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Humimic

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Life sciences was key for the state during COVID see more

    Compliments of Upstate Business Journal & Jennifer Oladipo

    Here’s what I was imagining at the end of January: You, now, breathing easier as omicron retreats into the realm of memory, no worrisome COVID variant in sight. We’re looking at each other going, “Wow, two years, can you believe it’s over?”

    And, we’re thinking about all the folks who helped get us through. With SCBIO’s annual conference scheduled for February 22-24, I started thinking again about all the homegrown life science organizations making a direct impact on the pandemic and our experiences of it. SCBIO, the state’s life science trade organization, has an impressive list of these at https://www.scbio.org/cpages/schelps.

    South Carolina has shown up in everything from testing (Abbott, Clemson University, Hoowaki) to treatment (Alcami) to remote care (ChartSpan) and protection (Humimic Medical, ZVerse). And then some. Years of background efforts were suddenly big news.

    Seeing life sciences become consistent headline fodder has been a real trip. It reminds me of how business news leaped from back sections to front pages in the early 2000s, when mega-scandals rocked Enron, Tyco, WorldCom and others. Biz news got sexy. It was a permanent change. 

    I hope the boosted attention to life sciences is permanent, too. Yes, to celebrate, but also to stay educated about how the world works. I wonder how the past two years would have looked if we’d started out with a broader, realistic understanding of all the parts and pieces it would take to get to the other side.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    SC Life Science honorees prominent at state's major manufacturing conference see more

    Compliments of SCBIZ News

    Former South Carolina Secretary of Commerec Bobby Hitt was presented Human Technologies Inc. Lifetime Achievement Award today at the annual SCMEP Salute to Manufacturing Awards luncheon that caps off the S.C. Manufacturing Conference and Expo.

    The award winners were announced during a special luncheon following the two-day conference and a keynote address by Gov. Henry McMaster. The governor helped present the awards along with Rick Jenkins, group publisher of SC Biz News.

    Hitt served as secretary of the S.C. Department of Commerce from the time he was appointed by former governor Nikki Haley until his retirement earlier this year. A former journalist, his work in economic development began when he went to work for Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, where he played a role in recruiting BMW Manufacturing to Spartanburg County and subsequently became one of the first BMW employees. He served as manager of public affairs for the plant until his appointment to the Commerce Department. Much of the department’s focus during his tenure was on recruiting manufacturers to the Palmetto State and growing those companies already here.  Secretary Hitt was also inducted into the SC Life Sciences Hall of Fame in 2018.

    Jenkins announced that, starting with next year’s Salute to Manufacturing luncheon, the award for lifetime achievement will be named for Chuck Spangler, the late executive director of the S.C. Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Spangler and SCMEP annually played a significant role in the overall conference and the awards ceremony.

    “It’s appropriate to name the lifetime achievement award in Chuck’s memory because he dedicated so much of his life to the service of manufacturing — to raising the industry to higher standards and bringing the rest of the state up with it,” Jenkins said. “It didn’t feel the same hosting this year’s conference without him, but the impression he and his colleagues at SCMEP made for this industry will not soon be forgotten.”

    SCMEP plays a key role in the conference, offering training courses to help make manufacturers better.

    “Every year from the stage I said manufacturers in this state have no better friend than Chuck and SCMEP, and I meant it,” Jenkins said.

    Other awards presented during the conference’s capstone luncheon included:

    • Emerging Manufacturer of the Year Awards went to Samsung Electronics Home Appliances America LLC and Advanced Metalworks LLC. Alimex Precision in Aluminum was a finalist in the category.
    • Humimic Medical was named Innovator of the Year. Finalists for the honor were Stanley Black & Decker and Nucor Steel.
    • The Outreach Award was taken home by South Atlantic Canners while Komatsu America Corp. and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC were recognized as finalists.
    • Smart Move New Plant Awards were given to Leisure Pools and Spas, Mark Anthony Brewing and Niagara Bottling. The honor recognizes those companies that chose South Carolina over other locations to invest in new facilities.
    • Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp., Santa Cruz Nutritionals and Techtronic Industries received the Smart Move SC Expansion Award. The award recognizes companies already in South Carolina that chose to spend their growth resources in the state by expanding locally.

    Pleasurecraft Engine Group won the Transformation and Operational Excellence Award. Intertape Polymer Group and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC were finalists in the category.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Trio collaborate to turn back COVID tides see more

    It was not long ago when we all witnessed demand for critical Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) far outstripping supply on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle.

    While this story line is now receding in our memory, it became a rare instance in South Carolina based on extraordinary efforts from entities like Humimic Medical, South Carolina Biotechnology Organization (SCBIO), and South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (SCMEP).  Not only did these groups address frontline workers, but they also addressed the critical PPE needs of organizations a few layers back from the front lines – such as non-profit community outreach groups, church programs, and workforce development groups.

    Humimic Medical teamed up with SCBIO and SCMEP to help these organizations and others out. Leveraging the broad network of SCBIO and connected distribution channels of SCMEP, Humimic Medical donated thousands of face shields to organizations across South Carolina which desperately needed quality, made-in-the-USA protective equipment.

    “Helping the ‘little guys’ has always been part of my DNA, I guess,” commented Joel Edwards, CEO of Greenville’s Humimic Medical. “We started in a garage 10 years ago and grew from there. Organizations willing to support the little guy like us along the way helped us tremendously in getting to where we are today. So having the opportunity to give back and help others who may not be first in line to receive PPE supplies just felt right.”

    Humimic Medical does not typically produce PPE. However, as they continued to become more deeply entrenched in the collaborative life science ecosystem network that SCBIO has forged in the Palmetto State (which includes groups like SCMEP), they realized they could join the fight against COVID-19. Early in the pandemic, Humimic Medical shifted some of its engineering and manufacturing resources from their medical trainer product lines to help supply PPE where it was needed most.

    There was one problem though. Humimic Medical didn’t have the established distribution channels for PPE in South Carolina. That’s where SCBIO’s connection to SCMEP came into play. Organizations like SCMEP also serve as key players in South Carolina’s connected, collaborative, and growth-oriented network. SCMEP’s mission of helping state organizations improve their competitiveness, performance, and profitability provided a perfect backdrop for Humimic Medical to connect to organizations around our state who still desperately needed PPE supplies like face shields.

    “SCMEP always prides itself in being a strategic resource for companies in our State”, shared Chuck Spangler, President of SCMEP. “We’re grateful we could leverage our network in collaboration with SCBIO and Humimic Medical to serve organizations in need.”

    Added SCBIO Interim CEO Erin Ford, 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.”

    “Organizations SCBIO and SCMEP continue to be invaluable assets in our State,” said Edwards.  “The rich, collaborative networks these kind of groups create are what will continue to make South Carolina a leader in new business development.”

     

    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.

    About SCMEP:

    SCMEP is a private, non-profit group that serves as a proven resource to South Carolina businesses, providing them with a range of innovative strategies and solutions. An affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), SCMEP operates under the US Department of Commerce to promote innovation and industrial competitiveness. SCMEP uses a strategic, hands-on, partnering approach to help South Carolina companies improve their competitiveness, performance, and profitability in today’s increasingly demanding global economy.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Greenville's Humimic Medical pivots to meet pandemic needs see more

    Compliments of Greenville Business Magazine

    When the coronavirus pandemic left businesses around the nation struggling with dwindling orders and growing bills, some took a chance on something new.

    Among them was Greenville-based Humimic Medical.

    The 10-year-old company produces synthetic gels that mimic human tissue used in medical applications. Almost overnight, it switched to producing personal protective equipment (PPE), illustrating that there are opportunities everywhere for people with innovative ideas.

    But it wasn’t all smooth sailing and the path was punctuated by a couple of Hail Mary passes, said Humimic founder and CEO Joel Edwards.    

    “None of our (products) had any ties with PPE or any Covid-related things … and everything was going pretty well,” he said. “We thought we were bulletproof.”

    Then the phones stopped ringing, he said. There were no orders for three months.

    Edwards spoke at the first of a series of webinars called “Leading Beyond the Crisis” that examines companies that responded to the pandemic. The webinars are hosted by InnoVision Awards, a grass roots non-profit dedicated to innovation and technology across the state.

    Originally a defense industry company, Humimic began to focus on the medical side about four years ago, he said. 

    And in the face of the virus, it started looking at what else it could do, he said. 

    Since the company had a plastics supplier in Mount Pleasant and had just bought some new equipment, it turned to face shields when the virus exposed the desperate need for PPE, he said.  

    “We thought raw product (plastic, foam) was easy to come by, but when we started looking around, none were easy to secure,” he said. “And I’m running numbers in my head and thinking what did I get myself into.”

    His contact in Mount Pleasant was his “only saving grace.” Then the elastic supply dried up.  

    “So we said, heck, Velcro is readily available,” he said. “And we started to get as much as we could get our hands on.”

    The first shield the company made had straps that weren’t long enough to fit most men’s heads, he said. But once that problem was solved, it did an initial run of 500, he said.

    Company officials thought they’d sell their shields for $4 to $4.50, he said. But with the Chinese selling theirs for $2 to $3, he wondered how the company could potentially make a profit and keep everyone employed.

    “It was a hard thing for us to get people to understand. We were not looking to gouge the market and get rich,” Edwards said. “But our cost for the plastic was two to three times what Chinese were charging.”

    In the end, he said, with no assembly line experience, the company had to produce 1,500 a day to make about $1 profit per shield. 

    “We knew price was going to be a hard thing,” he said. “The only way we were able to do it was to scoop up the plastic.”

    As other suppliers ran out of stock, Humimic found markets at veterans’ centers, VA hospitals, dentist offices, nursing homes and mortuaries.

    In the end, the company was able to produce some 80,000 shields sold around the country on Amazon and Walmart websites, Edwards said.

    He said Humimic still has several thousand shields in stock, but it came out OK even though orders for PPE are slowing down. 

    If Covid flares up this winter, he said, the need might grow again.   

  • sam patrick posted an article
    SCRA funds organizations for their COVID work see more

    Compliments of Upstate Biz

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) and its investment affiliate, SC Launch, Inc. have dedicated an additional $1.5 million in funding to support businesses that are providing coronavirus-related solutions and to help their current portfolio companies continue to meet their financial goals during this time.

    Companies receiving funding to provide COVID-19 solutions are:

    • Blue Eye Soft (COVID-19 detection and diagnosis)
    • Carolina Diagnostic Solutions (pulmonary self-monitoring tools)
    • Citibot (citizen engagement solution)
    • Elastrin Therapeutics (treatment of lung-related illnesses)
    • Pure Aqua Solution (destruction of pathogens including COVID-19)
    • Precision Genetics (COVID-19 testing)
    • Resiliency Technology, Inc. dba SHARPEN (mental health support for healthcare workers)
    • Zylö Therapeutics (treatment of COVID-19 and other lung related illnesses)

    Additional companies have received investments to help them continue growing their companies in spite of the pandemic. These are:

    • ActiveEd (Walkabout app promoting learning and physical activity)
    • BandwagonFanClub (fan demographic reporting to elevate event experiences)
    • Ellipsis Technologies (anti-fraud and other cybersecurity tools)
    • Global Transplant Solutions (organ preservation products)
    • PEC360 (patient experience software)
    • REsimplifi (commercial real estate property search)

    “Our mission of fueling South Carolina’s innovation economy includes answering the call to help during this COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our current client companies were already providing or developing solutions related to COVID-19 while others quickly pivoted to address the pandemic. We are proud to be able to provide the support necessary to maximize the impact of these solutions,” said Bob Quinn, Executive Director of SCRA.

    In addition to investing financially, SCRA is also involved in other initiatives to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff members are serving on various taskforces and committees with health systems and economic development organizations. Other SCRA-supported companies are providing solutions to the pandemic including Modjoul, which has developed an employee health screening platform, Humimic Medical and ZVerse, which are producing protective shields, and Vikor Scientific, which is providing respiratory pathogen testing. Lastly, SCRA is sharing COVID-19 resources online and through social media.

     

    About SCRA

    Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, nonprofit corporation SCRA is a state-chartered organization that fuels job creation and grows South Carolina’s innovation economy. Through SCRA’s programs, SC Academic Innovations, SC Facilities, SC Launch and SC Ventures, researchers, developers and early-stage companies are receiving mentoring and funding, and may be eligible for an investment from SCRA’s investment affiliate, SC Launch, Inc.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Humimic 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.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Humimic is opening doors to a world of medical research from right here in South Carolina see more

    Accompanied by a contingent of life sciences leaders from SCBIO, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, Upstate Alliance, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and others, South Carolina is making its presence felt at Arab Health 2019 -- the global medical and life sciences conference held annually in Dubai.  And Greenville's own Humimic Medical is making its own presence felt as well.

    Imagine a gelatin solution that mimics soft human tissue. One that doesn’t require refrigeration, and that opens doors to a world of medical industry research and training without the obstacles that come with cadavers.

    The product exists, developed eight years ago by Joel Edwards in his Arkansas basement. It was sparked by an idea, and initially sold to defense companies for testing under the name Clear Ballistics.

    In recent years, physicians and medical researchers took notice, prompting the spinoff of a company called Humimic Medical.

    Read on for the full story from Greenville Business Magazine.