life sciences

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Clemson, Prisma Health to collaborate on developing new medical treatments see more

    Researchers at Clemson University and Prisma Health have received funding to collaborate on the development of new medical treatment and diagnostic technologies.

    Three Clemson-Prisma Health collaborations received investments from the recently created Innovation Maturation Fund, a joint effort between the Health Sciences Center (HSC) at Prisma Health and the Clemson University Division of Research. The program provides health care-focused grants designed to advance the development and commercialization of innovative medical initiatives and translational science, to improve the health care industry and to promote economic growth in the region.

    The projects supported by this fund include a system to monitor triggers affecting respiratory health, injectable tissue regeneration technology and a monitoring device for patients with chronic kidney disease.

    This year’s Innovation Maturation Fund awards range from $20,000 to $35,000 and were granted to:

    Brian Booth, assistant professor in the department of bioengineering, and Jeffery Edenfield, medical director at the Prisma Health Institute for Translational Oncology Research (ITOR), to further develop a collagen-type medical implant that could greatly aid in breast tissue regeneration post-lumpectomy and prevent the recurrence of tumors.

    Goutam Koley, professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering, and Steve Snodgrass, pediatric pulmonologist, to develop a mobile sensor system that monitors environmental triggers for respiratory health issues that are especially prevalent in patients with respiratory illnesses. The monitoring system will utilize a battery powered miniaturized sensor system with cellular data connectivity that can be carried in person to continuously monitor specific environmental parameters for an individual.

    Robert Latour, McQueen-Quattlebaum Professor in the department of bioengineering, and Sudha Garimella, clinical assistant professor in the School of Health Research and medical director of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension at Prisma Health–Upstate, t0 continue to develop ammonia breath-test sensors that can be used by patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to measure the ammonia concentration in their exhaled breath. This technology would enable patients with CKD to monitor their physiologic status within the comfort of their own homes.

    Managed by the Clemson University Research Foundation, the goal of the fund is to increase applied research collaborations between Clemson faculty, graduate students and Prisma Health clinicians and to promote ideation and design of medical technology innovations that are attractive for commercialization.

    “The Innovation Maturation Fund is a special funding program that was developed in conjunction with the Clemson Division of Research and Prisma Health to target unmet needs in the health care industry,” said Chris Gesswein, executive director of the Clemson University Research Foundation. “I am excited to be able to participate in granting the first round of funds to deserving researchers through this new program. An important step towards fostering and supporting innovation in health sciences, with this program we have the unique opportunity to accelerate the commercialization of medical technologies in an effort to create a more self-sustaining model for promoting growth in health care.”

    “Prisma Health is excited to partner with Clemson University to engage companies and researchers in developing the next innovative breakthroughs in healthcare,” said Cody Reynolds, technology transfer manager in the Office of Innovation at Prisma Health-Upstate. “The Innovation Maturation Fund provides early-stage technical solutions to clinical opportunities and access to clinical learning environments that will equip researchers with the tools necessary to successfully obtain public and private funding.”

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Hitachi, Clemson partner on new initiative see more

    Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death. It accounts for 31 percent of deaths globally1 and for more than $351 billion in health expenditures, costs which are expected to increase by 100 percent by 2035.

    More than ever, there is a growing need for a highly trained workforce that can play a critical role in reducing these alarming statistics. Clemson University and Hitachi Healthcare Americas are answering this call. The two have joined forces to accelerate innovation in cardiovascular imaging to help students reach their full potential.

    Technical training for quality care

    Early detection and diagnosis through regular appointments and the use of technology, like cardiovascular sonography, is critical to reducing cardiovascular related deaths and improving the quality of life for millions of people worldwide. And with an aging baby boomer population, cardiovascular sonographers are in high demand. The current health care market employs approximately 130,000 sonographers and is expected to experience a growth rate of 14 percent (18,000 jobs)3 between 2018 and 2028.

    Providing students with real world experience, and access to state-of-the-art facilities and technology are critical priorities for preparing the talent pipeline.

    Since 2011, Clemson’s Department of Public Health Sciences has offered the Cardiovascular Imaging Leadership Concentration in collaboration with the Health Sciences Center at Prisma Health. Through this program, the University has been instrumental in preparing students to enter the workforce by offering technical training in noninvasive vascular testing and adult echocardiography.

    Now, through Hitachi and Clemson’s most recent collaboration, Clemson’s CVT students will have the chance to use Hitachi’s software further preparing them to enter the health care industry. Hitachi is also establishing the Hitachi Healthcare Outreach and Professional Development Fund, which will support faculty and students for programming and outreach efforts across South Carolina.

    Students will have access to VidiStar PACS Online Reporting software Platform, Hitachi’s DICOM viewer, echo viewer and report modules and vascular reports. Hitachi is also providing staff to train students on use in a clinical setting.

    Software for the cardiovascular sonography machines use soundwaves (ultrasound) to create a moving image of the heart. Combined with Doppler ultrasound,  physicians can see areas of poor blood supply to the heart in patients with conditions, like:

    myocardial infarction-MI

    coronary artery disease (CAD)

    valvular heart disease

    deep vein thrombosis-DVT

    peripheral arterial disease (PAD)

    And the non-invasive2 procedure allows medical professionals to:

    Assess overall function of the heart

    Determine the presence of many types of heart disease

    Follow the progression of heart disease over time

    Evaluate the effectiveness of medical or surgical treatment

    Sonographers are also tasked with providing notes and feedback to physicians when they’re unavailable, increasing the importance of sonographers’ role on patient health and outcomes.

    Hitachi Healthcare America’s value-based structured reports leverage a cloud-based image management and analytics platform, helping customers successfully deploy and adopt technology across complex and diverse organizations, apply advanced analytics and data mine to their valuable patient data.

    The reporting softwares being provided by Hitachi will further strengthen the skillset of CVT graduates, ensuring they are prepared to execute the necessary reports.

    Working together

    This is not the first venture between Clemson and Hitachi4. Hitachi High Technologies has long partnered with the Electron Microscopy Facility providing cutting edge microscopes and supporting the Hitachi High Technologies Graduate Fellowship to further the depth and breadth of advanced research and development being done at Clemson.

    Hitachi and Clemson’s most recent partnership will accelerate innovation through an in-depth understanding of issues facing healthcare through the eyes of its students. The next generation of ideas and improvements will benefit Hitachi’s product development, Clemson’s students and patients everywhere.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Read all the news of note from South Carolina's booming life sciences ecosystem right here! see more

    Enjoy reading SCBIO's newest newsletter, featuring top stories on the life sciences ecosystem in South Carolina.  This issue contains highlights from the record-setting and just-concluded  SCBIO 2019 Annual Conference... SCBIO's inaugural Annual Report to download... feature articles on SC life sciences and organizations... launch of the new 

    Southeastern Life Sciences Alliance... articles, important dates and much moreClick here to read the full issue!

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Clemson's Martine LaBerge shapes students, future through ehr work see more

    Martine LaBerge said that in her 17 years leading Clemson University’s bioengineering department, she has learned something about leadership that she passes on to colleagues who are just starting down the same path.

    “I tell them it’s all about people,” she said. “You get people aligned under one roof to believe in one brand and to have a mission that is focused on something other than themselves.”

    A new award has brought leadership sharply into focus for LaBerge, who has served as chair of the bioengineering department since 2002. 

    The Biomedical Engineering Society recently honored LaBerge with the inaugural Herbert Voigt Distinguished Service Award. The honor recognizes her extraordinary service to the society through volunteering and leadership.

    It’s the latest of many milestones in a career devoted to advancing the field of bioengineering and turning Clemson’s bioengineering department into a powerhouse of education and research. 

    “Dr. LaBerge epitomizes the kind of leadership we seek at Clemson,” said Robert Jones, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “For our future success it is vital to look at what she has accomplished in bioengineering as a benchmark and instill a similar passion in the next generation. If we do this well, it will strengthen Clemson for decades to come.”

    LaBerge has helped establish new collaborations with the likes of Arthrex, Prisma Health and the Medical University of South Carolina. She has had a hand in hiring all but one of the department’s 30 faculty members, and she has worked with them to develop new curricula.

    LaBerge was at the helm when a 29,000-square-foot annex was added to Rhodes Engineering Research Center. And she played a central role in establishing the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus, also called CUBEInC.

    The department’s faculty, with LaBerge’s support, lead two separate Centers of Biomedical Excellence, together representing $37 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.

    Clemson ranks fourth this year among the nation’s best value schools for biomedical engineering, according to bestvalueschools.com. And in a separate ranking by U.S News & World Report, Clemson ranked 21st among biomedical engineering programs at public universities nationwide.

    I.V. Hall, a former master’s student under LaBerge who is now on the department’s advisory board, said she has the ability to get people to buy into a vision and deliver what it takes to make it happen.

    “Her influence and her passion are the reasons the department is where it is,” said Hall, who is worldwide president for the DePuy Synthes Trauma, Craniomaxillofacial and Extremities Division. “She personifies Clemson bioengineering.”

    Throughout her career, LaBerge has remained in touch with students and their needs.

    The commitment to students made an impression on Margarita Portilla, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in bioengineering and is now pursuing her Ph.D. in bioengineering.

    “Dr. LaBerge is very close and always interacting with her students,” Portilla said. “I was always fascinated with her. As an undergraduate, I told my friends, ‘When I grow up, I want to be like Dr. LaBerge.’”

    One of LaBerge’s guiding principles is summed up in the department’s motto, “exemplifying collegiality.”

    At the start of each semester, she asks faculty to reflect on how collegial they are, using a short questionnaire and meter they can use to assess themselves. She also gives students a wallet-size card with the department’s mission, vision and goals, underscored by the motto in capital orange letters.

    LaBerge calls it their “credit card to graduate and be successful in life.” 

    She said that what she likes best about her job is mentoring faculty, networking, building Clemson’s academic reputation and working with students. 

    “There is no better professional than a Clemson bioengineering student,” LaBerge said. “It’s because of the way we educate them. They’re honest, and they have integrity. Our kids leave with emotional intelligence, because they see people doing it. We teach by example, and we lead by example. And I think everybody in this department is like that.”

    Nicole Meilinger, a senior bioengineering major, credits LaBerge with helping open several opportunities for her.

    She said that LaBerge encouraged her to apply for a three-semester rotation at CUBEInC through the Cooperative Education Program. The position put Meilinger into contact with some of the department’s industry partners and gave her the chance to conduct research.

    Meilinger said her work was published, and she had the opportunity to present her findings at conferences.

    LaBerge also introduced Meilinger to a class on developing and selling medical devices and recommended her for an Arthrex scholarship, which she received. Meilinger said that she has secured an internship with Arthrex and plans to start after graduating in May.

    “I came into bioengineering not knowing what I wanted to do, and Dr. LaBerge has been the biggest mentor in helping me find different career paths,” Meilinger said. “She’s always helping us in ways you can’t even imagine.”

    LaBerge, who is originally from Canada, arrived at Clemson as an assistant professor in 1990. She remembers having offers from other U.S. schools within a year. Two years after she arrived at Clemson, she interviewed to be an astronaut, she said. 

    “That was when they were working on the space station,” LaBerge said. “Canada needed a couple of astronauts. I went through the interview process.” 

    Ultimately, another candidate was chosen, and LaBerge said that she admired and followed his career. 

    What has kept her at Clemson for nearly decades are the opportunities in the department.

     “Larry Dooley (retired bioengineering chair and Clemson vice president of research) was a big mentor of mine,” LaBerge said. “He always saw positive, he always saw growth, he always saw big. I’m the kind of person who does not like to sit down. I like big things to look after. So, I think Larry was very instrumental with this.”

    LaBerge has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations, including president of the Society of Biomaterials, member of the Biomedical Engineering Society Board of Directors and chair of the Council of Chairs of Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering in the U.S. and Canada. 

    In Clemson, her leadership positions included seven months in 2013 as acting dean of what was then the College of Engineering and Science, before the current dean, Anand Gramopadhye took the helm.

    “Dr. LaBerge’s passion inspires students, faculty and staff to aspire to greater heights, learn more and achieve to the best of their abilities,” Gramopadhye said. “The Department of Bioengineering is thriving under her leadership. Further, she has exhibited leadership in key professional organizations, helping enhance Clemson’s national reputation in bioengineering. I congratulate her on the Herbert Voigt Distinguished Service Award. It is richly deserved.”

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Biopharma research is an important source of jobs, tax revenue and research spending in SC see more

    New findings show biopharma research companies a source of jobs, tax revenue and research spending in state

     

    GREENVILLE, S.C., October 4, 2018 – This week, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) released a new report that finds there are more than 572 active clinical trials in the South Carolina, and the life science industry supports 29,500 high-quality jobs and contributes $7.9 billion to South Carolina’s economy. These clinical trials can be responsible for more than half of the $2.6 billion average cost of developing one new medicine. They are investigating some of the biggest health care challenges South Carolinians face, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

    The report, titled “Research in Your Backyard: Developing Cures, Creating Jobs, Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in South Carolina,” was released at a press event held at the Westin Poinsett today, which featured a panel discussion including researchers and executives from the Greenville Health System, KIYATEC, the Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC, and the Greenwood Genetic Center, moderated by SCBIO President and CEO, Sam Konduros.

    “Clinical trials offer patients novel medical treatments right here in the Palmetto State, while also allowing biopharma research organizations to innovate and grow,” said Konduros. “Across South Carolina, the life sciences and healthcare industries have had a profound impact on our economy and citizens, that continues to rapidly increase.”

    Clinical trials are a vital component of bringing new life-saving drugs and treatments to market. On average, it takes approximately a decade for new medicines to go through the rigorous Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process. Only 12 percent of drugs successfully make it through clinical trials. Since 2004, biopharmaceutical research companies have conducted or are currently conducting more than 4,700 clinical trials in South Carolina. In 2013 alone, the nearly 1,100 active clinical trials in the state generated an estimated economic impact of $540 million.

    “One of the most important things we want people to understand about medicine development is that clinical trials rely on patient participation,” said Nick McGee, Director of Public Affairs for PhRMA. “It’s incredibly important that patients are aware of ongoing trials and learn how they can help become part of finding a cure for the toughest chronic conditions and diseases we face today.”

    In the United States, there are more than 7,000 open clinical trials being sponsored by the biopharmaceutical industry, universities, individuals and organizations combined. In South Carolina, of the 572 open clinical trials involving the biopharmaceutical research industry, the University of South Carolina Medial School is collaborating on more than 143 clinical trials and the Medical University of South Carolina is collaborating on more than 142.

    “Many top research and medical universities call South Carolina home and are centers of innovation,” Bob Quinn, Executive Director of the South Carolina Research Authority, said. “Maintaining strong partnerships between our universities and life science companies allows us to foster developments right here in South Carolina that can then help save lives far beyond our state lines.”

    You can read the complete report, “Research in Your Backyard: Developing Cures, Creating Jobs, Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in South Carolina,” here.

    ###

    About PhRMA
    The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $600 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $71.4 billion in 2017 alone.

    About SC BIO
    SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven public/private economic development organization focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state.  With an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms and 15,000 professionals directly involved in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products that make a difference across the Palmetto State and around the world.  Visit us at SCBIO.org.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    SCBIO 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, 2019Johnson & 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’sNextWave 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.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Two SC organizations have launched a new investment fund designed to boost health care innovation see more

    GREENVILLE, South Carolina — Two leading South Carolina organizations have launched a new investment fund designed to boost health care innovation in the state. The Clemson University Division of Research and the Health Sciences Center (HSC) at Prisma Health recently signed agreements to fund up to $200,000 per year in grants through the new Innovation Maturation Fund.

    The health care-focused grants are intended to advance the development and implementation of new medical initiatives, advance translational science, create job and educational opportunities, improve health care and drive economic growth in the region.

    “This is an important step to support health sciences research in our state,” said David Sudduth, vice president and chief operating officer of the Health Sciences Center at Prisma Health. “While we have a strong history of academic, research and innovation partnership in the Upstate through the Health Sciences Center, this is the first of what we hope will be many grant-making opportunities designed with our academic partners in order to support our community.”

    “Pairing Clemson University’s health research and bioengineering capabilities with Prisma Health’s industry-leading clinical environment provides an incredible opportunity for the development of medical technologies and initiatives that will improve health care for South Carolinians and many others,” said Tanju Karanfil, Clemson University vice president for research. “I am excited to see the ideas and impactful innovations that stem from this partnership.”

    The fund will be managed by the Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF), which manages the process of moving Clemson’s hundreds of innovative technologies from the laboratory into commercial markets. CURF has awarded more than $870,000 in maturation funds to Clemson researchers across academic disciplines since the launch of a similar fund in 2014. Those funds have led to startup companies, new technologies available for license and follow-on research investments.

    The new Innovation Maturation Fund — launched in cooperation with the HSC and Prisma Health — is the first such fund targeted exclusively toward researchers in the health sciences.

    “We look forward to working with Prisma Health to leverage this fund to advance promising medical technologies from ideation through initial phases of translational product development,” said Chris Gesswein, executive director of CURF. “By identifying and targeting unmet clinical needs early in the research process, we have a wonderful opportunity to impact successful downstream commercialization of technologies developed and matured through this Innovation Maturation Fund.”

    Prisma Health clinicians, Clemson research faculty and graduate students are eligible for grant funds. Applications for the first round of grants will be accepted this fall. For more information, click here.

    Innovation Maturation Fund Partners

    The Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF) is an independent 501(c)3 organization and was created to support the Clemson University research enterprise, guiding Clemson researchers through the technology transfer process by identifying, protecting, and developing university intellectual property. CURF is committed to creating a sustainable model for research by connecting Clemson researchers to external organizations and identifying opportunities for research collaboration to feed back into Clemson University.

    The Health Sciences Center at Prisma Health is a collaboration between Prisma Health, Clemson University, Furman University and University of South Carolina. Located on the Greenville Memorial Medical Campus, this nationally recognized center seeks to bridge the gap between academics, research, clinical practice and health care transformation in a way that is innovative, inter-institutional, interprofessional and interdisciplinary. Regional community, education and business leaders also participate in the Health Sciences Center’s shared governance.

    Prisma Health, a not-for-profit health company, is committed to excellence in patient care, clinical research and teaching the next generation of medical professionals. Our organization – South Carolina’s largest private employer – was formed when Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health joined together in late 2017, officially becoming Prisma Health in January 2019. With 32,000 team members (including volunteers), 18 hospitals and over 300 physician practice sites, we serve more than 1.2 million patients annually – about a quarter of the state’s population. Our goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care. Our cardiovascular, neuroscience, OB/GYN, oncology and orthopedic programs attract patients throughout the region. Also noteworthy are our two renowned children’s hospitals, comprehensive diabetes care and extensive primary care network. Ultimately, we are dedicated to transforming the health care experience for our patients and families, our team members and guests by bringing our purpose to life: Inspire health. Serve with compassion. Be the difference. Learn more at PrismaHealth.org.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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...

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    KIYATEC presenting at Socierty for Immunotherapy of Cancer conference see more

    GREENVILLE, S.C. – November 5, 2019 – KIYATEC, Inc. today announced that it will present data characterizing in vitro response to checkpoint inhibitors in solid tumors, a capability that addresses an important need in preclinical development of immuno-oncology (I/O) therapies. The data will be presented at the 2019 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting, to be held November 6-10 in National Harbor, MD. 

    Biologically relevant replication of complex interactions of human immune cells with tumor cells is an ongoing challenge using traditional preclinical models. Evidence presented by KIYATEC will highlight the utility of its in vitro 3D cell culture technology platform to characterize the tumor biology and immune activation and infiltration that precipitates response to checkpoint inhibitors across multiple solid tumor types. Data includes:

    • Complex 3D cultures derived from tumor cell lines or primary tumor tissue, incorporating allogeneic or autologous immune cells
    • High-throughput spheroid models used to detect dose-dependent response to checkpoint blockade and correlate with immune cell activation
    • Complex microtumor models that mirror immune cell infiltration, therapy-mediated reduction of microtumor growth and secretion of cytokines

    “KIYATEC is pioneering advances in 3D cell culture technologies to address the unmet needs of biopharmaceutical companies engaged in pre-clinical testing of their I/O compounds,” said Matthew Gevaert, CEO of KIYATEC. “Our emerging I/O models are currently being productively deployed across a number of pre-clinical initiatives and we anticipate that activity to increase as more drug developers become aware of our unique capabilities.”

    Presentation Details

    Following are key details of the SITC poster presentation:

     

    • Poster: P3
    • Title: Predicting patient response to checkpoint blockade therapy using in vitro 3D cultures
    • Date and Time:  Friday, November 8, 12:30 – 2:00 pm, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, EST

    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 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. 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.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    SCBIO 2019 Conference Set to Ignite the Future of Life Sciences in Greenville SC see more

    Compliments of Greenville Business Magazine

    As the state’s only economic development organization and industry association exclusively focused on building, advancing and growing the life sciences industry, SCBIO continues to pack on muscle with an agile but growing executive team supported by public-private investors, a multi-disciplinary board of directors and a robust industry and innovation council loaded with industry experts.  

    Just as importantly, it is enabling SCBIO to identify and tackle challenging long-term issues that could impede future growth if not aggressively dealt with, ranging from impactful workforce development strategies to serving as an effective voice for the industry and its ongoing prosperity with respect to state and federal policy issues. 

    The newly minted strategic plan has accordingly outlined highly specific initiatives to deepen South Carolina’s life sciences talent pool, and that critical ongoing effort has been markedly propelled by bringing industry leaders and educators together for dynamic conversations in multiple venues across the state over the past year.  

    Highlighted talent initiatives range from the gathering and sharing of vital intelligence from life sciences industry executives to identifying best practices across the country and the state to emulate, to teaming up with Apprenticeship Carolina and statewide workforce partners, to reaching consensus with higher education leaders on the need for developing biotech and medtech curriculum tracks within the S.C. Technical College System, mirroring the success of similar strategies already employed by the better known automotive and aerospace industries.

    SCBIO is committed to a culture of collaboration, and to literally facilitating a multi-disciplinary and cross-functional “body contact sport” of sorts between industry, academia, clinicians, healthcare administrators, economic developers, core service providers, elected officials and business leaders that can achieve real results, and often doesn’t occur naturally. 

    Too often, the many diverse stakeholders required to successfully advance this industry are so busy in their unique and incredibly demanding spheres that it is difficult to consistently intersect and converge on issues and opportunities that can be accelerated and optimized when multiple experts are literally in the room.  As such, no strategic activity undertaken by the organization is more important than constantly convening and connecting the state’s life science industries with diverse but equally vital stakeholders and partners.

    And to that end, over 60 collaborative gatherings from board meetings to bootcamps to legislative receptions to corporate meet-ups are being facilitated by the organization in 2019 all across South Carolina, including the SCBIO Annual Conference—the crowning life sciences event of the year in the Palmetto State. This year’s conference is anticipated to be the largest ever and will take place at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Greenville October 29-31.  

    The agenda is loaded with global, national and state thought leaders and industry champions who will collaboratively focus on transformative issues, leading-edge technologies, disruptive healthcare initiatives, provocative policy issues and far-reaching trends that are both impacting and driving the domestic and international life sciences industry forward—with real and serious implications for South Carolina and its rising position within this global arena.  

    In addition to investors and stakeholders of SCBIO, interested non-members are encouraged to register and attend this dynamic, one-of-a-kind South Carolina gathering and high-impact learning and collaboration event. Visit www.SCBIO.org for details.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    EPI Health has acquired worldwide rights to RHOFADE(R) see more

    CHARLESTON, SC / ACCESSWIRE / October 14, 2019 / EPI Health, LLC, a specialty pharmaceutical company committed to delivering innovative prescription therapies to dermatologists, today announced that it has acquired RHOFADE® (oxymetazoline hydrochloride) cream, 1% (RHOFADE) and related intellectual property assets from Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. (ACRS).

    "We are excited about the acquisition of RHOFADE and I am extremely proud of the EPI Health Team for this accomplishment," said John Donofrio, President of EPI Health. "RHOFADE aligns extremely well with our current product portfolio and enables EPI Health to better partner with our dermatology healthcare providers to successfully treat their patients with rosacea. The addition of RHOFADE supports our continued goal of providing innovative medical dermatology products to dermatologists, and their patients, and emphasizes our overall commitment to the dermatology community."

    The National Rosacea Society (NRS) estimates that approximately 16 million Americans are affected by rosacea. Persistent facial redness (erythema) is cited as the most common sign of rosacea and may resemble a flushing or sunburn that does not go away. Typical triggers include sun exposure, stress, weather, food, and exercise. In an NRS survey, nearly 90% of rosacea patients said this condition had lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem, and 41% reported it had caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements.1

    RHOFADE® (oxymetazoline hydrochloride) cream, 1% Indication and ISI2

    Indication

    RHOFADE (oxymetazoline hydrochloride) cream, 1% is indicated for the topical treatment of persistent facial erythema associated with rosacea in adults.

    IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

    WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

    Potential Impacts on Cardiovascular Disease

    Alpha-adrenergic agonists may impact blood pressure. RHOFADE® should be used with caution in patients with severe or unstable or uncontrolled cardiovascular disease, orthostatic hypotension, and/or uncontrolled hypertension/hypotension. Advise patients with cardiovascular disease, orthostatic hypotension, and/or uncontrolled hypertension/hypotension to seek immediate medical care if their condition worsens.

    Potentiation of Vascular Insufficiency

    RHOFADE should be used with caution in patients with cerebral or coronary insufficiency, Raynaud's phenomenon, thromboangiitis obliterans, scleroderma, or Sjögren's syndrome. Advise patients to seek immediate medical care if signs and symptoms of potentiation of vascular insufficiency develop.

    Risk of Angle Closure Glaucoma

    RHOFADE may increase the risk of angle closure glaucoma in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma. Advise patients to seek immediate medical care if signs and symptoms of acute angle closure glaucoma develop.

    ADVERSE REACTIONS

    The most common adverse reactions for RHOFADE were: application site dermatitis 2 %, worsening inflammatory lesions of rosacea 1%, application site pruritus 1%, application site erythema 1%, and application site pain 1%.

    Please see www.RHOFADE.com for full Prescribing Information.

    About EPI Health, LLC

    Headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, EPI Health is a specialty pharmaceutical company committed to delivering innovative prescription therapies to dermatologists while improving the quality of life of patients and providing outstanding medical services to the dermatology community. EPI Health is a wholly owned subsidiary of EPI Group. For more information, visit the EPI Health website at www.epihealth.com.

    About Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc.

    Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. is a physician-led biopharmaceutical company committed to addressing the needs of people with immuno-inflammatory diseases who lack satisfactory treatment options. The company's diverse portfolio includes one late-stage investigational drug candidate and a pipeline powered by a robust R&D engine exploring protein kinase regulation. Aclaris Therapeutics' active development programs focus on areas where significant treatment gaps exist. For additional information, please visit www.aclaristx.com and follow Aclaris on LinkedIn or Twitter @aclaristx.

    1 National Rosacea Society (https://www.rosacea.org)

    2 Prescribing Information for RHOFADE. November 2018.

    Contact:
    JR Buzzelli
    843-708-5304
    jbuzzelli@epihealth.com

    Related Links
    www.epihealth.com
    www.rhofade.com

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    MUSC, Siemens Healthineers craft extraordinary agreement to advance healthcare see more

    The Medical University of South Carolina and Siemens Healthineers have formed a first-of-its-kind strategic partnership with the mutual goal of advancing the quality of health care in South Carolina. The partnership will capitalize on the coupling of MUSC’s clinical care, research and education expertise with Siemens Healthineers’ engineering innovations and workflow-improvement capabilities.

    “We are leveraging a longstanding relationship to reshape what we can both deliver in health care,” said David J. Cole, M.D., MUSC president. “Our nation is demanding that we address our fractured, costly and inefficient health care delivery systems. As the leading academic health sciences center in this state, MUSC’s purpose must be to drive the highest quality care for our patients at the lowest cost through commitment and partnerships. In discussions with the Siemens Healthineers team, we discovered a high degree of alignment with these concepts, and we are very excited to have them move forward with us. Our mutual goal is to not merely provide the best care possible for just our patients; we will define the new gold standard for others to follow.”

    Specifically, this new agreement will focus on driving performance excellence at MUSC and generating significant clinical and value-driven innovations in focused target areas including pediatrics, cardiovascular care, radiology, and neurosciences.

    “Ultimately, our goal is to enable health care providers to get better outcomes at lower cost. We will achieve that by empowering MUSC clinicians on this journey through four specific areas of focus – expanding precision medicine, transforming care delivery, improving the patient experience, and digitalizing health care,” said Dave Pacitti, president of North America for Siemens Healthineers. “These four core values of Siemens Healthineers are representative of the goals of our strategic relationship with MUSC, and we hope that the spirit of this flagship partnership will initiate a trend in value based care within the industry.”

     

    Read the entire article by clicking here.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    USC sets record for research funding see more

    University of South Carolina faculty have again broken their previous record-high external funding by garnering $278.6 million in research and sponsored awards in fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019). FY2019 was the fifth consecutive year of record-breaking funding totals, beating the previous record of $258.1 million, set in fiscal year 2018, by 8 percent.

    UofSC Vice President for Research Prakash Nagarkatti said, “Sustained growth of this magnitude does not happen by accident. By making strategic investments in our exceptional scholars and our infrastructure, the University of South Carolina is building a research community characterized by innovation and excellence that has made and will continue to make an enormous positive impact on our state, nation and world. I am so honored to work with such outstanding faculty, students and staff, who continue to raise the bar year after year.”

    Vice President Nagarkatti credits strategic internal investments in research and infrastructure with helping to generate the growth that has increased research and sponsored awards totals for each of the past five years. The Advanced Support for Innovative Research Excellence, or ASPIRE program, provides an example of how internal programs that fund meritorious research and multi-user infrastructure generate strong returns on investment. Since its inception in 2012, ASPIRE has provided $16.1 million to fund 597 faculty and postdoctoral scholar research projects in subject areas from art to mathematics and from medicine to library science. Past ASPIRE recipients have garnered more than $171.2 million in subsequent extramural funding, including $71.8 million in funding that was directly attributable to groundwork laid with an ASPIRE award. This represents more than a four-fold direct return on investment.