Life sciences

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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

    #onward!
    #GodspeedSCBIOstakeholders

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    New life sciences incubator opens in WestEdge in Charleston see more

    The Charleston Digital Corridor, which offers space for startups and early stage companies, has opened a new incubator in the WestEdge development.

    The organization partnered with the city of Charleston for the facility, which focuses primarily on life sciences and technology companies in the mixed-use development located in the medical district near the Ashley River.

    Executive Director Ernest Andrade said Flagship – WestEdge, the fifth facility operated by the Digital Corridor, is 100% full with AnattaBiblioLabs, DentureCare, VendrVikor Scientific, and Zeriscope.

    The Digital Corridor’s facilities aren’t traditional incubators where companies operate in isolation with low-cost commercial space.

    The Digital Corridor uses month-to-month leases and designs its Flagship facilities to provide a setting for businesses to engage with one another. The Digital Corridor goes through an extensive application process to ensure a complementary mix of companies as well.

    Mayor John Tecklenburg said the city’s WestEdge incubator was part of Charleston’s commitment to help knowledge economy companies, which generally offer wages above the state and national averages, grow in the region.

    “Our investment in the Flagship – WestEdge business incubator is a tangible sign of the city’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurship and economic diversity while contributing to our citizens’ quality of life with high-wage technical and scientific jobs,” Tecklenburg said in a statement.

    The Digital Corridor plans to move its headquarters next year to a six-story building on Morrison Drive called the Charleston Technology Center. The entire second floor, 18,000 square feet, will be dedicated to providing commercial space for small businesses and startups similar to Flagship – WestEdge. Construction began last year.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Zylo, Hoth expand relationship see more

    Hoth Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HOTH), a biopharmaceutical company, today announced it has completed a strategic investment in [SC Launch, Inc., Portfolio Company] Zylö Therapeutics, Inc. (“Zylö”).

    Mr. Robb Knie, Chief Executive Officer of Hoth, commented, “We are pleased to expand our partnership with Zylö and look forward to working together as our therapeutic for Lupus patients continues through the next phase of development. This small equity investment in Zylö is a further commitment to our belief in Zylö’s science and team.”

    Stated Scott Pancoast, CEO of Zylö Therapeutics, “Partnering with Hoth in 2019 was an important step in propelling our lupus program forward. This equity investment in Zylö stock represents an expansion of the partnership and is a win-win for the two companies.”

    According to estimates by the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), 1.5 Million Americans currently suffer from lupus, with 16,000 new cases reported annually. Tragically, lupus strikes mostly women of child-bearing age. Worldwide, the LFA estimates that at least five million people may have some form of the disease. Of the people diagnosed, approximately two-thirds will develop CLE. The annual average cost to provide medical treatment for a person with lupus: $6,000 to $10,000, with some treatment costing several thousand dollars a month.

    ###

    About Zylö Therapeutics, Inc.
    Zylö, dedicated to bringing innovative technologies to multiple facets of medicine, has an innovative sustained-release drug-delivery system that was developed by Joel Friedman MD PhD, Adam Friedman MD FAAD, and Andrew Draganski PhD. The delivery system uses patented xerogel-derived nanoparticles, called Z-pods™, to deliver—in a sustained and controlled manner—notoriously hard-to-deliver therapeutic agents through topical administration. For more information, please visit; http://www.zylotherapeutics.com/

    About Hoth Therapeutics, Inc.
    Hoth Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new generation therapies for dermatological disorders. HOTH’s pipeline has the potential to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from indications including atopic dermatitis, chronic wounds, psoriasis, asthma and acne. Hoth has recently entered into a Joint Development Agreement to further the development of vaccine prospects to prevent, intercept or treat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) based upon VaxCelerate, a self-assembling vaccine (SAV) platform exclusively licensed by Voltron from the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). To learn more, please visit www.hoththerapeutics.com.

    Forward Looking Statements
    This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements that relate to the advancement and development of AEA-loaded Z-pods™, the commencement of clinical trials, the availability of data from clinical trials and other information that is not historical information. When used herein, words such as “anticipate”, “being”, “will”, “plan”, “may”, “continue”, and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any statements or information that refer to expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, performance or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking. All forward-looking statements are based upon Hoth’s current expectations and various assumptions. Hoth believes there is a reasonable basis for its expectations and beliefs, but they are inherently uncertain. Hoth may not realize its expectations, and its beliefs may not prove correct. Actual results could differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, without limitation, market conditions and the factors described under the caption “Risk Factors” in Hoth’s Form 10K for the period ending December 31, 2018, and Hoth’s other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Consequently, forward-looking statements should be regarded solely as Hoth’s current plans, estimates and beliefs. Investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Hoth cannot guarantee future results, events, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Hoth does not undertake and specifically declines any obligation to update, republish, or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or circumstances or to reflect the occurrences of unanticipated events, except as may be required by law.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    It's Monday... start your day right with two minutes of good news, right here see more

    SCBIO's latest Monday Moment arrives amidst the COVID-19 storm to provide meaningful and inspiring information in 2 minutes or less. This week, enjoy an uplifting reminder from South Carolina Hospital Association's Thornton Kirby that expresses appreciation to the SC life sciences industry, plus helpful webinars, news on how SC is stepping up and the ever-popular 3 Great Links.  Click here.

     

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    BMS steps up to help newly uninsured patients see more

    PRINCETON, N.J. – April 7, 2020 – Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) today announced an expansion of its existing patient support programs to help eligible unemployed patients in the U.S. who have lost their health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The expanded program offers access to any branded Bristol Myers Squibb medicine for free, including some of its most widely prescribed products, as well as those prescribed via telehealth services. The program features:

    • Immediate access for patients who have lost their employment and health insurance;
    • A simple, single point of entry;
    • Streamlined enrollment process; and
    • Vouchers to assist with continuity of care for several self-administered BMS medicines, for eligible patients

    All Bristol Myers Squibb patient support programs, as well as, additional eligibility requirements, can be reached by calling (800) 721-8909 or by visiting BMS.com.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented financial challenges for patients and families, adding considerable new stress to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and health insurance,” said Giovanni Caforio, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer, Bristol Myers Squibb. “As more patients face difficult decisions in their daily lives, it is important to continue their treatments.”

    Bristol Myers Squibb’s Response to COVID-19
    Bristol Myers Squibb recognizes this is a challenging time for everyone. The company will continue to take all necessary actions to promote public health and carry out its mission of providing life-saving medicines to the patients who depend on us. Please visit BMS.com to learn more about our actions to date.

    About Bristol Myers Squibb
    Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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. 

    Click to read full details now.

     

  • 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
    David Zaas Named to executive post at MUSC see more

    Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., CEO for MUSC Health and vice president for Health Affairs, University, named David Zaas, M.D., MBA, as the new chief executive officer, MUSC Health - Charleston Division, and chief clinical officer for MUSC Health. In these roles, Zaas will report directly to Cawley, who leads the entire MUSC Health statewide system. Following a national search, Zaas was recommended for this major leadership position by a search committee co-chaired by Prabhakar Baliga, M.D., chair, Department of Surgery, and Lisa Montgomery, MHA, MUSC executive vice president, Finance and Operations. Zaas is scheduled to join MUSC in July. 

    As the CEO of MUSC Health - Charleston, Zaas will lead the MUSC Hospital Authority in Charleston, including the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion. He will oversee the executive leadership team of the MUSC Health - Charleston Division and serve on the MUSC Health System Council, as CEO of our flagship hospital. His responsibility as chief clinical officer will involve providing guidance and advice on health care system strategies. 

    “Dr. Zaas has a deep appreciation for academic medicine and its critical role in research and innovation,” Cawley said. “He has a history of leading and promoting successful collaboration among a university, practice plan and health system. In addition, he is a profound advocate for patient and family centeredness and has a demonstrated track record of leading clinical growth, financial success and top performance in quality and safety. We look forward to the many contributions he can make to our health system,” he added.

    Prior to accepting his new role, Zaas served as president of Duke Raleigh Hospital since 2014. His previous leadership positions at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, include: chief medical officer, Duke Faculty Practice Diagnostic Clinic; medical director, Duke University Hospital; vice chair, Department of Medicine, Duke University; and medical director for Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation, Duke University Hospital. He has played a central role in advancing multiple key strategic initiatives for Duke Health, including care redesign, clinical integration and improving access for patients.

    Zaas holds a B.A. in biology from Yale University, an M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School, and an MBA from Duke University. He completed his internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at Duke University. Zaas’s academic interests have involved both translational and clinical research focused on improving outcomes from lung transplantation including the role of infectious complications after transplant.
     

    About MUSC Health

    As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.

    Founded in 1824, MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3.2 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Konduros appointed to SC Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee see more

    The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has named SCBIO President and CEO Sam Konduros to the Executive Committee of its Board of Directors.  Leadership terms for the Chamber’s officers and board of directors continue through September 2020.

    The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is a statewide organization that promotes pro-job and pro-business policies at the state and federal level. It brings together businesses across the state through coordinated strategies, training opportunities, and networking events to foster a unified voice, with a goal of creating the best business climate possible, and to strategically create and advance a thriving, free-market environment where South Carolina businesses can prosper.

    “We are lucky to have a strong group of business leaders guiding the State Chamber for the upcoming year,” said Steve Spinx, Board Chairman of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, in announcing Konduros and others to the Executive Committee. “With their leadership, we will continue the work to improve the state’s business climate.”

    Mr. Konduros joined SCBIO in 2017 to build, advance and grow life sciences in South Carolina, expanding its efforts to address economic development, advocacy, integrated marketing, innovation/R&D, and attracting capital.  In his career, he has served as Executive Director of the Greenville Health System Research Development Corp., Senior Project Manager for the SC Department of Commerce, EVP with Alfmeier Corporation in North America, and as President/CEO of Upstate SC Alliance. He is a member of boards including the SE Life Sciences Association and Palmetto Conservation Foundation.  He has been designated as a Knowledge Economist by SCRA and was awarded The Order of the Palmetto in 2018 – the state’s highest civilian award.  He holds a B.A. in English from Clemson and earned his J.D. at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

    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 675 firms directly involved and 43,000 professionals employed directly or indirectly 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.

    As the official state affiliate of BIO, PhRMA and AdvaMed, SCBIO members include hundreds of academic institutions, biotech companies, medtech 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 products that transform how we heal, fuel and feed the world.

    For additional information on SCBIO, visit www.SCBIO.org.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    WestEdge booming as VIKOR calls it home see more

    According to the World Health Organization, antibiotic drug resistance has become one of the greatest threats to global health. Charleston-based Vikor Scientific is in the business of eliminating this health epidemic, and their successful efforts to do so will continue as they expand and move their Lowcountry operations and growing workforce to WestEdge.

    In the midst of this health crisis, the pressure is on clinicians to prescribe the correct antibiotics. At Vikor, they’re providing medical professionals with the diagnostic tools to achieve effective treatments. The team at Vikor specializes in customizing molecular diagnostic panels to accurately detect and quantify pathogen and resistance gene loads within 12-24 hours of specimen arrival at the lab.

    Vikor’s mission to improve day-to-day diagnostics relies heavily on it’s Charleston workforce, with the company packing, shipping and handling everything going out to their vast 3,000+ client list - a diverse roster of medical professionals covering 48 of the 50 states.

    “At Vikor’s new WestEdge location, together with South Carolina Research Authority, we’re creating a lab and office environment that people in Charleston have been craving for years,” said Vikor Scientific Co-Founder, Scotty Branch. “Not only will our workforce feel good about going to work in a state-of-the-art facility looking out over a world class city, we’re proud to invite scientists from across the country to visit our workspace.”

    Vikor currently boasts a headcount of 53 individuals and is hiring weekly. The entire team is set to move into the nearly-completed 22 WestEdge building early this spring, with operations planned on multiple floors of the building. The company’s WestEdge headquarters is set to include the company’s C-Suite, sales & marketing teams, customer service, supply chain management, and payer relations, as well as multiple renowned clinicians, neuropharmacologists, medical specialists, researchers and scientists.

    “As a graduate of MUSC, I’m extremely aware of the potential collaboration opportunities that exist at WestEdge with the neighborhood’s close proximity to the medical district,” said Shea C. Harrelson, PA-C, Vikor Co-Founder. “We recently launched our research division, KOR Life Sciences, and we are interested in working with other scientists at MUSC to identify areas where synergy may be possible.”

    MUSC Health plans to move members of it’s senior management team to the second and third floors at 22 WestEdge, while Vikor will occupy the building’s eighth floor penthouse & fourthfloor. With its striking architecture, unique height and full height glass, the building will be the tallest multi-tenant office structure on the peninsula and in Charleston’s metropolitan area when it opens, offering 150,000 square feet of office & lab space, as well as street level space for cafes, restaurants & shopping.

    “Vikor’s presence affirms the WestEdge vision. Scotty and Shea’s team represents the breadth of Charleston’s highly-educated workforce and underscores the potential and viability of our city to house world-class companies like Vikor,” said Michael Maher, CEO of The WestEdge Foundation, Inc. “Our neighborhood’s current and future living options, restaurants, retail, fitness, gathering and incubator spaces, were developed with businesses like Vikor in mind.”

    Publix Super Market, the development’s flagship retailer, opened in April 2019 at 10 WestEdge, joining BkeDShop, Barre South, Jimmy Johns, and Hokkaido Sushi & Grill Restaurant, IX Artistry, 9Round Fitness and Domino’s Pizza at 99 WestEdge street. Recently-opened Woodhouse Spa occupies the retail space along the Spring Street frontage of 10 WestEdge.

    Upon completion, WestEdge will encompass more than 3,000,000 square feet of space on 60 acres along the Ashley River adjacent to MUSC and the Medical District, and fronting on Brittlebank Park and the Joseph Riley Baseball Stadium. WestEdge is a public-private partnership created to advance economic development and expand the research capabilities of the Medical University of South Carolina and foster new companies and collaborative opportunities with private industry. It is an innovative redevelopment that is transforming the quality of life for Charleston's west side.

    To learn more about WestEdge, visit http://www.westedgecharleston.com/ or follow the development’s progress on Twitter @westedgechs, Facebook @westedgecharleston, and Instagram @westedgechs.

    About WestEdge
    WestEdge is a 60-acre master-planned development growing into a community of world-class office and lab space, beautiful apartment towers, restaurants, and retail shopping linked together by sweeping views and access to the Ashley River and Brittlebank Park. Key 22 WestEdge partners include Gateway Development (Developer) ELV Associates (Investor), BB&T (Lender), Trident Construction (General Contractor), Perkins & Will (Architect), Thomas and Hutton (Civil Engineer), and Lee & Associates (Marketing & Leasing).

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion open see more

    The long-awaited MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion opened Saturday, bringing a dedicated space for women’s and children’s health care to the Lowcountry.

    In just under 12 hours, Medical University of South Carolina staff and partners transported almost 200 patients from the former MUSC Children’s Hospital on Ashley Avenue to the new building on the corner of Courtenay Drive and Calhoun Street.

    “We saw an incredible amount of teamwork and a very professional approach to the whole thing, but also just a whole lot of joy,” said Mark Scheurer, MUSC Children’s Hospital chief medical officer and project leader. “It was really fun just watching the little things happen that you talked about in the planning period when they were just hypothetical.”

    The 11-story hospital includes the state’s only level-one pediatric trauma and burn unit and the state’s largest level-four NICU.

    Starting with patients in the neonatal intensive care unit, teams simultaneously transported patients along four routes with the use of 36 ambulances, Scheurer said.

     

    The 11-story, 625,000-square-foot hospital includes a 20% increase in capacity. It has the state’s only level-one pediatric trauma and burn unit and the state’s largest level-four NICU. There also is an advanced fetal care center and a dedicated elevator for transporting mothers in labor from the hospital’s entrance directly to the fourth-floor maternity pavilion.

    “This new hospital is so important for the community because it will offer a different experience for women and children and their families because they (the team) will be able to deliver care using new technology,” said Carolyn Donohue, MUSC’s executive director of nursing for children’s and women’s health. “It also involves our patients to be able to use that technology to improve their ability to communicate with the health care team and their family during the acute care of their hospitalization.”

    This $389 million project was expected to open in October and then December. Neither opening took place delayed after setbacks from Hurricane Dorian and because the hospital didn’t pass safety and regulatory inspections.

    The hospital began its operating room and outpatient services Monday. Staff members will continue to move in any remaining supplies and equipment and to monitor operations to make sure they work as smoothly as planned.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Prisma Health, USC to collaborate on innovations see more

    The University of South Carolina and Prisma Health – the state’s largest not-for-profit health organization – are announcing a partnership that aims to encourage the development and implementation of innovative health care delivery models, medical devices, digital health applications, and treatments for diseases.

    Under the arrangement, which was approved by UofSC’s Board of Trustees on February 21, the University’s Office of Economic Engagement will assist Prisma Health – along with the UofSC Schools of Medicine in Columbia and Greenville – in identifying opportunities to develop mutually beneficial relationships with industry partners, bridging the gap between Prisma Health’s cutting-edge health research and the development of new technologies that help patients.

    “At Prisma Health, we strive to go beyond treating diseases or their symptoms and aim to find cures and to design medical devices and digital capabilities that allow us to restore and transform lives,” said Mark O’Halla, President and Chief Executive Officer at Prisma Health. “Harnessing our expertise and that of the University of South Carolina together will help us accelerate our ability to address society’s most significant health challenges.“

    Specifically, Prisma Health and UofSC will collaborate on a number of opportunities, including intellectual property patents and technology transfer support, operations development, cybersecurity, institutional insights, and strategic planning – all towards the shared goal of furthering research and innovation towards improving treatments and health care delivery.  At its core, this partnership will drive innovation through UofSC’s extended successes delivering education, mentoring programs, and incubation asset development, as well as Prisma Health’s experience in leveraging its clinical and non-clinical expertise  in the health care market, to drive innovations from benchside prototypes to clinical outcomes. 

    “This strengthens the outstanding partnership that already exists with Prisma Health. We are greatly committed to addressing the health needs of all South Carolina residents, and working together with Prisma in academics, research and patient care will make a real difference,” said UofSC President Bob Caslen.

    As the state’s flagship university, UofSC is uniquely suited to help Prisma Health develop research or innovation partnerships that can lead to higher healthcare outcomes for patients across the state. This new relationship builds off of previous partnerships the university had with Prisma Health and its legacy predecessors, Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health, before they combined in 2019 to form Prisma Health. 

    “We have an extensive history of facilitating and supporting innovation efforts across multiple sectors,” said Bill Kirkland, executive director of UofSC’s Office of Economic Engagement. “Through this partnership with Prisma Health, we will now apply our commercialization and entrepreneurial successes to healthcare and life sciences.  While this relationship will bear fruit for both insitutions, the real winners are the people of South Carolina, who stand to benefit from better access to care, innovative treatments, and the latest applications of research.”

    “Prisma Health is committed to improving the health of South Carolinians,”  said Brenda Thames, Prisma Health chief academic executive officer. “We are adapting to an ever-changing and increasingly challenging healthcare environment by becoming a learning health system that adopts rapid cycle innovation processes. While research provides the mechanism for evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of existing care models, innovation allows us to develop and improve new care models.”

    Dr. David Cull, Prisma Health vice president of clinical and academic integration, added, “Through this partnership, we will create, test, and implement innovative initiatives that challenge the status quo and have the potential to reduce the cost of care, improve quality, and increase access to healthcare services.”

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Vikor Scientific plans move to WestEdge in Charleston see more

    Vikor Scientific, a biotech firm that provides targeted diagnostics to improve patient outcomes, is expanding and moving its headquarters into the 22 WestEdge building this spring.

    The building is nearly complete and will include offices for both Vikor Scientific and members of senior management at MUSC Health, according to a news release.

    Vikor, which is currently in offices in Suite 8 at 645 Meeting St. in downtown Charleston, provides medical professionals with diagnostic tools to improve treatments. The company takes a specimen and customizes molecular diagnostic panels to accurately detect and measure pathogens and antibiotic resistance within 12 to 24 hours.

    “At Vikor’s new WestEdge location, together with South Carolina Research Authority, we’re creating a lab and office environment that people in Charleston have been craving for years,” Vikor co-founder Scotty Branch said. “Not only will our workforce feel good about going to work in a state-of-the-art facility looking out over a world-class city, we’re proud to invite scientists from across the country to visit our workspace.”

    There are currently 53 employees at Vikor, and the company is hiring, the release said. The company’s WestEdge headquarters will include executive suites, sales and marketing teams, customer service, supply chain management and payer relations, plus clinicians, neuropharmacologists, medical specialists, researchers and scientists on multiple floors of the building.

    Vikor co-founder and Medical University of South Carolina alumna Shea C. Harrelson said she is aware of potential collaboration opportunities with the neighborhood’s proximity to the medical district.

    “We recently launched our research division, KOR Life Sciences, and we are interested in working with other scientists at MUSC to identify areas where synergy may be possible,” Harrelson said.

    Michael Maher, CEO of The WestEdge Foundation Inc., said Vikor’s presence affirms the WestEdge vision. He said the neighborhood’s current and future living options, restaurants, retail, fitness, gathering and incubator spaces were developed with businesses like Vikor in mind.

    The 22 WestEdge building will be the tallest multitenant office building on the peninsula and in the Charleston metro area when it opens, with 150,000 square feet of office and lab space, plus street-level space for cafes, restaurants and shopping, the release said.

    Upon completion, the entire WestEdge project will encompass more than 3 million square feet of space on 60 acres along the Ashley River.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Many major life science firms have made the move to the Charleston region, and more are on the way see more

    Compliments of Industry Today

    December 19, 2019

    Charleston leads the nation for job growth in scientific R&D firms. In the past two decades, major life science firms have made the move to the Charleston region. Charleston is home to 75+ medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, research laboratories and service companies. Life science executives across the globe are discovering that the Charleston region offers what many other larger, oversaturated markets cannot: a lifestyle that attracts and retains top talent, easy connections to life science and healthcare executives, and business-friendly regional and state support.

    Read the full article HERE.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Nephron partnership helps patients receive anesthetics faster see more

    A new partnership between Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. and National Medical Products Inc. will help provide more patients with a quick and simple delivery of anesthetic medications, according to a news release from Nephron.

    National Medical Products is the developer of the single-use, subcutaneous J-Tip Needle-Free Injector. Hospitals which use the injector will now be able to use Nephron-developed technology in a Luer lock syringe, buffered and pre-filled with lidocaine, to fill it.

    “This new partnership is a huge win for patients, and we are extraordinarily excited to announce it,” Lou Kennedy, CEO of West Columbia-headquartered Nephron, said in the release. “Working together with the developers of J-Tip, we are making sure that the delivery of anesthetic medications is safe, easy-to-use and virtually pain-free, because patients deserve nothing less.”

    California-based National Medical Products, established in 2001, refined a jet-injection technology previously used by the military for vaccine delivery to create a self-contained injector that uses compressed carbon dioxide to provide an anesthetic effect in one to two minutes, according to the release. The injector is most commonly used before procedures such as IV insertions and blood draws.

    Nephron said the companies hope the partnership will help reach more patients.