SC comes out on top as life sciences, automotive manufacturing industries continue rapid growth see more
Site Selection Group, a full-service location advisory, economic incentives, and real estate services firm, utilizes a variety of innovative tools and analyses to help its clients evaluate locations for manufacturing investment. To ensure manufacturers are choosing the best location for operational success, their site selection process should employ a top-down approach that applies a series of analyses and filters until the most competitive option(s) are identified. If executed correctly, the entire process and the critical inputs that influenced filtering will be clearly documented.
Ranking the most competitive states for manufacturing
As a demonstration of this type of inclusive approach, Site Selection Group used its proprietary GeoCision® analysis to provide a scoring of all 50 states based on weighted site selection variables that measure primary considerations for manufacturers (In real practice, this type of analysis would be done at more granular geographies). While these factors are not comprehensive, they represent those often utilized in industrial projects.
Although location criteria are unique to each specific project’s needs, there are standard site selection drivers that typically drive most manufacturing location decisions. A company’s ability to hire and retain a qualified workforce, as well as its ability to receive and ship goods in a cost-effective and timely manner, are typically the most influential factors that drive final site selection decisions.
However, the business environment, regulatory climate, utilities, infrastructure, real estate, and economic incentives play an important role in the process. Since no location scores the best in each of these categories, the optimal location for a project is one that has no critical deficiencies. Those factors and weightings used for this exercise are shown in the table below.
Category Weighting Summary Labor Scalability 5.00% Measures the volume of the workforce to ensure companies can scale their workforce Target Skill Sets 25.00% Assesses industry and occupation presence to confirm the availability of targeted skill sets Labor Demand 20.00% Analyzes the pressures other employers place on the employment market Operating Costs 30.00% Quantifies the operating costs such as utilities, taxes, real estate, labor, etc. Organized Labor 10.00% Assesses the threat posed by organized labor Accessibility 10.00% Analyzes the population base with a one-day drive time of the site and distance to major ports
Regions vary in competitiveness
Site Selection Group mapped and listed the 2021 results in the dashboard below. A score of 100% in any one category represents the national average. While no one state or region is a perfect fit for every project or specific industrial sector, there are a couple of clear trends.
For starters, we see some of the “usual suspects” rise to the top – states that tend to rank well in manufacturing and business competitiveness rankings. Those include southeastern states such as South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama and western states including Utah and Idaho. The inclusion of these western markets near the top of the list is a key difference between these results and those seen in previous years. In addition, many states show clear trade-offs between labor quality and cost, something companies will need to consider in their long-term strategy.
HR and payroll company renames as guHRoo see more
After seven years of operating under the brand of ERG Payroll & HR, the company is rebranding to guHRoo. GuHRoo offers simple software combined with expert support for payroll, benefits, HR, and compliance.
"We were looking for a name that was more aligned with our vision of being the most trusted provider of HR solutions in South Carolina," said Matt Vaadi, founder of guHRoo. "A guru is a 'mentor, guide, expert, or master'. We have created a team and software that is built to guide small business owners through the complexities of being an employer."
With nothing changing except the name, the company will remain headquartered in Columbia, SC and there will be no changes to the existing team or current solutions.
In addition to the updated branding, guHRoo is now offering a PEO (Professional Employer Organization), which combines employees from many companies into a single group to reduce healthcare prices, create access to benefits and perks, and streamline compliance.
NAPEO suggests that companies using a PEO grow faster than their peers, are more likely to stay in business, and have less employee attrition. Additional NAPEO research reported that the annual return on investment for cost savings alone is 27.2%. This means that for every $1,000 spent on PEO services, a client can save an average of $1,272, yielding a cost savings of $272 for every $1,000 spent.
As a PEO, guHRoo can bundle payroll, compliance, HR, and benefits under our umbrella, and help to administer employment-related responsibilities for you. Plus, with its group buying power, you get access to health insurance and other perks at more affordable rates. Small businesses can also get flat rates on their employee benefits instead of age-banded rates.
For more details, contact guHRoo today.
Op-Ed: As a doctor in a COVID unit, I’m running out of compassion for the unvaccinated. Get the shotInfectious disease physician calls for vaccinations see more
My patient sat at the edge of his bed gasping for air while he tried to tell me his story, pausing to catch his breath after each word. The plastic tubes delivering oxygen through his nose hardly seemed adequate to stop his chest from heaving. He looked exhausted.
He had tested positive for the coronavirus 10 days ago. He was under 50, mildly hypertensive but otherwise in good health. Eight days earlier he started coughing and having severe fatigue. His doctor started him on antibiotics. It did not work.
Fearing his symptoms were worsening, he started taking some hydroxychloroquine he had found on the internet. It did not work.
He was now experiencing shortness of breath while doing routine daily activities such as walking from his bedroom to the bathroom or putting on his shoes. He was a shell of his former self. He eventually made his way to a facility where he could receive monoclonal antibodies, a lab-produced transfusion that substitutes for the body’s own antibodies. It did not work.
He finally ended up in the ER with dangerously low oxygen levels, exceedingly high inflammatory markers and patchy areas of infection all over his lungs. Nothing had helped. He was getting worse. He could not breathe. His wife and two young children were at home, all infected with the virus. He and his wife had decided not to get vaccinated.
Last year, a case like this would have flattened me. I would have wrestled with the sadness and how unfair life was. Battled with the angst of how unlucky he was. This year, I struggled to find sympathy. It was August 2021, not 2020. The vaccine had been widely available for months in the U.S., free to anyone who wanted it, even offered in drugstores and supermarkets. Cutting-edge, revolutionary, mind-blowing, lifesaving vaccines were available where people shopped for groceries, and they still didn’t want them.
Outside his hospital door, I took a deep breath — battening down my anger and frustration — and went in. I had been working the COVID-19 units for 17 months straight, all day, every day. I had cared for hundreds of COVID patients. We all had, without being able to take breaks long enough to help us recover from this unending ordeal. Compassion fatigue was setting in. For those of us who hadn’t left after the hardest year of our professional lives, even hope was now in short supply.
Shouting through my N95 mask and the noise of the HEPA filter, I introduced myself. I calmly asked him why he decided not to get vaccinated.
“Well, I’m not an anti-vaxxer or anything. I was just waiting for the FDA to approve the vaccine first. I didn’t want to take anything experimental. I didn’t want to be the government’s guinea pig, and I don’t trust that it’s safe,” he said.
“Well,” I said, “I can pretty much guarantee we would have never met had you gotten vaccinated, because you would have never been hospitalized. All of our COVID units are full and every single patient in them is unvaccinated. Numbers don’t lie. The vaccines work.”
This was a common excuse people gave for not getting vaccinated, fearing the vaccine because the Food and Drug Administration had granted it only emergency use authorization so far, not permanent approval. Yet the treatments he had turned to — antibiotics, monoclonal antibodies and hydroxychloroquine — were considered experimental, with mixed evidence to support their use.
The only proven lifesaver we’ve had in this pandemic is a vaccine that many people don’t want. A vaccine we give away to other countries because supply overwhelms demand in the U.S. A vaccine people in other countries stand in line for hours to receive, if they can get it at all.
“Well,” I said, “I am going to treat you with remdesivir, which only recently received FDA approval.” I explained that it had been under an EUA for most of last year and had not been studied or administered as widely as COVID-19 vaccines. That more than 353 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the U.S. along with more than 4.7 billion doses worldwide without any overwhelming, catastrophic side effects. “Not nearly as many doses of remdesivir have been given or studied in people and its long-term side effects are still unknown,” I said. “Do you still want me to give it to you?”
“Yes” he responded, “Whatever it takes to save my life.”
It did not work.
My patient died nine days later of a stroke. We, the care team, reconciled this loss by telling ourselves: He made a personal choice not to get vaccinated, not to protect himself or his family. We did everything we could with what we had to save him. This year, this tragedy, this unnecessary, entirely preventable loss, was on him.
The burden of this pandemic now rests on the shoulders of the unvaccinated. On those who are eligible to get vaccinated but choose not to, a decision they defend by declaring, “Vaccination is a deeply personal choice.” But perhaps never in history has anyone’s personal choice affected the world as a whole as it does right now. When hundreds and thousands of people continue to die — when the most vulnerable members of society, our children, cannot be vaccinated — the luxury of choice ceases to exist.
If you believe the pandemic is almost over and I can ride it out, without getting vaccinated, you could not be more wrong. This virus will find you.
If you believe I’ll just wait until the FDA approves the vaccine first, you may not live to see the day.
If you believe if I get infected I’ll just go to the hospital and get treated, there is no guarantee we can save your life, nor even a promise we’ll have a bed for you.
If you believe I’m pregnant and I don’t want the vaccine to affect me, my baby or my future fertility, it matters little if you’re not alive to see your newborn.
If you believe I won’t get my children vaccinated because I don’t know what the long-term effects will be, it matters little if they don’t live long enough for you to find out.
If you believe I’ll just let everyone else get vaccinated around me so I don’t have to, there are 93 million eligible, unvaccinated people in the “herd” who think the same way you do and are getting in the way of ending this pandemic.
If you believe vaccinated people are getting infected anyway, so what’s the point?, the vaccine was built to prevent hospitalizations and deaths from severe illness. Instead of fatal pneumonia, those with breakthrough infections have a short, bad cold, so the vaccine has already proved itself. The vaccinated are not dying of COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has mutated countless times during this pandemic, adapting to survive. Stacked up against a human race that has resisted change every step of the way — including wearing masks, social distancing, quarantining and now refusing lifesaving vaccines — it is easy to see who will win this war if human behavior fails to change quickly.
The most effective thing you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones and the world is to GET VACCINATED.
And it will work.
Anita Sircar is an infectious-disease physician and clinical instructor of health sciences at the UCLA School of Medicine.
UofSC ranks among the world’s top 100 universities granted U.S. patents for the ninth consecutive yearUofSC a leader in US patents... again see more
The University of South Carolina has ranked among the top 100 worldwide universities granted U.S. utility patents since 2012, according to an annual list published by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.
In the recently published 2020 listing (pdf), UofSC ranks in the 63rd position with 45 patents granted in 2020. This places Carolina above Ivy League Dartmouth University and many other prestigious American and international institutions, including Carnegie-Mellon and several Southeastern Conference universities. The NAI has included UofSC in its rankings for the ninth consecutive year, placing it more than 25 slots above our 2019 ranking in the 90th position. The listing was compiled using data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
UofSC Vice President for Research Prakash Nagarkatti praised the achievement saying, “It is a credit to our outstanding faculty that their innovation and hard work have kept our university on the NAI top 100 list since it began nine years ago. I am so proud to serve alongside these excellent scholars and inventors.”
Office of Innovation, Partnership and Economic Engagement Executive Director Bill Kirkland echoed Nagarkatti’s sentiments, saying “It is no secret that the University of South Carolina boasts a faculty with amazing research and innovation skills. These outstanding scholars, along with the top leadership at the University of South Carolina who support them through the the Office of Technology Commercialization and others, make it possible for our university to shine on the NAI top 100 list consistently each year. The fact that they have landed Carolina at position 63—higher than ever before—is a testament to their dedication and commitment.”
Multi-year plan designed to help drive growth of industry across Palmetto State see more
SCBIO CEO Erin Ford only has to look at recent history to understand the opportunity in front of South Carolina life sciences.
Life sciences has a $12+ billion economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 700 firms involved and over 43,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental, and agricultural biotechnology products.
It represents a significant economic development focus for the state, with strong life science recruiting initiatives led by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and regional economic development teams – so much so that Governor McMaster recently issued an Executive Order to emphasize the industry in domestic and international recruiting efforts.
Now armed with the industry’s third multi-year Strategic Plan to build, advance, innovate and grow the industry, Ms. Ford sees an opportunity to “take South Carolina life sciences to an entirely new level” over the next handful of years, she said as SCBIO published the 2021-2022 Life Sciences Strategic Plan recently.
Ms. Ford is no stranger to leading the industry. Since taking over as interim CEO for the departed Sam Konduros just weeks ago, she has expanded emphasis on investor relations and existing industry support strategies, the spearheading of integrated marketing initiatives, implementation of the new SCBIO innovation platform, and a strong emphasis on economic development initiatives – from an industrywide presence at this week’s PGA Tournament at Kiawah to next month’s BIO Global conference and the Fall MEDICA event in Germany.
Guided by the new Strategic Plan, which spans 24 months and continues the vision of the last two editions, SCBIO and SC life sciences are clearly focused on doing “the right things to continue to build, advance, innovate and grow” the multifaceted industry.
SC Life Sciences 2021-2022 Strategic Plan is shaped by input from SCBIO’s Board of Directors and dozens of contributors from industry, higher education, economic development, government and supporting organizations and authored by the SCBIO team. The 70-page document includes detailed sections on the COVID Effect on the industry, 2020 Highlights, documentation of the breadth and depth of the Industry Segments in the state, Priority Initiatives, and specific Objectives, Plans and Budgets to advance life sciences.
A shorter summarized version is available to media and business leaders interested in learning more about the fastest-growing industry in South Carolina, as documented recently by Dr. Joseph Von Nessen, economist with the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. To request a copy, interested persons should email email@example.com.
South Carolina life sciences has seen a near-doubling of firms and 40% increase in life sciences’ direct employment since 2017 alone, which combine to make it the fastest growing industry sector in the state, according to recent data provided by Dr. Von Nessen, state research economist and a noted economic development expert. It also has companies in 42 of 46 counties – a far greater penetration than most major industries possess.
The 2021-2022 plan seeks to continue the growth strategies of the industry evident over the last four years during which Ms. Ford served as EVP/COO prior to assuming the interim role of CEO. During those four years, SCBIO has more than doubled membership and quadrupled revenues, implemented a strong economic development focus, and launched a new innovation platform. It expanded its role as the voice of the life sciences industry, implemented a surging workforce development initiative and created ongoing programs to encourage participation by women in life sciences, to support diversity-equity-inclusion initiatives and to encourage student participation in the industry. The organization also successfully led industry and organizational pivots during the COVID pandemic.
“Prior SC life sciences plans have performed admirably in helping South Carolina raise its profile as an emerging leader in the life sciences,” said Ms. Ford. “Our innovative companies and exceptional workforce are drivers in strengthening this industry, and we know that the life sciences will continue to play a critically important role in our state’s economic success. We intend to build on our Board’s and team’s vision to continue this momentum and to build, advance and grow life sciences in our state.”
Study Shows Typical Cancer-Free Survival Doubled for Recurrent Brain Cancer Patients when KIYATEC’s Test Informed Therapy SelectionFirst release of 3D-PREDICT clinical study data fuels momentum of company’s glioblastoma program see more
GREENVILLE, SC – December 17, 2020 – KIYATEC, Inc. today announced the first clinical use of its response-prediction test to improve outcomes in relapsed brain cancer patients. Test results that measure the effect of cancer drugs on a patient’s live cancer cells are available in just seven days, thereby enabling oncologists to select drugs informed by patient-specific evidence of response before treatment begins.
Lindsay Lipinski, MD, Assistant Professor of Oncology and a neurosurgeon at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Buffalo, NY), presented her and her colleagues’ findings at the 2020 Society of Neuro-Oncology meeting in November. A case series of seven patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas – six with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and one with anaplastic astrocytoma – was detailed.
“In this early experience, tools that can predict a tumor cell’s responsivity to a variety of chemotherapy or other therapeutic agents have already been extremely valuable in guiding treatment decision-making for patients with recurrent high-grade gliomas at our center,” said Dr. Lipinski. “Our results show that we are far along in the paradigm shift toward individualized medicine.”
Today, when these cancers return following a patient’s initial treatment, oncologists do not have evidence-based guidelines to choose which drug therapy to use next. Across several drug options, the typical expectation for the time in which these recurrent patients will remain cancer-free (i.e., median progression free survival or PFS) is only 4 months. The use of KIYATEC’s test results to inform drug selection approximately doubled the typical expectation, achieving a group median PFS of 7.9 months, a significant improvement over expected PFS in these patients.
KIYATEC’s test results informed two of the seven patients’ successful treatment with dabrafenib, a targeted agent. Notably, neither had a typically associated genetic mutation, demonstrating that the test can uncover effective drug options that would have normally been missed.
“Our vision is to successfully translate these study findings into the GBM population at large, including newly diagnosed patients – a population that we’re also actively enrolling and testing in our study,” said Matthew Gevaert, PhD, CEO of KIYATEC. “Today’s positive results in relapsed patients, with a median age of 60 and some having had two or even three relapses, paves the way to do this.”
This first release of data from KIYATEC’s active 3D-PREDICT (ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT03561207) clinical study coincides with the continued addition of new sites at which high-grade glioma patients can enroll, bringing this study to nine institutions across the United States.
About KIYATEC, Inc.
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 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. The company’s Drug Development Services business works in partnership with leading biopharmaceutical companies to unlock response dynamics for their investigational drug candidates across the majority of solid tumor types.
Lindsay Lipinski, et al., INNV-16. Clinical applicability of individualized drug response profiling utilizing ex-vivo tissue-derived 3D cell culture assays in high-grade glioma: a single institution case series using 3D-PREDICT results, Neuro-Oncology, Volume 22, Issue Supplement_2, November 2020, Pages ii119–ii120, https://doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noaa215.499.
This week's South Carolina life sciences newsletter is hot off the press! see more
Enjoy this week's newsletter from SCBIO featuring updates on South Carolina's inaugural Women in Life Sciences initiatives... a report on MUSC's growing economic impact statewide... details on more Palmetto State organizations stepping up for the greater good... an update from EVP Erin Ford and much, much more... click here to read complete details!
MUSC has multi-billion-dollar impact on South Carolina... see more
A new report shows the Medical University of South Carolina has an annual economic impact on the state of about $5.6 billion. MUSC Health CEO Patrick Cawley, M.D., knows where a big part of the credit lies. “MUSC Health has grown significantly in the past 18 months and this report details the growing economic impact across the entire state of South Carolina.”
In early 2019, MUSC bought four hospitals in Lancaster, Florence, Marion and Chester, creating a regional hospital network and establishing itself as a health care organization that reaches well beyond Charleston.
Joseph Von Nessen, Ph.D., a research economist at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, led the six-month economic impact study. “MUSC maintains a unique and sizeable statewide economic footprint. Its impact in Charleston may already be well known, but it’s also important to recognize that MUSC’s economic benefits extend well beyond the borders of the Tri-county region.”
For example: “About 38,000 people in South Carolina can attribute their jobs either directly or indirectly to the activities that are going on at MUSC every day. It really shows how significant MUSC’s impact is,” Von Nessen said.
Life sciences in South Carolina is big business -- and getting bigger by the day. Read why... see more
In this article published simultaneously in Charleston Business Magazine, Columbia Business Magazine and Greenville Business Magazine, SCBIO CEO Sam Konduros paints a picture of the diversity of the rapidly-growing life sciences industry, and why the future is exceedingly bright -- and getting brighter -- as the $11.4 billion industry soars to new heights across South Carolina.
Life sciences in South Carolina spans a diverse spectrum—from major pharmaceutical companies to globally known medical device companies.
It encompasses start-ups and early stage innovation companies and embraces prestigious research universities and acclaimed health care systems employing some of America’s finest minds. It includes research and medical labs, bioscience-related distribution, even Bio-Ag tied to the state’s historical agricultural segment. Click to read complete article...