ZVerse and Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing step up for South Carolina see more
Two South Carolina companies -- ZVerse and Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing -- jumped into action to meet the needs of the response to the coronavirus, manufacturing vital pieces of equipment at a time when they were urgently needed and unlikely to be easily available for import.
In doing so, they played key roles as the country rushed to provide the medical supplies needed to protect the lives of the sick and their caregivers.
In Columbia, ZVerse began March as a company that helped manufacturers by creating more effective computer files for their production processes. It had the capability to do some 3D printing but did not usually do manufacturing.
Nephron gets nod from FDA see more
West-Columbia headquartered-Nephron Pharmaceutical Corp.’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has received an additional weapon.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the company’s request to add a production line used in the manufacturing of bronchodilator albuterol today, Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy told the Columbia Regional Business Report.
“This news came in 20 minutes ago,” Kennedy said Monday morning. “People are cheering. It’s like The Price is Right or something.”
Kennedy said she expects to hear whether a second production line has been approved later this week.
Last month, Kennedy petitioned the FDA to add up to six production lines moved to Columbia from the company’s previous Florida headquarters in 2019. Kennedy said the additional lines could help the sterile respiratory medication manufacturer keep up with unprecedented demand.
Kennedy said March saw a 141% increase in the doses of inhalation solutions Nephron typically produces a month.
“We went from a regular month of about 80 million shipped to 193 million shipped in March. That’s just for the respiratory side,” she said. “For our sterile injectable medications that we make for all the hospitals in America that have drug shortage needs, that was up by like 22%. We’re seeing the same exact trend in April.”
Kennedy praised the FDA for its quick response, saying the federal agency granted Nephron a CBE-30, “which means Change Being Effected. That’s giving you a goal date of 30 days or less to review your material and be able to say yes or no,” she said.
“That’s really something. You’ve just got to know and feel good as a patient or a potential patient in America that the FDA has been working with me on the phone almost every day, or by email, trying to get this through expeditiously so that we can crank up a few more lines.
“As much as we can make, we’re selling. I don’t want to get behind. So if we can get these other lines approved pretty quickly, then we’ll be able to pump out — if I get four lines, at least another 50 million a month.”
Also helping meet demand, Kennedy said, are the efforts of the S.C. Ports Authority.
Last Thursday, four gigantic containers of automated packaging equipment arrived at Nephron headquarters from Switzerland. Today, the company is expecting air delivery of critical supplies from Italy, one of the countries hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You know how difficult that was to pull off?” Kennedy said.
Kennedy developed a working relationship with the port as she moved hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment from Florida to West Columbia when Nephron relocated to South Carolina in 2014. During her time as chair of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce from 2018-19, Kennedy came to know S.C. Ports CEO Jim Newsome and COO Barbara Melvin well.
Expecting last week’s shipment of automated equipment to help Nephron workers quickly label, package and ship products, Kennedy called Melvin.
“I reached out to see what the situation was going to be like in getting these pieces of equipment,” she said. “That equipment, which was four giant containers, arrived to the dot at 9 a.m. (Thursday) morning all because of two great South Carolina partners — UPS and its hub that’s located one exit from me, and the Ports Authority.
“All of these drugs that are packaged will go to benefit speedier to-market products for patients with COVID-19. … This is front-line equipment that we need to get our products to market quicker.”
Nephron is also gearing up to begin releasing 100-mL saline bags for administration of sodium chlorine. The minibags, made scarce after the 2017 hurricane season hit manufacturer Baxter Healthcare hard, are once again in short supply, Kennedy said.
“We are very happy to say that we’ve been producing 100-mL saline for the last two weeks in anticipation for this going on shortage,” said Kennedy, who said the bags would be released this past Friday.
While Nephron has ramped up production in response to previous respiratory illnesses such as SARS and H1N1, Kennedy said the COVID-19 crisis is unlike anything she’s ever seen. Nephron began making its own hand sanitizer last month, distributing 50 liters to the William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veteran Affairs Center.
“I had absolutely no idea we’d reach these levels. I couldn’t even imagine, can’t even imagine, still am trying to process,” Kennedy said. “One particular day, two or three weeks ago, one hospital system in New York ordered 3,000 nebulizers from us. A typical thing might be 50, no more than 100. They ordered 3,000.”
S.C. Ports and other transportation partners have helped Nephron fill the exploding demand, Kennedy said, while Nephron workers are proud to be playing a role in combating the virus.
“I couldn’t even begin to compare ourselves with what they’re doing at hospitals, but there is a true sense of patriotism,” she said. “People are coming to work optimistic in the fact that they’re helping, in their own small way, American patients.”
Dr. Carol Moore steps down as Columbia College president see more
Dr. Carol A. Moore announced her decision to step down as president of Columbia College after four years in the top leadership role. During her tenure, Dr. Moore helped Columbia College strengthen its mission of providing a strong liberal arts education and professional programs emphasizing service, social justice, and leadership development.
“The Columbia College family thanks President Moore for her tireless effort to make our school a special place for so many. She has taken on re-positioning Columbia College with leadership and strength,” Board of Trustees Chair Toby Goodlett said. “Since her arrival in September 2016, Dr. Moore has been invaluable to our mission. We respect her decision to step away at this time to care for her family and her health and we want to express our appreciation for her unwavering dedication to our school and mission,” Goodlett said.
The extraordinary planning necessary for a smooth transition to becoming a coeducational college, exacerbated by the challenges facing senior management to provide a comprehensive response to COVID 19, convinced the Board of Trustees to consider a familiar voice to lead. Former President, Dr. Peter Mitchell will serve as the interim President, effective immediately while the board starts a search for a permanent president.
As former President of Columbia College from 1988-97, Dr. Mitchell has a passion for the school and an understanding of and appreciation for the leadership role the College plays in South Carolina. During his tenure the Women’s Leadership Institute was established, the Johnnie Cordell Breed Leadership Center was built and Mitchell helped secure funding for the Barbara Bush Center for Science & Technology. For the past 13 years, Dr. Mitchell has served as a consultant to college and university trustees and presidents in the areas of strategic planning, enrollment management, and fundraising.
“Dr. Mitchell worked with Dr. Moore for four years and they have remained friends for decades. We have no doubt this transition will be seamless and the students and staff will be thrilled to have Dr. Mitchell’s excitement and energy on campus,” Goodlett said.
ABOUT COLUMBIA COLLEGE
Columbia College was founded in 1854 as Columbia Female College by the Methodist Conference of South Carolina. The College, located on Plain Street, now Hampton, in Columbia, SC, opened to students in October 1859. Columbia College continues to serve as an institution for higher education with approximately 1,200 male and female students in both undergraduate and graduate courses.
DPX unveils new brand, website see more
Columbia, SC – DPX Technologies, a manufacturer of laboratory consumable products, announces the launch of a new brand image. DPX has been manufacturing pipette tips for sample preparation since 2007. Their patented technologies are available across the U.S., and DPX plans to increase sales internationally.
The rebrand includes a new company logo, website and other marketing collateral. DPX also updated the product lines with a trademark for the name INTip™. Product lines include INTip™ Solid Phase Extraction and INTip™ Filtration. This strategic brand update aligns product segments within different industries and highlights pipette tip technology for sample preparation.
The future of DPX lies in the proteomics and genomics industries. Dr. Brewer sees a big future with INTip products for protein purification and DNA purification. “INTip compliments the existing core technology and delivers the new brand expansion for pipette tip products in market segments where automated sample preparation is highly sought after,” said Dr. Brewer, founder and CEO of DPX Technologies. “Pipette tips are easy to use and easy to automate, which will increase efficiency, robustness and reproducibility for protein purification and DNA purification.”
DPX products are currently sold across the U.S., Canada and in Brazil. “We are starting to pick up leads in Europe, Australia and China. We are excited about expanding our product offerings internationally,” said Bill Kemnitzer, PhD., Director of Sales and Business Development.
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About DPX Technologies
DPX is committed to providing innovative sample purification solutions. We collaborate with our customers to provide the high-quality products they need for complex chemical and biological analysis. Visit them at https://dpxtechnologies.com/.
University of South Carolina Opens Innovation Think Tank Lab in Partnership with Siemens HealthineersSiemens Healthineers and USC have forged a new partnership see more
The University of South Carolina has opened its Innovation Think Tank (ITT) Lab in downtown Columbia in collaboration with Siemens Healthineers. The space will be an innovation hub where participants including researchers, faculty members, and students can think outside the box to solve issues in healthcare, artificial intelligence, robotics, and information technology. The ITT Lab at South Carolina is the first Innovation Think Tank Lab affiliated with a U.S. university, as part of Siemens Healthineers' global network of Innovation Think Tank Labs led by adjunct professor Sultan Haider.
"Centers like this are so important because they bring technology and use it to create something new and do things differently," said Elizabeth Regan, the chair of Integrated Information Technology at the College of Engineering and Computing. "That involves opening your mind, moving yourself out of your comfort zone, innovative thinking, and collaborating."
Computer science professor Neset Hikmet, who oversaw the lab's creation, said his vision for the lab is to host workshops with participants from diverse academic backgrounds and to provide them with mentorship and resources to solve pressing issues in healthcare and beyond. "These are all opportunities that have participants getting out of their boundaries, meeting different people, and experiencing different cultures and ways of doing things," Hikmet said.
Hossein Haj-Hariri, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, noted the importance of the university's growing partnership with Siemens. "The focus of Siemens Healthineers is very much aligned with that of modern curricula, which stress design thinking in addition to coverage of the fundamentals," Haj-Hariri said. "Furthermore, the innovation process underpinning Healthineers and ITT provides a natural platform for imparting to the participants the soft skills necessary for success in the 21st century."
Dilek Akgun, director of operations at the ITT Lab, said that this new facility will promote creative thinking in the future. "The ITT Lab will allow us to bring people together from a variety of disciplines to share their unique perspectives, which will stimulate innovation and help great ideas become reality," Akgun said.
Thanks to the UofSC ITT Lab's affiliation with Siemens Healthineers' global ITT infrastructure worldwide, the participants will be able to share knowhow with other ITT members and participate at its various locations in Germany, the U.K., China, Turkey, India, and the U.S. This global network will allow participants to collaborate with other innovators worldwide.
Siemens Healthineers' ITT Lab founder and director Haider, who is also now affiliated with the College of Engineering and Computing as an adjunct professor to help with the successful implementation of the lab, heads Siemens Healthineers' ITT global organization from Germany. Haider noted the benefits that students will see from this new partnership. "In addition to many new learning possibilities, the UofSC ITT lab's top participants will have the potential for receiving a variety of fellowships and internships with the Siemens Healthineers ITT lab global network," Haider said.
In conjunction with the opening of the ITT Lab, 20 participants from academic institutions such as South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Benedict College, and the University of Florida participated in a two-day "Interdisciplinary Innovations in Healthcare Workshop." There, the participants were challenged to identify a problem in the healthcare industry and then develop and present a real-world solution to that problem.
In just two days' time, these participants' ideas showed the possibilities of this new lab organized around innovation. Their ideas included an app for stroke detection and monitoring in real-time, an implant that holds patients' medical history, and a smart pill that treats obesity.
Lexington Medical Center will dedicate the largest hospital expansion in South Carolina history see more
Lexington Medical Center will dedicate the largest hospital expansion in South Carolina history on Thursday, according to a news release from the hospital.
The center will celebrate its new 545,000-square foot patient care tower, scheduled to open to patients March 26.
“Lexington Medical Center is integral to our community and woven into its fabric — today and forever,” Tod Augsburger, president and CEO of Lexington Medical Center said in the release. “The hospital’s mission is to meet the health needs of our community, and we’re committed to taking care of our families, friends and neighbors. We look forward to this new tower serving the people of the Midlands for many years to come.”
The new tower features patient rooms, eight operating rooms, educational space for staff and community members and enhanced dining options. It also includes six post-delivery rooms for patients in need of long-term monitoring, a mother/baby room for postpartum patients and a 20-bed special-care nursery with private rooms.
Six floors will accommodate medical, critical care and surgical patients. Lexington Medical Center staff performed more than 20,000 surgeries last year and deliver more than 3,300 babies annually, the release said. A mosaic of more than 4,000 of the 100,000 babies born at the hospital since its 1971 opening will be displayed inside the new tower.
The new tower will also add a 950-space parking garage and a central energy plant to support the tower. Read more about this milestone for South Carolina.
DPX Technologies has invested more than $2.5 million and announced an expansion in Columbia, SC see more
Columbia, SC – DPX Technologies, a manufacturer of laboratory consumable products, has invested more than $2.5 million and announced an expansion in Columbia, SC. The biotechnology company purchased and renovated a 12,000 sq. ft facility on 5 acres in the SCRA Carolina Research Park.
DPX manufactures patented sample preparation products and specializes in custom workflows for a diverse client base including clinical, forensic, food safety, and pharmaceutical industries. Their products offer sample preparation solutions that are compatible with semi-automated and fully automated liquid handling systems. This enables high sample throughput and high laboratory efficiency.
A Columbia, SC-based biotech firm has introduced a new INTip solution with a proprietry design... see more
Columbia, SC – DPX Technologies announces a new INTip solution that utilizes a proprietary design for micro-elution dispersive solid phase extraction. DPX INTip solutions are designed to simplify sample preparation methods, and the μElution dSPE tip provides an automated solution for optimal sensitivity.
“The μElution dSPE tips were developed as an addition to the dSPE product line, that give our customers the ability to reduce elution volumes and increase sensitivity for downstream analysis,” said William E. Brewer, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of DPX Technologies. “DPX micro-elution methods eliminate solvent evaporation and reduce the challenges for sample preparation of high throughput, high sensitivity assays.”
Ritedose Corp. has opened a new facility on MTC’s Enterprise Campus in Columbia, SC see more
The Ritedose Corp. has opened a 150,000-square-foot facility on the campus of Midlands Technical College. The facility is the anchor tenant on MTC’s Enterprise Campus, a 130-acre industrial park for and educational partnership with new or existing industries looking for development space and workforce training.
The new operations mark the first expansion for Ritedose, a blow-fill-seal manufacturer headquartered in Columbia.
S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin joined MTC president Ron Rhames and Ritedose president and CEO Jody Chastain at a ribbon cutting and tour on Thursday.
Officials inclluding MTC president Ron Rhames, S.C. Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt and Ritedose CEO Jody Chastain cut the ribbon on Ritedose's new facility on MTC's Enterprise Campus on Thursday. (Photo/Provided)
“TRC chose to set up our facility at the MTC Enterprise Campus because it is close geographically and it strengthens our relationship with Midlands Technical College,” Chastain said in a news release. “Having the benefit of a technical college with a willingness to structure curriculum for our industry makes sense. We will be working with MTC in designing courses that will be applied toward training and hiring the skill set that will continue to facilitate TRC’s success.”
TRC specializes in the production of inhalation products, eye drops, eardrops and oral liquids, serving clients from clinical trials to full-scale commercialization.
“We welcome companies like TRC that desire a relationship with an academic institution and that will take full advantage of what this site has to offer,” said Chuck Whipple, MTC Enterprise Campus executive director. “The Ritedose Corporation will be able to recruit MTC students to train and work in one of the most modern manufacturing environments in the state. It’s a win for the students, for the college and for TRC.”
The MTC Enterprise Campus offers office and industrial space ranging from five to 40 acres. Companies will be able to train and hire MTC students who have developed technical skills tailored to their organizations.
“This new facility will provide internship opportunities for many MTC students,” Rhames said. “By bridging the divide between learning and working, the enterprise campus will continue to grow as more companies choose to co-locate adjacent to the college’s northeast campus, where workforce training needs are so close at hand.”
Industry subject matter experts to cover what businesses need to know about state industry see more
GREENVILLE, SC – February 14, 2018 – SCBIO will host a half-day program March 14, 2018 -- South Carolina Life Sciences Boot Camp: Essentials of a Growing Industry – to inform and update businesses and professionals from across the state on opportunities, trends and issues facing South Carolina’s fastest-growing industry segment.
To be held at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health in Columbia, the program will run from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and will feature a light breakfast followed by presentations from over half a dozen noted life sciences industry leaders. Confirmed presenters and their topics are:
- Burnie Maybank, Author of the SC Life Sciences Act; Partner, Nexsen Pruet, “Life Sciences industry Economic Development Incentives”
- Stephanie Yarbrough, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson, “M&A 101 in the Life Sciences Space”
- Kathryn Cole Becker, Principal, Translational Science Solutions, “FDA 101 for Medical Devices”
- Jeff Stover, Partner, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, “IP Essentials for Life Sciences”
- John Osborne, Partner, Good Growth Capital, “Introduction to Life Science Innovation & Entrepreneurship”
- Public Policy Hot Topics – Speaker to be announced
Attendance is free to SCBIO members and employees of SCBIO member companies, and available for only $75 to Non-Members. Advance registration is required, and space is limited. To register, visit www.SCBIO.org/Events.
SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven public/private economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. The industry has an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms directly involved and 15,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products. The state-wide nonprofit has offices in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston, and represents companies in the advanced medicines, medical devices, equipment, diagnostics, IT, and healthcare outcome industries.
SCBIO is the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations. SCBIO’s diverse membership is leading research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotech and med-tech products that will make a difference across the Palmetto State, and around the world.
For additional information on SCBIO, visit www.SCBIO.org.