SC's life sciences industry responds to the challenge of COVID-19 see more
I just completed a radio interview with SC Business Review, focused exclusively on the all-consuming and seismic topic of the Coronavirus – which is dramatically impacting all our lives. As I made clear to interviewer Mike Switzer, any relevance of me being interviewed as opposed to our scientists and clinicians is tied to the privilege that SCBIO has of serving as a voice and accurate storyteller for the 600+ life sciences companies and entities that proudly call the Palmetto State home.
And there are incredibly meaningful and encouraging stories to share in the midst of this very real public health crisis – regarding SC companies and institutions that will positively impact patients across the state and nation with innovative and creative approaches they are actively, and very rapidly, undertaking.
Just a few exemplary SC examples include:
- MUSC Health was the first in the nation to uniquely provide both direct, timely, and online access to Coronavirus screening via their virtual care platform coupled with a drive-through specimen collection site for patients with possible COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. This was done in partnership with the developers (newest SCBIO Member, Trademark Properties) of the dramatically redeveloped Citadel Mall Epic Center, which is now home to MUSC Health’s West Ashley Medical Pavilion – as they worked closely to secure immediate approvals for the location of the collection site in the mall parking lot. If you or someone you know needs to be screened, log on to www.musc.care and use COVID19 as the promo code. This is FREE for all South Carolinians.
- Nephron Pharmaceuticals, a major national supplier of respiratory therapy medications badly needed by patients suffering from COVID-19, is aggressively ramping up their ability to increase production of 90 million sterile doses per month of targeted drug therapies with an additional 32 million doses, as they work with the FDA to have 3 new aseptic filling lines approved and brought online quickly to meet skyrocketing demands they are experiencing.
- Vikor Scientific has specifically dedicated 2,000 sq. ft of their brand new 22,000 sq. ft. headquarters and CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited lab facilities at WestEdge for COVID-19 testing as soon as approval is received from the FDA. They are in fact preparing 100,000 test kits to be available for shipment to customers as soon as Wednesday of this week – and are working closely with the FDA for continued guidance on expediting the approval process.
On the national front, there are also some encouraging stories emerging, including the most rapid launch of a possible new vaccine on record.
Moderna has already begun its first coronavirus vaccine trial in Washington State (the nation’s worst hot spot at present) with volunteers at Kaiser Permanente Research Institute in Seattle. Over the next 2 months, volunteers ages 18-55 will get two doses of the trial vaccine (known as mRNA-1273). Dr. Fauci of the national Coronavirus Task Force has confirmed that this 65-day development is the fastest ever accomplished for a new vaccine of this magnitude. And while widespread utilization of a newly approved vaccine is still likely 12-18 months away, gratefully progress is on track to achieve that. Also noteworthy are other vaccines and targeted therapies concurrently in the pipeline, involving companies such as Pfizer, Regeneron and Sanofi.
Finally, on a very personal note, each of us and our extended families are being dramatically impacted by this global pandemic and are encouraged to do our parts in mitigating the spread of this fearsome and highly contagious virus. After an extended battle with metastatic lung cancer, my dad peacefully passed away this past weekend, and regrettably his funeral will have to be limited to a private family graveside service (with a future memorial service to be scheduled once the health crisis has subsided). In an interesting juxtaposition of life & death, my nephew’s wedding this weekend has been compressed to a small family rehearsal dinner combined with a quiet ceremony in conjunction with the dinner. I’m certain that there will be a multitude of other similar stories from most of you regarding how we grapple and deal with this unprecedented event with no clear endpoint at present.
While all of this will ultimately be in our “rear view mirrors” at some point in the future through the power and innovation of our industry, our researchers, and our heroic healthcare providers, life and business as we know it will have to be dramatically different in the weeks – and possibly months – ahead. Expect a more virtual experience with SCBIO for the near future, and look to hear from us more often via electronic means ranging from e-blasts to social media efforts to increased website postings to webinars. I am fully confident that all of our life & health sciences companies and leaders will respond valiantly, and that this will bring out the best in us – with creative and even transformative solutions and strategies that will enable us to maintain momentum in our vital missions. And we will learn a great deal and grow through this challenging process – as our strength is truly forged in fire…
We will update you on various developments around COVID-19 and beyond and encourage all of you to share your stories of hope and progress as we collectively battle this formidable foe. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our SCBIO team for any reason, and we are more grateful than ever for all of you.
Sam Konduros, CEO
SCBIO believes growing the life sciences sector will significantly transform the state’s economy. see more
Compliments of the Community Journal...
It was all smiles on Sept. 30 as BMW marked the 25th anniversary of the first vehicle to roll off its Spartanburg assembly line, a singular moment that dramatically transformed the economic face of South Carolina.
A quarter-century after opening, the German manufacturer’s North American facility employs more than 11,000 workers who build 1,500 vehicles daily, a pace requiring the services of more than 40 main suppliers across the state.
The average wage among all S.C. jobs supported by the automotive industry stood at $64,120 in 2017 compared to $40,293 across all employment categories, say findings commissioned by the South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization (SCBIO).
Now three years old, SCBIO is spearheading an aggressive initiative to make South Carolina the preferred location for new or expanding companies in another highly promising industry: life sciences. Read the entire story by clicking here.
Enjoy SCBIO's latest news and events! see more
SCBIO continues to provide assistance, connections and resources to help our state deal with the increasing COVID-19 threat.
Check out this latest newsletter to access information on up-to-date safety, infection control and health protocols recommended by experts...
Regular webinars dealing with timely topics...
Supply chain connections assisting those in need of medicines, testing kits, personal protective equipment and other goods with suppliers who can assist them...
Assistance in accessing regulatory bodies to get solutions to market quickly... and
Great stories of how South Carolina companies are stepping up to help in this time of critical need.
Power of Collaboration: South Carolina’s Humimic Medical Arming Healthcare Workers for the COVID-19 WarHumimic Medical is stepping up for South Carolina see more
As a growing number of healthcare workers join the front lines to battle the global COVID-19 pandemic, or Coronavirus, here in America, there is critical need for basic personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect them – PPE which is now in short supply in many areas across America.
South Carolina entrepreneurs and industry leaders are stepping up in unprecedented ways to protect these first responders and to defeat the global pandemic.
Joel Edwards, CEO of Greenville’s Humimic Medical, decided his organization could do something about it – even though his company did not manufacture essential equipment like face masks, face shields, swabs, or gloves. Edwards estimated that if his team could re-purpose their own product designs and manufacturing capacity, they could deliver a quality version of these critical supplies at relatively low price-points – mirroring the approach for their existing synthetic gel and medical trainer products. With help from Deborah Herbert, President of Multiplastics in Mt. Pleasant, the company had plans and suppliers in place in less than 48 hours to deliver 80,000+ face shields over the next few weeks.
“As we sat around the table during a team meeting last week, we found ourselves asking each other how we can help,” said Edwards. “We knew we had to make something happen fast to make a difference, because healthcare workers don’t need something 3-4 weeks from now, they need it now.”
The Humimic team picked up drafting pencils and phones to devise a plan they could execute quickly, and had designs and suppliers lined up within one day and working prototypes ready to scale up 24 hours later.
The speed and agility demonstrated by Humimic Medical is not only a testament to the company’s ability to pivot and respond to market needs, but also showcases the rich, collaborative ecosystem that has emerged within South Carolina. Edwards was able to leverage relationships with physicians in a nearby health system to validate the design, tap vendor and supplier relationships through South Carolina’s Department of Commerce, and gain key insights and connections through groups like SCBIO, the South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization, which serves as the life science community’s catalyst for building, advancing and growing the industry.
Added SCBIO President and CEO Sam Konduros, whose team was able to rapidly connect Humimic with key contacts to deliver the new face shields where they are needed most, “We continue to live our mission of being the life sciences industry convener, and that’s more important than ever right now.”
“SCBIO has been a tremendous asset in this process” said Edwards. “Their team has walked right alongside of ours to ensure we maximize this opportunity to serve our front-line healthcare workers.”
He also hinted that Humimic Medical isn’t stopping with face shields either, as they work to develop other key supplies in short supply including a novel nasal swab and innovative re-usable face masks.
“The need is great, and we’re committed to making a difference during this time of need,” he added.
About Humimic Medical:
Humimic Medical is a rapidly growing medical trainer and synthetic gel manufacturing company based in Greenville, SC. The company is driven by innovative product design, world-class customer service, and fueled by robust collaborative partnerships with universities and healthcare providers. Humimic Medical utilizes its proprietary synthetic gel blend to more closely represent human tissue elasticity and maintain recyclable/reusable qualities that no other product line currently offers delivered at a significantly lower price point than any existing products.
Zylo nominated to BIO contest see more
Zylö Therapeutics Inc., developer of the transformational Z-pod™ topical delivery platform, announced that it has been nominated as a finalist for the Buzz of BIO Contest, which recognizes the most innovative companies in the life sciences.
BIO is the world’s largest biotech association. Among other conferences, the association sponsors the 2020 BIO International Convention each year, with almost 20,000 attendees. It takes place in San Diego this year in June, where the winner of Buzz of BIO will be announced.
Each finalist was asked to submit the three compelling reasons to vote for them. Zylö’s reasons are summarized as follows:
1. Zylö’s endocannabinoid-loaded Z-pod™ solution is showing striking results in a lupus model... Lupus affects women and people of color disproportionately and has tragic quality-of-life ramifications.
2. Our nitric-oxide-releasing Z-pod™ topical solution is showing compelling results in an Erectile Dysfunction model (where ED is secondary to prostatectomy, a condition that is not treatable with Viagra et al.); this solution should translate well as a treatment for older women with sexual dysfunction.
3. Our technology is disruptive and affordable... and we plan on keeping it that way.
Scott Pancoast, Zylö CEO and founder, stated “This is a huge honor and reflects the incredible innovation taking place in our lab from Andrew Draganski PhD, scientific founder, and scientists Eric Renne (M.S., U.C.) and Clay Tucker (M.S., Clemson). We encourage folks in the Upstate to vote in an effort to continue this region’s winning ways in the world of technological innovation.”
About Zylö Therapeutics: Zylö has developed a breakthrough topical delivery system that extends the duration-of-effect, improves the solubility/targeting, and/or enhances the product performance of many therapeutic agents. Notably, the Z-pod™ technology platform has enabled the Patchless Patch™ concept and has successfully harnessed the therapeutic potential of nitric oxide, one of the most powerful—and short-lived—biomolecules produced by our bodies. For more details please visit our web site, www.zylotherapeutics.com and follow us on Twitter (@ZyloTherapies).
Alcami's $17 million investment is expected to create 30 new jobs see more
Alcami Corporation, a leading provider of fully-integrated custom end-to-end solutions for the pharmaceutical and biologics industries, today announced plans to expand the company’s current operations in Charleston County. The $17 million investment is expected to create 30 new jobs.
Operating in North Charleston since 2001, Alcami offers a variety of solutions tailored to small and midsized pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Located at 4221 Faber Place Drive in North Charleston, S.C., Alcami will add approximately 6,000 square feet to the footprint of its facility, substantially augmenting the capacity of its sterile drug product development and manufacturing operations.
The company’s expansion is expected to be completed in 2021. Individuals interested in joining the Alcami team should visit https://www.alcaminow.com/alcami-careers.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to the project.
“The build-out of our Charleston facility comes at a time of rapid growth for Alcami and represents a long-term commitment to our sterile drug product clients, our talented workforce and the greater Charleston area. Our clients expect the most advanced manufacturing technologies and capabilities, and this expansion will ensure we continue to exceed marketplace expectations by remaining on the forefront of industry needs.” -Alcami Site Director Darold Hill
“When a company like Alcami Corporation continues to invest in our state and our people, it shows the businesses around the world that South Carolina is the place to be. We look forward to seeing this great company continue to grow and thrive for years to come.” –Gov. Henry McMaster
“We’re excited to see the continued success of Alcami Corporation in Charleston County and the success of our state’s thriving manufacturing industry. We congratulate them on this newest announcement and the creation of 30 new jobs.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
“The growth of Alcami Corporation during its 18 years in North Charleston has been truly remarkable. This company is a highly-valued corporate citizen, and with this expansion, it is renewing its steadfast and long-standing commitment to our community.” –Charleston County Council Chairman Elliott Summey
“We applaud Alcami’s accomplishments in our local economy, building upon their company’s innovation, which is backed by a proven workforce. North Charleston remains ripe for businesses to flourish, and we are always grateful for the benefits our community receives when companies succeed.” –North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey
“Congratulations to Alcami on announcing their second expansion in Charleston County in the last three years. Assisting local companies in their expansion efforts is a primary focus of our Business Concierge program. Our long-standing relationship with Alcami helped support their decision to grow their global footprint at their North Charleston facility.” –Charleston County Economic Development Executive Director Steve Dykes
Universities are the largest job creators in two thirds of America's largest cities see more
Human psychology primes us to see marquee projects like Amazon's HQ2 as the pinnacle of economic development. Big-name corporate partners capture people’s imagination, with promises of new jobs and state-of-the-art campuses that will revitalize long-stagnant neighborhoods, practically overnight. However, perspective can be easily lost in all this excitement. For every region like the Washington D.C. metro area that secures an HQ2-like award, there are hundreds of other places that thrive off lower-profile, but no less important, economic anchors.
Universities, for example, are the largest job creators in 66 of the 100 largest U.S. cities. Part of the reason that these figures do not regularly make headlines is that they have been regarded as gospel for generations of economic developers.
Read how, through the thought leadership of University of South Carolina’s (UofSC) former president, Dr. Harris Pastides, USC proactively confronted this challenge. Click for full article from Route Fifty.
CarThera and KIYATEC Collaborate in Effort to Bring Personalized Medicine to Patients Stricken by Brain CancerSynergistic technologies with potential to transform the standard of care and improve outcomes see more
GREENVILLE, S.C. & PARIS, France – November 18, 2019 – KIYATEC, Inc. and CarThera announce today that they have entered into a clinical collaboration for the purpose of advancing innovation and improving treatments for patients diagnosed with glioblastoma, a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that afflicts more than 130,000 patients worldwide per year and is characterized by historically poor clinical outcomes. The collaboration will focus on accelerating the development and validation of their emerging technologies to improve both the selection and effectiveness of drugs commonly recommended and used to treat the disease.
“Relevant clinical advances that improve outcomes for patients with glioblastoma have been few and far between over the last two decades,” said Frederic Sottilini, CEO of CarThera. “Despite multimodal therapy, median survival remains around 15 months for these patients, virtually all of whom recur. Our goal is to optimize the selection and delivery of drug therapies to extend the lives of patients with glioblastoma.”
The two companies were brought together by one of the world’s leading neuro-oncology and glioblastoma experts, John de Groot, M.D., professor and chairman ad interim, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, who recognized the synergistic nature of their respective clinical initiatives. CarThera is currently conducting a multi-center clinical study of its novel ultrasound technology, SonoCloud-9, designed to increase the permeability of the blood brain barrier to improve the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to the brains of patients with recurrent glioblastoma. KIYATEC is conducting a multi-center clinical study of its ex vivo 3D cell culture technology to accurately predict pre-treatment, patient-specific response to recommended standard of care cancer drugs for newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma.
“As someone who cares for patients with glioblastoma, I applaud the efforts of CarThera and KIYATEC to bring evidence-based advances to the clinic for the purpose of improving outcomes for patients with glioblastoma,” said Dr. de Groot. “I envision these two technologies as being complementary with the potential to transform the way in which neuro-oncologists manage glioblastoma patients.”
Under the terms of the clinical collaboration, KIYATEC will conduct ex vivo drug response profiling on glioblastoma tissue samples from patients enrolled in CarThera’s clinical study. CarThera will benefit from having ex vivo drug response profiling for patients enrolled in its study, while KIYATEC will correlate its patient-specific, pre-treatment drug response predictions with actual clinical outcomes of patients in CarThera’s study. For both companies, this collaboration represents an opportunity to enrich their portfolios of clinical evidence with the goal of helping clinicians improve outcomes for their patients with glioblastoma.
“Both of our companies are dedicated to ensuring that glioblastoma patients receive the most appropriate drug therapy at the right time, and that the efficacy of that therapy is maximized to its fullest therapeutic potential,” said Matthew Gevaert, CEO and co-founder of KIYATEC. “We believe that this clinical collaboration has the potential to help us accelerate and deliver on the long-awaited promise of personalized medicine for these deserving patients.”
Both companies will be sending delegates to the 24th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, November 20-24 in Phoenix, Arizona.
KIYATEC leverages its proprietary ex vivo 3D cell culture technology platforms to accurately model and predict response to approved and investigational cancer drugs targeting a spectrum of solid tumors. The company’s Drug Development Services business works in partnership with leading biopharmaceutical companies to unlock response dynamics for its investigational drug candidates across the majority of solid tumor types. The company’s Clinical Services business is currently engaged in the validation of clinical assays as well as investigator-initiated studies in ovarian cancer, breast cancer, glioblastoma and rare tumors, in its CLIA-certified laboratory. To learn more about KIYATEC, visit www.kiyatec.com.
CarThera designs and develops innovative therapeutic ultrasound-based medical devices for treating brain disorders. The company is a spin-off from AP-HP, Greater Paris University Hospitals, the largest hospital group in Europe, and Sorbonne University. Since 2010, CarThera has been leveraging the inventions of Professor Alexandre Carpentier, a neurosurgeon at AP-HP who has achieved worldwide recognition for his innovative developments in treating brain disorders. CarThera developed SonoCloud, an intracranial ultrasound implant that temporarily opens the blood-brain barrier (BBB). CarThera is based at the Brain and Spine Institute (Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, ICM) in Paris, France, and has laboratories at the Bioparc Laënnec business incubator in Lyon, France. The company, led by Frederic Sottilini (CEO), works closely with the Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound (Laboratoire Thérapie et Applications Ultrasonores, LabTAU, INSERM) in Lyon. www.carthera.eu
South Carolina Life Sciences Conference to Feature J&J Innovation Leader Michal Preminger, Over 40 National SpeakersSCBIO 2019 Conference Draws Speakers, Takes Center Stage October 29-31 see more
Conference registrations soar with sell-out expected; CEOs and top industry leaders from 30 states and countries expected in Greenville for strategic partnership development, industry insights
SOUTH CAROLINA – September 11, 2019 – Johnson & Johnson Innovation Leader Michal Preminger will join more than 40 additional national speakers at SCBIO 2019 – the annual conference bringing top leaders and executives from life sciences organizations across the state and nation to South Carolina October 29-31.
Following an October 29 welcome reception showcasing downtown Greenville, Ms. Preminger will address an expected sold-out conference at the Hyatt Regency with a keynote presentation entitled “Innovation for a Better Tomorrow” as the main program gets underway the morning of October 30. Her presentation will be followed by a high-powered panel comprised of regional healthcare executives entitled “Optimizing the Future of Healthcare in SC and Beyond.”
Among other featured Conference programs are EY’s “NextWave Wellness: An Interactive View of the Future of Our Industry”, and an address by South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette entitled “South Carolina: Just Right for Life Sciences.” Clemson University President Jim Clements headlines Day 2 with an address entitled “The Power of Partnerships in Fueling Life Sciences”, while Medtronic global executive Christian Howell will address “Driving Value-Based Care Through Collaboration".
Scores of top industry chief executives, leaders in government and higher education, biotechnology and pharma executives, clinicians and researchers, and industry supporters from across America have already registered to attend SCBIO 2019, with registration nearly doubling the record-setting pace of 2018. Other committed speakers and panelists include IQVIA Institute of Health Data Science SVP Murray Aitken, Innova Therapeutics CEO and Founder Robert Ryan, ChartSpan CEO & Founder Jon-MIchial Carter, Firststring Research President Dr. Gautam Ghatnekar, Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO Lou Kennedy, USC President (Ret.) Harris Pastides, PhRMA Senior Regional Director Thomas Hardaway and numerous others. More than 20 programs will be featured over two days.
Themed “Ignite The Future!”, the 2+ day conference draws attendees from across America for networking, innovation updates, opportunity discovery, partnership making and strategic discussion. Committed attendees include officials across a broad spectrum of life sciences industries including medical devices, bio manufacturing, drug discovery, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and testing, digital health and health IT, bio-ag and more. Space is limited and advance registration is still available at https://www.scbio.org/cpages/register-now-for-scbio-2019.
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 a $12 billion economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 670 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.
SCBIO 2019 kicks off Tuesday evening October 29 with a Grand Opening Reception for conference registrants, speakers and sponsors at Greenville’s ONE Center, presented by Prisma Health. Wednesday will feature a complete day of sessions beginning at breakfast and continuing through an evening reception presented by the Greenville Area Development Corp., Greenwood Partnership Alliance and City of Greenville. The conference will conclude Thursday at lunchtime.
“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 Sam Konduros. “Already accounting for thousands of highly-skilled jobs in the Palmetto State, this sector has tremendous growth potential, and we’re excited to showcase the top companies, research universities and leaders from across our state and country at SCBIO 2019.”
Among leading biotech and med-tech industry brands participating in the conference are Nephron Pharmaceutical, BIO, Johnson & Johnson, AVX, PhRMA, Medpoint, AdvaMed, Poly-Med, VWR, Ritedose Corporation, Rhythmlink, SoftBox Systems, ZEUS, Patheon Thermo Fisher 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, the Upstate SC Alliance, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Central Carolina Alliance, Economic Development Partnership and SiMT.
As the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations – along with 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, visit www.SCBIO.org.
USC Research partnerships generating big impact for state see more
When the University of South Carolina’s Office of Economic Engagement (OEE) first launched six years ago, its goal was to build relationships between researchers and industry partners. True to its mandate, the university has forged ties with global industry giants and is driving hundreds of millions of dollars into the state’s economy.
The OEE, with its corporate and government partners, has created over $790 million in indirect economic impact since its founding in 2013, using a standard economic development analysis that examines both direct and indirect economic benefits generated through the office. The figure includes ongoing industry partner investments along with grant generation, software gifts, and new job creation.
“Thanks to the vision of President Harris Pastides, OEE has had a swift economic impact on our state,” said University of South Carolina president Robert Caslen. “We look forward to building more research partnership opportunities, and providing our students with the skills and expertise needed for success in high-tech careers.”
The OEE serves as the convergence point for private industry, government and the university. In addition to connecting industry partners with the university’s intellectual capital, it also leads technology commercialization efforts, fosters entrepreneurship and start-ups, supports research centers, and grows existing collaborations.
“The tremendous success we’ve had in such a short period of time is a testament to the quality of research taking place here at the University of South Carolina,” said OEE Executive Director Bill Kirkland. “We are in the top one percent of patent-producing universities in the world, and innovative industry leaders know that South Carolina is the place to be.”
Ongoing research partnerships include a wide range of companies and federal agencies, from advanced computing, aerospace and automotive, to health care. They include: IBM, Boeing, NASA, Samsung, Siemens, Yaskawa, Capgemini, Prisma Health, Nephron, TIGHITCO and more.
OEE supported research centers include:
Three labs located at the McNAIR Aerospace Research Center on Catawba Street:
The IBM IOT Industrial Innovation Center (2018). The only university based IBM lab of its kind in North America, the lab uses cloud data to develop new technolgoies to help American manfacturers improve their operations.
The Digital Transformation Lab (2018). The 15,000 square-foot lab serves as a research showplace where projects with an array of real-world industrial and consumer applications are on display—from robotics, visual inspection, and autonomous drones to smart home appliances.
The Center for Predictive Maintenance. Researchers and students from four university departments support the U.S. Army Aviation program Using cloud-based technology and machine learning, researchers and students use the technology to conduct detailed analyses, identify potential defects or problems, and recommend specific solutions to improve maintenance for combat helicopters.
Siemens Healthineers Innovation Think Tank (ITT) Lab (2019). The ITT Lab is the first of its kind affiliated with a U.S. university. The lab 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 alongside industry innovation leaders.
The AI Institute (2019). The new institute advances state-of-the-art AI applications in fields like health care, education, social sciences, communications, advanced manufacturing, autonomous transportation, and personalized security, while also examining the ethics and societal impact of advancing technologies.
Life sciences booming in Charleston, across South Carolina see more
By Dustin Waters, Charleston Business
With almost 30 new residents moving to the region every day, Charleston County has no difficulty attracting talent and businesses. Instead, the main concern locally is maintaining a balance between industry and quality of life that keeps the region’s economic engines humming.
“I think it’s safe to say that manufacturing is alive and well. It accounted for about 33 percent of what’s going on,” says Steve Dykes, Charleston County’s executive director of economic development, describing industry growth over the past two years. “Manufacturing, that broad category, also includes automotive and aerospace.”
He adds, “The other thing that I think is very noteworthy in Charleston County is life sciences. We had six announcements in the life sciences space. That includes drug makers, medical devices, research organizations that perform clinical trials.”
Since 2017, Charleston County has been home to 39 major new business announcements, accounting for 2,246 new jobs created in the area and $241 million in capital investments. Including Charleston County’s ever-expanding lineup of brewers and distillers, manufacturing made up almost half of these new and expanding businesses, followed by the life science sector and IT.
Five to 10 additional projects in Charleston County are expected to be announced by the end of 2019, but the real takeaway is that a vast majority of activity in the area is related to expansions, rather than new businesses coming to the area. Of the 39 new projects announced over the past two years, 74 percent have been news of expansions—meaning that businesses already in Charleston County like what they see.
Working with a wide collection of organizations throughout the county, Charleston County’s Office of Economic Development relies on a healthy partnership between local school districts, municipalities, and private businesses to connect students with careers in the area. One example of this collaborative effort is the S.C. Aeronautical Training Center at Trident Tech. Providing training for those looking to enter into the region’s advanced manufacturing sector, the $80 million center received around a quarter of its funding from the county, according to Dykes.
“We have 24 people a day moving here, two-thirds of which are college-educated. We’ve already got a very strong base of college-educated people living in Charleston County. Much higher than any of our neighboring counties,” says Dykes. “I think we are just going to continue to see a wave of brains, if you will, coming into the area. There was a time back in the ’90s when we were worried about brain drain. We had people go to school here, get educated here, and then promptly leave due to the lack of meaningful career choices. Everything is totally reversed now. We’re a center where people come.”
Dykes points to the closure of the Charleston Naval Base in 1993 as the event that spurred local leaders to reconsider how they do business in Charleston County. Since that time, the area has become home to a diverse and healthy economy. Now, the focus moving forward is making sure all this growth doesn’t ruin what brought so many to Charleston in the first place.
“We never want to have growth in general compromise our quality of life here. There’s a lot of emphasis that’s going on now with all the governments here about the transportation system and affordability,” says Dykes.
In addition to an increased push to improve and expand regional public transportation, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance recently sponsored an effort called Reboot the Commute, for which members of the local business community announced they would be offering more flexible working hours to reduce rush hour traffic congestion. Meanwhile, Dykes says his office is working on outreach into the county’s more impoverished communities, making sure that these residents are aware of any new job openings that may be available.
“We’ve had wild success, but with that wild success has come a lot of infusion of money into the community, a lot of development, and development over time can cause gentrification. We’ve seen things becoming less affordable for some folks in our community,” says Dykes. “We have to be focused on workforce housing. We have to be focused on improving the commute and trying to get better public transportation inaugurated here in Charleston. That’s our big emphasis moving forward.”
Prisma Health has named its new President and CEO see more
Prisma Health announced the selection of Mark S. O’Halla as the health company’s new president and chief executive officer (CEO). O’Halla, along with the members of the executive leadership team, will be responsible for advancing the health company’s goal to create a better state of health in South Carolina by improving clinical quality, the patient experience, access to care, and addressing rising health care costs. O’Halla will join Prisma Health in mid-August. Prisma Health is a Mission Partner of SCBIO, the life sciences organization of South Carolina.
O’Halla has been serving as executive vice president/chief operating officer of Michigan-based McLaren Health Care since 2014. He has more than 30 years of progressive experience in health care senior executive roles, including 13 years with the McLaren organization.
The board of directors was pleased with the high-quality candidates they reviewed for this important role. “We are honored to select Mark as our next leader. We believe his experience leading a multiregional health care system will be a critical element in ensuring Prisma Health continues its journey to transform health care for our communities. We look forward to working with Mark to ensure that South Carolinians get the quality health care they need and deserve,” said James E. “Rick” Wheeler, chair of the Prisma Health board of directors and vice president of M-D Metal Source.
O’Halla added, “Joining Prisma Health and its 32,000 team members is an exciting opportunity to help redefine and continue improving health care for patients in South Carolina. I am proud to be part of this vibrant new health company, focused on providing exemplary quality, smart growth and sustained financial strength. I am also excited to work with physicians and university partners to advance its academic mission.”
As the executive vice president/chief operating officer at McLaren Health Care, a 14-hospital system with two health insurance plans covering 583,000 lives, O’Halla spearheaded initiatives to achieve top performance in areas of financial, operating and clinical quality, created a standardized patient-centered focus across the system that improved patient satisfaction, directed the alignment and growth of its Medical Group, and led efforts to integrate various clinical and administrative elements of the health system.
O’Halla earned his bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio; and master’s degree in Business Administration from William E. Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York. He is active in several health care organizations including American College of Healthcare Executives and served on several community boards.
O’Halla and his wife, Anita, will be relocating to Greenville, South Carolina. They have three grown children.
In January, Prisma Health launched the national search for its new CEO to lead the organization formed by the partnership of South Carolina’s largest health care systems, Greenville Health System (GHS), now Prisma Health–Upstate and Palmetto Health, now Prisma Health–Midlands.
Physicians who participated in O’Halla’s selection look forward to working with him as Prisma Health’s first president and CEO.
The current Co-CEOs, Michael C. Riordan, former CEO of Greenville Health System and Charles D. Beaman Jr., former CEO of Palmetto Health, have been working together over the last two years to set a strong foundation of governance and leadership for Prisma Health. Six months ago, Beaman and Riordan began focusing on specific areas to ensure Prisma Health was operating efficiently. Riordan has been responsible for driving several strategic projects to position the organization for long-term success, including facilitating the CEO search. On Friday, May 31, he will conclude his final project and fulfill his commitment to the organization, at which time he will retire from Prisma Health. Beaman has been focused on Prisma Health operations and will fulfill his commitment to the organization and step down from Prisma Health upon O’Halla’s arrival.
About Prisma Health
Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and South Carolina’s largest private employer. We are committed to excellence in providing patient care, conducting clinical research and teaching the next generation of physicians, nurses, dentists and other medical professionals. Our organization was formed in late 2017 when Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health joined together, officially becoming Prisma Health in January 2019. With nearly 32,000 team members, 18 hospitals and more than 300 physician practice sites, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million patients annually – about one quarter of the state’s population. Our goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by improving clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care. Our groundbreaking programs in cardiovascular, diabetes, neuroscience, oncology and orthopedics care – as well as our two renowned Children’s Hospitals – attract patients from throughout the Southeast. Ultimately, we are dedicated to transforming the health care experience for our patients and their families, our team members and our guests by bringing our purpose to life: Inspire health. Serve with compassion. Be the difference. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.
SCBIO's expanded Board of Directors includes life sciences leaders from across South Carolina see more
Organization’s Boards spans state, industry segments to provide unique blend of expertise for advancing South Carolina’s life sciences industry
GREENVILLE, SC – February 8, 2019 – Less than two years after initiating a comprehensive relaunch of the state’s official life sciences organization, SCBIO has expanded its Board of Directors for its 501c6 operational entity and added a second 10-member Board for its 501c3 research and educational arm for 2019. It does so having authored the state’s first-ever life sciences strategic growth plan, conducted an economic impact study validating the contributions of the $11.4 billion industry, tripled revenues and quadrupled membership – all since Spring 2017.
And according to SCBIO President and CEO Sam Konduros, the best and most exciting days for the industry and organization are still ahead of it.
“In a state perhaps best known for building BMWs and Boeing Dreamliners, there is a very strong life sciences story brewing as well, creating opportunities to diversify and accelerate growth of our state’s knowledge economy,” said Konduros recently. He further cited rapid growth of such national and global brands including Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Arthrex, ZEUS, Abbott, Thorne and AVX as just a few examples of the state’s rapidly rising life sciences industry, which currently spans more than 400 companies in 44 counties and employs over 15,000 well-paid associates.
Leading the policy- and strategy-making efforts of the 501c6 entity of the non-profit organization, the Board of Directors meets regularly to receive updates on SCBIO business objectives, domestic and global initiatives, and to help hone strategies and offer insight. Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation CEO Lou Kennedy will serve as SCBIO’s 2019 Board Chair; Stephanie Yarbrough, Womble Bond Dickinson, LLP as Vice Chair; Michael Rusnak, Medical University of South Carolina Research Foundation as Treasurer; and Josh Ridley of ZEUS as Secretary.
Jeff Stover of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA will serve as Legal Officer; Heather Simmons Jones of the Greenwood Partnership Alliance as Annual Conference Officer; Bryan Davis of Prisma/Greenville Health System’s Office of Innovations as Healthcare/Innovation Officer; Adam Hoots of DPR Construction as Talent/Workforce Officer; and Sam Konduros, President and CEO of SCBIO.
Recently added members of the SCBIO Board of Directors are:
Mike Briggs – President & CEO, Central SC Alliance
Caroline Brown – Director of External Affairs, Medical University of South Carolina
Thornton Kirby – President & CEO, South Carolina Hospital Association
Adam Klonecke – Senior Site Director, Abbott
Angie Leidinger – VP of External Affairs, Clemson University
Tom McKenna – Chief Operating Officer, Thorne
Robert Ryan – CEO & Founder, Innova Therapeutics
Dave Shalaby – President, Poly-Med, Inc.
Will Williams – President & CEO, Economic Development Partnership (Aiken)
Cynthia Young – Dean, Clemson University College of Science
Returning members of the SCBIO Board for 2019 are:
Mandy Brawley – South Carolina Department of Commerce
Matthew Couvillion – Wyche Law Firm
John J. Darby – Johnson & Johnson Services
Tressa Gardner – SE Institute of Manufacturing & Technology
Mike Graney – Charleston Regional Development Alliance
Chad Hardaway – University of South Carolina Office of Economic Engagement
Will Harms – Blue Cross Blue Shield of SC
Erica Jackson – K&L Gates
Marc Metcalf – Upstate SC Alliance
Kathy Phlegar – Phlegar & Associates
Christine Dixon Thiesing – SCRA
Courtney Warren – Marsh & McLennan Agency
Comprising the smaller Board of SCBIO’s 501c3 research and educational arm are Kathryn Becker of Translational Science Solutions; Michael Bolick of Treis Blockchain; Matthew Couvillion of Wyche Law Firm; Shontavia Johnson of Clemson University; Steve Johnson of SCRA; Chris Przirembel, retired Clemson University executive; Shawn Regan of Rhythmlink; Craig Walker of Hitachi Healthcare Americas; Erica Jackson of K&L Gates; and SCBIO CEO Sam Konduros.
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 advanced medicines, medical devices, diagnostics, IT, and healthcare outcome industries.
SCBIO is the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations. SCBIO members include academic institutions, biotech companies, med-tech 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 biotech and med-tech products that will make a difference across the Palmetto State, and around the world.
Top life sciences leaders from across the state have been named to the SCBIO Executive Committee see more
Leadership team provides strategic blend of economic development, industry, higher education expertise
GREENVILLE, SC – January 17, 2019 – SCBIO has announced its 2019 Executive Committee following formal confirmation at the life science organization’s December 2018 meeting in Columbia. Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation CEO Lou Kennedy will serve a second term as SCBIO’s 2019 Board Chair.
Ms. Kennedy joined Nephron Pharmaceuticals in 2001, and assumed the position of President and CEO in 2007. She has held a variety of marketing and operational roles during her career and has helped Nephron Pharmaceuticals grow by more than 300% and increased shipped product to one billion doses each of the last seven years. Nephron constructed a state of the art manufacturing facility in West Columbia, South Carolina and, with her husband Bill, helped establish the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center in conjunction with the USC School of Pharmacy. The organization was honored as an inaugural winner of the South Carolina Life Sciences Pinnacle Award for Organizational Contribution to the industry in October, 2018.
Joining Ms. Kennedy on the SCBIO Executive Committee will be Stephanie Yarbrough, Partner with Womble Bond Dickinson, LLP as Vice Chair; Michael Rusnak, Executive Director of the MUSC Foundation for Research Development as Treasurer; and Josh Ridley, Global Business Development Director of ZEUS as Secretary.
Additional members of the Executive Committee are Jeff Stover, Special Counsel with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA as Legal Officer; Heather Simmons Jones, CEO of the Greenwood Partnership Alliance as Annual Conference Officer; Bryan Davis, Operations Manager with Greenville Health System’s Office of Innovations as Healthcare/Innovation Officer; Adam Hoots, Life Sciences Market Leader for DPR Construction as Talent/Workforce Officer; and Sam Konduros, President and CEO of SCBIO.
Recognized for completing their terms as contributing members of the SCBIO Executive Committee were former Vice Chair Craig Walker, executive with Hitachi Healthcare Americas, and former Secretary Kathryn Becker, Principal with Translational Science Solutions LLC.
SCBIO President and CEO Konduros praised the Executive Committee noting, “With the critically important efforts we are undertaking to advance pharmaceuticals, life sciences R&D, biotech, med-tech, and the health IT industries in South Carolina, we require strong, expert leadership from across the state, fully integrating our business, education and economic development sectors. These diverse leaders who represent the width and breadth of our state and industry will effectively champion our vision of building the business of life sciences in South Carolina for years to come.”
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 already 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.
The Executive Committee and Board of Directors is the policy- and strategy-making body of the organization, and meets regularly to receive updates on SCBIO business and objectives, as well as domestic and global initiatives. The Executive Committee serves roles specific to SCBIO operations, focus areas and strategies.
SCBIO is the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations. SCBIO members include academic institutions, biotech companies, med-tech 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 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.
SCEDA Bill passage portends more opportunity for life sciences growth see more
On Wednesday, October 3, the South Carolina House of Representatives overrode the veto of the SCEDA bill, S.1043, with a vote of 112-4. Passage of this bill shows the true team effort that SCEDA represents.
“These important enhancements will add another arrow into our economic developers’ quiver when it comes to attracting professional jobs to South Carolina and supporting our local agriculture industry,” said Mark Warner, SCCED, SCEDA president and vice president of business development and marketing at Davis & Floyd. “We are grateful for the action of our South Carolina lawmakers and economic development professionals across our state who answered our call to action.”
SCEDA would like to thank current SCEDA Legislative Committee chair, Stephanie Yarbrough, past Legislative Committee chair, Tushar Chikhliker, our current lobbyists, Sunnie Harmon and John DeWorken, past lobbyist, Sara Hazzard, and all the members who worked to create this legislation, called their legislator and encouraged them to vote and override this bill.
“This is the culmination of years of collaboration by our state’s economic development sectors – both public and private – to respond to the ever-changing competitive landscape as we work to further diversify our state’s already robust economy,” said Tushar Chikhliker, SCEDA’s past Legislative Committee chair and an economic development lawyer at Nexsen Pruet.
Please feel free to reach out to your legislator and thank them for voting to override the veto of this bill. These changes will go into action immediately.
Highlights of the bill are outlined below.
Incentives for Professional Services / Office Jobs
For professional services/office jobs, the changes below will encourage South Carolina to excel in all areas of economic development.
• Makes modifications to the State’s primary discretionary incentive, Job Development Credits (JDCs), for professional services/office jobs.
• Reduces job and wage thresholds applicable to qualified service-related facilities (QSRF) for the highest three tiers:
- 125 jobs (down from 175) at a single location;
- 100 jobs (down from 150) at a single location comprised of a building that has been vacant for at least 12 consecutive months; and
- 75 jobs (down from 100) at a single location that pay more than 1½ times the lower of the state per capita income or per capita income in that county.
• Allows businesses engaged in legal, accounting, banking, or investment services to apply for JDCs. (Per the discretion of the Coordinating Council).
• Allows businesses engaged in retail sales to apply for JDCs as long as retail sales are not actually conducted at the facility. (Per the discretion of the Coordinating Council).
• Suggests the Coordinating Council consider these factors in making a determination for qualification:
- The percentage of the businesses’ annual gross receipts derived from outside of South Carolina for the previous 12 months and such percentage must not be less than 75%;
- The nature and the wages of the new jobs created;
- The capital investment of the project; and
- The potential for expansion or growth of the business or industry.
Details of the economic incentive enhancements include:
Incentives for Agriculture Operations
• Provides a tax credit program for agribusinesses that is mirrored after the Port Tax Credit Program.
• Allows an agribusiness operation or agricultural packaging operation that increases purchases that are certified as South Carolina grown by a minimum of 15% in a year to claim an income tax credit or employee withholding credit in an amount determined by the Coordinating Council.
• Products must be approved by the SC Dept. of Agriculture as Certified SC Grown.
• Maximum amount phased in over a four-year period:
- 2017 – $500,000
- 2018 – $1,000,000
- 2019 – $1,500,000
- 2020 – $2,000,000
• The Coordinating Council has sole discretion in allocating the credits.
• The base year total dollar purchases that are certified as South Carolina grown must exceed $100,000 for a taxpayer to be eligible.
• The tax credit sunsets after 10 years. It will need to be reauthorized through legislation if the General Assembly would like to continue the program.
A taxpayer may not be awarded a tax credit under this program in excess of $100,000 in any tax year.