Company provides organ preservation solutions to the U.S. and Canadian markets see more
South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA), announces the successful graduation of SC Launch Inc. Portfolio Company, Global Transplant Solutions Inc. This exit yielded financial returns for the continued support of additional technology-based startups in South Carolina.
The Spartanburg-based company makes products that enable the safe collection, preservation, and transport of human organs for transplantation. They supply a complete portfolio of organ preservation solutions to the U.S. and Canadian markets and are currently the market leader in the U.S.
L to R: Steve Johnson, Tim Bruce, Leanne Burkhead, and John Bruens
Global Transplant Solutions became an SCRA Member Company in 2017 and received a $17,000 Project Development Fund Grant the same year. They became an SC Launch Inc. Portfolio Company in 2018 when they received their first investment of $200,000 and $150,000 later that year. They also received a $75,000 emergency loan during the SC Launch Inc.’s funding round to companies providing COVID-19 solutions.
“The success of Global Transplant Solutions is a result of their strong business plan and customer base. They built the company from the ground up with a clear understanding of their business goals and how they fit into the organ transplant marketplace,” said SCRA Executive Director Bob Quinn. “They are also nimble and able to respond to needs in the market as they arise. During the height of the pandemic when medical centers could not accept their solutions because they were being transported by FedEx and UPS, the company used our financial support to lease their own fleet of vehicles to directly deliver solutions to transplant centers. This action resulted in them gaining an increased market share, hiring more staff, and moving to a larger facility. This is growth for our state’s economy, and more importantly, a benefit for patients waiting for organ transplants.”
“I have enjoyed working with John Bruens, Tim Bruce, Leanne Burkhead, and the entire Global Transplant Solutions team. Every step of the way, they showed exemplary business acumen in their operations. They’re truly dedicated to the organ and procurement transplant market, with every employee being a registered organ donor and their mission as the basis for all operations,” said Steve Johnson, SCRA Investment Manager. “2021 was a record year for organ transplants in the U.S., surpassing 40,000 for the first time ever. This could not have been possible without their products and commitment. We are proud to see them move from being an early-stage startup to now an SC Launch Inc. Graduate Company.”
“Our overriding focus at Global Transplant Solutions is providing the highest quality products to the life-saving community. We ensure every unit we produce goes through a rigorous quality control and quality assurance process and meets the standards required by organ procurement and transplant professionals. SCRA and SC Launch Inc. have been trusted partners to us along the way and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them,” said John Bruens, Global Transplant Solutions CEO.
Visit Global Transplant Solutions to learn more their dedication to organ donations and transplants.
Issues over $3 million in funds to colleges, universities see more
SCRA has announced the funding of over $3.3 million to selected colleges and universities for translational research projects to address key challenges facing the state’s industrial base. SCRA’s funding is being matched by the academic institutions and industry partners, bringing the total amount of the projects to over $6.7 million.
The projects are being funded through the SCRA-Academia Collaboration Team (SACT) program. The goal of the SACT is to connect industry with multi-institutional academic teams and build bridges among the institutions to foster engagement and advance technologies, many of which will enter the marketplace and lead to the creation of South Carolina-based jobs.
- $1.8 million was awarded to Clemson University to modernize South Carolina’s manufacturing assets to enable Industry 4.0 (the ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices, using modern smart technology). Clemson is partnering with the University of South Carolina, the Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, Greenville Technical College, and Trident Technical College.
- $1.2 million was awarded to the University of South Carolina to enable factory-to-factory networking for the future of manufacturing operations. The University is partnering with Clemson University, Greenville Technical College, and Midlands Technical College.
- $305,000 was awarded to Francis Marion University to improve workforce readiness and capabilities in South Carolina. The University is partnering with The Citadel.
“I’m energized by the opportunities and positive outcomes from this intersection of academic research, entrepreneurship, and industry in the state. These collaborations provide the greatest potential for innovation, economic growth, and overall advancement of the region,” said Kella Player, SCRA Program Manager.
SCRA’s program directors and industry advisors will review the progress on these SACT research projects on an ongoing basis. Funds will be provided in stages as milestones are met.
“We are fortunate to have high-quality research and development being conducted at our state’s colleges and universities. Many of the technologies on which they are working today will produce the new companies of tomorrow. It’s a honor for SCRA to support these collaborations,” said Bob Quinn, SCRA Executive Director.
Since 2018, SACT grants have funded 17 collaborations among South Carolina-based academic institutions and 41 industry partners. These projects have produced an 8:1 multiple in additional funding from other sources such as industry and the federal government.
SCRA grants are funded in part by the Industry Partnership Fund (IPF). IPF contributors are South Carolina businesses and individuals who receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit for investing in the state’s innovation economy.
SCRA funds organizations for their COVID work see more
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) and its investment affiliate, SC Launch, Inc. have dedicated an additional $1.5 million in funding to support businesses that are providing coronavirus-related solutions and to help their current portfolio companies continue to meet their financial goals during this time.
Companies receiving funding to provide COVID-19 solutions are:
- Blue Eye Soft (COVID-19 detection and diagnosis)
- Carolina Diagnostic Solutions (pulmonary self-monitoring tools)
- Citibot (citizen engagement solution)
- Elastrin Therapeutics (treatment of lung-related illnesses)
- Pure Aqua Solution (destruction of pathogens including COVID-19)
- Precision Genetics (COVID-19 testing)
- Resiliency Technology, Inc. dba SHARPEN (mental health support for healthcare workers)
- Zylö Therapeutics (treatment of COVID-19 and other lung related illnesses)
Additional companies have received investments to help them continue growing their companies in spite of the pandemic. These are:
- ActiveEd (Walkabout app promoting learning and physical activity)
- BandwagonFanClub (fan demographic reporting to elevate event experiences)
- Ellipsis Technologies (anti-fraud and other cybersecurity tools)
- Global Transplant Solutions (organ preservation products)
- PEC360 (patient experience software)
- REsimplifi (commercial real estate property search)
“Our mission of fueling South Carolina’s innovation economy includes answering the call to help during this COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our current client companies were already providing or developing solutions related to COVID-19 while others quickly pivoted to address the pandemic. We are proud to be able to provide the support necessary to maximize the impact of these solutions,” said Bob Quinn, Executive Director of SCRA.
In addition to investing financially, SCRA is also involved in other initiatives to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff members are serving on various taskforces and committees with health systems and economic development organizations. Other SCRA-supported companies are providing solutions to the pandemic including Modjoul, which has developed an employee health screening platform, Humimic Medical and ZVerse, which are producing protective shields, and Vikor Scientific, which is providing respiratory pathogen testing. Lastly, SCRA is sharing COVID-19 resources online and through social media.
Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, nonprofit corporation SCRA is a state-chartered organization that fuels job creation and grows South Carolina’s innovation economy. Through SCRA’s programs, SC Academic Innovations, SC Facilities, SC Launch and SC Ventures, researchers, developers and early-stage companies are receiving mentoring and funding, and may be eligible for an investment from SCRA’s investment affiliate, SC Launch, Inc.
SCRA Making Huge Contributions to SC business and job growth see more
New Report Spotlights Heavy-Hitting Contributions to State Business and Job Growth
In Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19), the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) played a major role in boosting jobs and technology-related businesses in South Carolina, with 2.9% technology sector job growth—close to double that of general statewide employment gains—and an impact of $694.38 million on the overall innovation economy. An annual report released this week quantifies metrics and shares the success stories behind these positive statewide trends resulting from the efforts of SCRA and its clients and partners in research, academia, entrepreneurship and industry. Click here to read the full story, compliments of Midlands Biz.
Biopharma research is an important source of jobs, tax revenue and research spending in SC see more
New findings show biopharma research companies a source of jobs, tax revenue and research spending in state
GREENVILLE, S.C., October 4, 2018 – This week, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) released a new report that finds there are more than 572 active clinical trials in the South Carolina, and the life science industry supports 29,500 high-quality jobs and contributes $7.9 billion to South Carolina’s economy. These clinical trials can be responsible for more than half of the $2.6 billion average cost of developing one new medicine. They are investigating some of the biggest health care challenges South Carolinians face, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
The report, titled “Research in Your Backyard: Developing Cures, Creating Jobs, Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in South Carolina,” was released at a press event held at the Westin Poinsett today, which featured a panel discussion including researchers and executives from the Greenville Health System, KIYATEC, the Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC, and the Greenwood Genetic Center, moderated by SCBIO President and CEO, Sam Konduros.
“Clinical trials offer patients novel medical treatments right here in the Palmetto State, while also allowing biopharma research organizations to innovate and grow,” said Konduros. “Across South Carolina, the life sciences and healthcare industries have had a profound impact on our economy and citizens, that continues to rapidly increase.”
Clinical trials are a vital component of bringing new life-saving drugs and treatments to market. On average, it takes approximately a decade for new medicines to go through the rigorous Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process. Only 12 percent of drugs successfully make it through clinical trials. Since 2004, biopharmaceutical research companies have conducted or are currently conducting more than 4,700 clinical trials in South Carolina. In 2013 alone, the nearly 1,100 active clinical trials in the state generated an estimated economic impact of $540 million.
“One of the most important things we want people to understand about medicine development is that clinical trials rely on patient participation,” said Nick McGee, Director of Public Affairs for PhRMA. “It’s incredibly important that patients are aware of ongoing trials and learn how they can help become part of finding a cure for the toughest chronic conditions and diseases we face today.”
In the United States, there are more than 7,000 open clinical trials being sponsored by the biopharmaceutical industry, universities, individuals and organizations combined. In South Carolina, of the 572 open clinical trials involving the biopharmaceutical research industry, the University of South Carolina Medial School is collaborating on more than 143 clinical trials and the Medical University of South Carolina is collaborating on more than 142.
“Many top research and medical universities call South Carolina home and are centers of innovation,” Bob Quinn, Executive Director of the South Carolina Research Authority, said. “Maintaining strong partnerships between our universities and life science companies allows us to foster developments right here in South Carolina that can then help save lives far beyond our state lines.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $600 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $71.4 billion in 2017 alone.
About SC BIO
SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven public/private economic development organization focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. With an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms and 15,000 professionals directly involved in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products that make a difference across the Palmetto State and around the world. Visit us at SCBIO.org.
SCRA Celebrates $1 Billion in Support of South Carolina Start-Ups see more
Summerville, S.C.– SCRA, a public, non-profit corporation that fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy, celebrated a milestone of $1 billion of follow-on capital secured by Client Companies in the SC Launch Program. SC Launch, SCRA’s entrepreneurial program, provides mentoring, grants and access to SC Launch, Inc. investments for qualified, South Carolina-based, early-stage companies.
Access to follow-on capital is critical to the success of entrepreneurial companies. Angel investors, venture capital funds and corporate investors are the main source of follow-on funding secured by SC Launch companies. The $1 billion in follow-on investments were acquired by more than 140 Client Companies over the span of 12 years.
“Our job, and our passion, is guiding companies to the next stage in the entrepreneurial life cycle and seeing them through to success,” said Bob Quinn, SCRA Executive Director, “The funding provided by SC Launch is vital in enabling our Client Companies to overcome many of the barriers faced by early-stage enterprises. However, void of follow-on funding, these companies often flounder. Therefore, we are thrilled to be celebrating this $1 billion milestone.”
“Through the SC Launch Program, SCRA helps entrepreneurs to strategically navigate the ups and downs of running a company. We also work alongside entrepreneurs to secure grants, prepare them for investments and secure capital from other sources.” said Jill Sorensen, SCRA Director of Entrepreneurial Programs and Executive Director of SC Launch, Inc. “Our team rolls up our sleeves and dives in to provide an advantage for the entrepreneurs we support.”
SCRA is a state-chartered organization that fuels job creation and grows South Carolina’s innovation economy. The SC Launch Program is open to qualified South Carolina companies in the Advanced Materials/Manufacturing, Information Technology and Life Sciences sectors.
Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, non-profit corporation, SCRA fuels South Carolina’s Innovation Economy by supporting entrepreneurs, enabling academic research and its commercialization, and connecting industry to innovators.
22 WESTEDGE BREAKS GROUND AND BREAKS THE MOLD FOR INNOVATIVE LIFE SCIENCES WORKPLACES IN CHARLESTON, SCNEW LIFE SCIENCES DISTRICT KICKS OFF CONSTRUCTION IN CHARLESTON, SC AT WESTEDGE see more
Charleston, SC - July 17, 2018 marked the construction kickoff for 22 WestEdge, a striking new workplace anchor for the city’s growing knowledge economy and the highly anticipated centerpiece of the WestEdge District. The iconic 125-foot, eight-story structure will be the tallest multi-tenant office building on the peninsula and in Charleston’s metropolitan area when it opens in November 2019.
“22 WestEdge affirms the vision for a Live, Learn and Earn district, adding vital office, research and lab components to the world class WestEdge community. It builds on the remarkable momentum of a development that already has over $300 million under construction,” said Michael Maher, CEO of The WestEdge Foundation, Inc., the non-profit sponsor of the overall development.
Even prior to the 22 WestEdge groundbreaking, area economic development proponents including The Medical University of South Carolina, the South Carolina Research Authority, the City of Charleston, Heritage Trust and the WestEdge Foundation committed to 22 WestEdge, forming the nucleus of entities working to incubate, attract and retain entrepreneurial talent to energize the Charleston economy. While 48% of the space is currently leased, 72,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 square feet of retail space remain available for existing local businesses, or for new companies being created or relocating to the Charleston region. This is a remarkable concentration of ingenuity¾over 35,000 people live, work, study and seek healthcare expertise in the adjacent medical district.
Partnership and innovation opportunities abound for 22 WestEdge tenants—with unprecedented access to like-minded neighbors and colleagues in Charleston’s life sciences sector. Dr. David Cole, President of MUSC shared, “With MUSC’s $275 million of research and proprietary discoveries, 22 WestEdge will allow the University to collaborate with private industry to create new healthcare solutions, new companies and recruit existing global medical-related companies to Charleston.” Bob Quinn, Executive Director of the SCRA agreed, “SCRA’s leasing of the entire top floor of 22 WestEdge will allow us to create a world-class facility, including laboratories, which will serve as a catalyst for the attraction of leading life sciences companies and the creation of a Discovery District adjacent to MUSC.”
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg echoed, “It’s no secret that biomedical advances will be a key driver of our economy and society in the years ahead. With 156,000 square feet of office space dedicated to precisely the kind of research and enterprise that will help make those breakthroughs possible, 22 WestEdge is a welcome and important addition to our city’s medical district.”
22 WestEdge office tenants will also benefit from the energy and vitality of the district. Recently completed, The Caroline has 237 apartments and 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and the topped-out 10 WestEdge will have 350 residential units, a Publix Super Market, Woodhouse Spa and additional retail and restaurant space, providing an abundance of shopping, eating and living options for all. 22 WestEdge’s own amenities include 15,000 square feet of cafes and fitness facilities, common conference and event facilities and a terrace wrapping the 7th floor with sweeping views of the Ashley River. Mack Reese, 22 WestEdge developer and partner, explains his reason for developing the project, “With its access to parking, numerous retail amenities and an urban density of residential opportunities for employees, the building will be a new and exciting option for existing Charleston businesses and those looking to relocate to the region.”
Upon completion, WestEdge’s master-planned mixed-use district will encompass more than 3,000,000 square feet of space on 60 acres along the Ashley River adjacent to MUSC and the Medical District, and fronting on Brittlebank Park and the Joseph Riley Baseball Stadium. WestEdge is a public-private partnership created to advance economic development and expand the research capabilities of the Medical University of South Carolina and foster new companies and collaborative opportunities with private industry. It is an innovative redevelopment that is transforming the quality of life for Charleston’s west side.
Key 22 WestEdge partners include Gateway Development (Developer) ELV Associates (Investor), BB&T (Lender), Trident Construction (General Contractor), Perkins & Will (Architect), Thomas and Hutton (Civil Engineer), and Lee & Associates (Marketing & Leasing).
For leasing inquiries and further detail on WestEdge development, please contact Mack Reese of Gateway Development (770-310-3414 ).
SCRA, SBA form Strategic Alliance to further economic development, innovation see more
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s S.C. District has partnered with SCRA to form a Strategic Alliance Memorandum.
The alliance is expected to further economic development through entrepreneurship, educational opportunities and access to capital and technical assistance.
“We recognize the common goals of SCRA and SBA in helping start, maintain and expand small businesses,” R. Gregg White, S.C. SBA district director, said in a statement. “This is an opportunity to leverage the resources of both organizations for the benefit of South Carolina small businesses.”
Bob Quinn, SCRA’s executive director, joined White in signing the memorandum at the Applied Technologies Center in Summerville.
“By supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses and early-stage companies, we are creating opportunities for the citizens of South Carolina,” Quinn said. “We are excited to formalize our relationship with the S.C. SBA and look forward to our future collaborations with their team.”
SCRA, chartered in 1983, is a public nonprofit that supports entrepreneurs and academic research and connects industry to innovators.