helps companies solve business challenges and mitigate risks. As a result, an increasing number of biotech and medtech manufacturers, research laboratories and service companies are calling the area home, giving birth to a burgeoning life sciences community and all the network effects that come with it. For companies seeking to enter or expand in the US, the professional economic development organization, Charleston Regional Development Alliance, exists to guide you through the process. The Alliance provides multiple services at no cost to the company.

    Click here to continue reading the entire article.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Pall expects to hire even more associates in 2022 see more

    Compliments of Upstate Business Journal

    Pall Corporation announced Nov. 8 it will hire 300 people to staff its new 220,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at 816 Berry Shoals Road in Duncan.

    The facility manufactures products such as its Allegro platform, which may be used in the creation, purification and packaging processes for biotechnology and pharmaceutical products such as antibiotics, antibodies and vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines.

    “We’re excited to join the Duncan community and welcome new associates to our growing team,” said Joseph Repp, president, Pall Life Sciences. “Pall has a proud, 75-year history of supporting development of life-saving vaccines and therapeutics. The important products we make here in South Carolina are used by customers around the world and critical to Pall’s global expansion plans as we increase production globally.”

    The company also expects to hire for additional positions in 2022.

    To apply for open positions, visit jobs.danaher.com/global/en and search for ‘South Carolina’ as the role location.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    South Carolina life sciences is surging across the state, experts say see more

    As Published in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston Business Magazines

    When describing today’s South Carolina’s life sciences industry, words like "surging" and “booming” are often mentioned.

    Life sciences is diverse, with seven sectors: drugs and pharmaceuticals; medical devices and equipment; digital health solutions; research, medical and testing laboratories; bioscience distribution; bio-agriculture and ecosystem support. 

    Surprisingly, life sciences are South Carolina’s fastest-growing industry -- not more expected industries like automotive, tires, or aerospace, notes Erin Ford, Interim CEO of SCBIO -- a nonprofit dedicated to building, advancing and growing life sciences here. 

    “A 2017 study by USC's Moore School of Business showed 402 life science companies in South Carolina –  that’s grown to over 700 today.  It employed over 43,000 South Carolinians and generated $12 billion in impact,” said Ms. Ford. 

    To read the complete story, please click here...

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Nephron went looking for a way to automate syringe-filling for small batch manufacturing, found more see more

    Compliments of Pharma Manufacturing

    t’s no secret that working long hours in a cleanroom environment can be grueling. The bunny suits can get sweltering and the hours doing monotonous tasks can drag. On top of that, staffing cleanroom techs for an around-the-clock operation can be a major challenge for pharma companies.

    With the hope of overcoming these issues, South Carolina-based Nephron Pharmaceuticals recently went looking for a way to automate syringe-filling for small batch manufacturing and turned to the brainpower nearby.

    Within the University of South Carolina, the Office of Innovation, Partnerships, and Economic Engagement (OIPEE) provides a way for companies to engage with students and faculty to solve vexing industry problems. 

    “The university can bring a client in, and we’ll create a solution for that client with advanced manufacturing,” Bill Kirkland, executive director of OIPEE, explains.

    For Nephron, that solution was robotics. After striking up a partnership, students and researchers from UofSC eventually innovated a new automated syringe-filling system that utilizes flexible, high-speed robots provided by Yaskawa Motoman and processing power developed by Siemens. According to Kirkland, the system’s robotic arm that works under a single hood is part of what makes it unique. It was also designed specifically for small-batch operations, and importantly for Nephron, the new technology will help eliminate manufacturing downtime.

    “We have a workforce issue in that we have lots of trained sterile pharma techs, but expecting them to show up every shift 24/7 is challenging,” Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron, says. “So, for example, if someone calls in sick, this allows us to do many steps using robotics, and it keeps us from having to shut down.”

    Although there are other robotic syringe-filling solutions on the market, Kennedy says she has never seen a system as small and nimble as the one built by UofSC.

    “It operates underneath a flow hood in a cleanroom and that’s important because we are working with injectables,” Kennedy says. “And it’s compact and can move from one cleanroom to another.”

    After the technology was developed, the system was installed in a Nephron facility earlier this year, where Kennedy says the company is perfecting the tech and it is being commercially validated. Once they find the manufacturing “sweet spot” and it wins regulatory approval, the companies plan to license and commercialize the technology. Ultimately, the plan is to target biopharma facilities and hospitals in need of small-batch manufacturing solutions. 

    “By virtue of its previous relationships with Yaskawa and Siemens, UofSC faculty and OIPEE pitched this solution to Nephron, who agreed to bear some of the initial cost of setting up the research facility in the McNAIR [Aerospace] Center,” Kirkland said in a statement this spring. “All three companies, as well as the university, will benefit greatly from the introduction of this system into the commercial space.”

    In addition to being a boon for the Nephron, the collaboration also showcased how industry partnerships can be a stepping stone for engineering and manufacturing students — including those who were not considering a career in pharma before. According to Kirkland, one of the students involved in the collaboration went on to score a job at Siemens, and another did the same at Nephron.

    “Partnerships like this one are a win for patients, employees and students, not to mention for companies like ours, that continue to grow and expand our capacity to help others,” Kennedy said in a statement this spring. 

     September 26, 2021
  • sam patrick posted an article
    Two life sciences companies make list for SCRA support see more

    Compliments of Midlands Biz

    Advent Innovations, LLC and DPX Technologies, LLC have been accepted as South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) Member Companies and awarded grant funding. Parimer Scientific, LLC and Prewrite, Inc. have been accepted as Member Companies. As Member Companies, they will receive coaching, access to experts in SCRA’s Resource Partner Network, eligibility to apply for grant funding, and the potential to be considered for an investment from SCRA’s affiliate, SC Launch, Inc.

    Advent Innovations Limited Company has been accepted as an SCRA Member Company and awarded a $50,000 Federal Matching Grant. The University of South Carolina-affiliated startup provides services in modeling, analysis, design, and product development using cutting-edge research with novel sensors, big data analytics, and other smart technology such as robotics. Their customers include private corporations and government entities in aerospace, automotive, civil infrastructure, and energy.

    DPX Technologies, LLC has been accepted as an SCRA Member Company and awarded a $50,000 Federal Matching Grant. The University of South Carolina-affiliated company manufactures sample lab preparation products and develops custom methods for a diverse client base. Their proprietary and patented INTip™ technologies provide efficient, automated solutions for laboratories that are easy to customize and implement with any workflow or method.

    Parimer Scientific, LLC has been accepted as an SCRA Member Company. The Easley-based company provides turn-key laboratory services at competitive rates to biotech and pharmaceutical companies with no upfront capital or long-term commitment needed. In 2020 alone, more than 10,000 units of pharmaceutical products were made at Parimer and shipped directly to the end-users at hospitals, doctor’s offices, and nursing homes.

    Prewrite, Inc. has been accepted as an SCRA Member Company. The Greenville-based startup offers a story development platform for writers, producers, and content creators of all types. Their powerful tool ensures the writer is using good story fundamentals. Stories of any complexity are easily built, piece-by-piece. Originally designed for screenplays, Prewrite is used around the world by professionals and amateurs alike.

    SCRA welcomes these new Member Companies!

    Grant funding is made possible, in part, by Industry Partnership Fund (IPF) contributions that fuel the state’s innovation economy. Contributors to the IPF receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit, making it an easy and effective way to help one of the fastest growing segments of the South Carolina economy. Grant funding for Member Companies creates a direct, positive economic effect and job creation.

    About SCRA
    https://scra.org/
    Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, nonprofit corporation, South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy through the impact of its four programs. SC Academic Innovations provides funding and support to advance translational research and accelerate the growth of university-based startups. SC Facilities offers high-quality laboratory and administrative workspaces for technology-based startups and academic institutions. SC Industry Solutions facilitates and funds partnerships between and among startups, industry, and academia. SC Launch mentors and funds technology-based startups that may also receive investments from SCRA’s investment affiliate, SC Launch, Inc.

     September 08, 2021
  • sam patrick posted an article
    Life sciences expands career opportunities for SC graduates see more

    Compliments of Lowcountry Graduate Press

    COVID caused pain and heartache and death across the world and here in the Lowcountry, but it also revealed some bright spots. One of those is the life sciences industry, which was responsible for diagnosing COVID, providing responses, and ultimately developing effective vaccines.

    Coincidentally, the life sciences industry in South Carolina is itself on a growth spurt that was accelerated by the pandemic. The number of firms in the industry had doubled in the last four years, making it the fastest-growing industry sector in the state. The Darla Moore School of Business estimated its annual economic impact at $12 billion before the most recent spike.

    Life sciences produce next-generation pharmaceuticals and vaccines; advanced medical devices, diagnostics, and testing; digital health; bioscience distribution; bio-agriculture and biomaterials; and biological solutions for advanced manufacturing.

    Life sciences also encompass two areas of focus for the Lowcountry Graduate Center – advanced manufacturing and healthcare management. While the connection with healthcare is obvious, many people don’t realize that life science research and advanced manufacturing work symbiotically. Many life science innovations, like medical devices, require advanced manufacturing to produce, while life science innovations can power the process of advanced manufacturing itself.

    Career Opportunities in Life Sciences

    That means jobs, and not just for M.D.s and Ph.D.’s, but for technical college graduates and university biology and chemistry majors as well. The average life sciences position pays $79,000, according to the official state affiliate of the U.S. Biotechnology Innovation Organization, also referred to as SCBIO, the nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the life sciences industry in S.C. Because workforce development is the primary challenge facing the industry, SCBIO is engaged in an initiative to promote the industry as a career path for students, guidance counselors, and parents at the K-12 level and in two- and four-year college.

    Indeed, SCBIO is in the process of developing an industry-advocated life sciences curriculum for technical colleges that can prepare graduates for jobs in the field. Courses would cover manufacturing processes; safety and technical protocols like measurements and ISO standards; soft skills required for all workplaces; and the connections between the various life science components and the life-saving innovations they support.

    “We want to get to students even sooner so we’re partnering with organizations that are already in schools to add more of the ‘S’ in STEM,” said Erin Ford, interim CEO at SCBIO. “If someone takes a course at Trident Tech, they can get a job paying $50,000 or more with health insurance while working on a product that helps people live better lives.”

    The vector of life science development is different depending on the area of the state, with the Lowcountry showing strength in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing, says Ford.

    Life Science Companies Need Space to Grow

    Besides workforce development, the next big challenge constraining growth is space. Lab space at the new WestEdge development in downtown Charleston was fully subscribed when it opened and now developers are seeking new space. Clean labs are more complex and costly to retrofit and build than ordinary office or warehouse space.

    Nonetheless, the firms keep coming – or starting – and the state has gotten behind the industry. As a critical step, it authorized and funded SCBIO as the state’s lead life sciences industry economic development organization.

    Life science provides more than just more job growth: it provides diversification of an economy that 30 years ago relied heavily on a Navy base that packed up and left. Life sciences are more recession-resistant than automotive and aeronautics, two areas of manufacturing strength in the Lowcountry that respond to retail market demand. People never cease needing health innovations.

    Recognizing that, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA) and South Carolina Research Authority have backed the industry. CRDA was the first development authority in the state to build map out a strategic plan to attract and retain life science businesses.

    Headwinds for Life Sciences in South Carolina

    Sam Konduros of KOR Medical, a clinical cannabis firm launched by the Charleston-based diagnostic and testing company Vikor Scientific, says South Carolina and SCBIO have created a business climate conducive to the industry, and the health care and advanced manufacturing infrastructure have added tailwinds to its development. Citing Vikor’s growth from 45 employees to 450 during COVID, he says recruiting a talented workforce has not been a significant challenge so far. He notes the usual Charleston quality-of-life benefits – weather, beaches, history, and food, in addition to the growing vibrancy of the industry – as recruiting tools have contributed to the success.

    Ford and Konduros see possible headwinds elsewhere for the industry. Roadways and other transportation infrastructure could use improvement, and housing availability and affordability are statewide issues. For example, the state’s franchise tax, now eliminated by 36 states, penalizes early-stage companies successfully raising venture capital before going to market. In an industry that often spends millions to earn FDA approval prior to commercialization, the tax is a burden, they say.

     September 02, 2021
  • sam patrick posted an article
    Greenville company enters MOU with global player see more

     Xcelerate, Inc. (OTC pink sheets: "XCRT") today announced that it has signed a Definitive Memorandum of Understanding with HS Pharmaceuticals, LLC of Greenville, SC defining the terms under which Xcelerate, Inc. will acquire 100% of the membership interests in HS Pharmaceuticals, LLC as well as a 51% interest in HS Cosmetics, Inc.

    The DMOU calls for the drafting and signing of an Acquisition Agreement with a pre-determined valuation of HS Pharmaceuticals as well as the raising of capital sufficient to progress the development of HS Pharmaceuticals IP and to fulfill the expansion of the current HS Cosmetics marketing plan launched in April of 2021.

    "Since the announcement of a letter of intent with HS Pharmaceuticals in May, the teams at Xcelerate and HS have been working to define the terms that have resulted in this DMOU and were able to agreement with the assistance of our advisors at Network1 Financial who will be working with us going forward in our capital raising efforts" said Michael O'Shea, Xcelerate CEO."

    "Xcelerate remains focused on joining early-stage medical technology companies in a setting of controlled clinical care where these new developments can be trialed, tested and applied," said O'Shea. 

    For more information, please visit www.xcelerate.global.