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Lou Kennedy

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Governor salutes industry as record-setting SC life sciences conference starts see more

    In recognition of the importance of the life sciences industry in South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster has issued a proclamation recognizing February 21-25, 2022 as South Carolina Life Sciences Week in the Palmetto State.

    Governor McMaster issued the proclamation just as SCBIO organizers are putting finishing touches on the largest-ever life sciences gathering ever held in the state.  More than 500 registrants live and virtual from across America and around the globe will attend the SCBIO-led gathering of South Carolina’s life sciences community this week in Charleston – and will celebrate the contributions of its 700+ organizations in helping America and the world overcome the challenging COVID-19 pandemic.

    In his proclamation, Governor McMaster highlighted the rapid growth of the cutting-edge industry in South Carolina and its reputation as an emerging force in life sciences.  He specifically cited the industry’s efforts in workforce development, its emerging role in research and development, and its ability to attract high quality and high-paying jobs and investment to the Palmetto State.

    Governor McMaster issued the proclamation as hundreds of life science executives from 27 states and six countries prepare to assemble in Charleston, SC for SCBIO 2022: The Life Sciences Conference of South Carolina. Charleston and the Lowcountry feature a strong concentration of life science companies, while the industry boasts life sciences organizational presence in 42 of South Carolina’s 46 counties. Among more than 35 featured presenters at the conference will be BIO’s global CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, Clemson University President Jim Clements, PhRMA executive Courtney Christian, Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO Lou Kennedy, and SC Commerce Secretary Harry Lightsey III.  SCBIO President and CEO James Chappell will deliver a highly anticipated State of the Industry address on the opening day of the Conference.

    Among many highlights of the Conference will be the unveiling of a new Economic Impact Study for the state’s life sciences industry, a study last conducted in 2017 that revealed the sizable impact of the industry, including an$11 billion economic impact, more than 700 firms, and over 33,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotechnology products.  Officials familiar with the just-completed study indicate the new results could be “significantly higher” despite the pandemic’s economic body blows.

    Life sciences today represents a key economic development focus for the state, with strong life science recruiting initiatives led by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and other regional economic development teams. Governor McMaster issued an Executive Order in April 2021 for the state to make life sciences a strategic focus for South Carolina in its recruiting and economic development priorities.

    “Life sciences is a major driver of South Carolina’s economy today, and this conference is testament to the industry’s surging impact, reach and rapidly rising economic significance in our state and country,” noted SCBIO President and CEO James Chappell. “We’re honored by Governor McMaster’s recognition and appreciate his personal support for the contributions that life sciences are making to improve quality of life, care and economic standing for South Carolina citizens.”

    For additional information on SCBIO or to register for SCBIO 2022, visit www.SCBIO.org

    Proclamation:

    WHEREAS,    South  Carolina  has  cultivated  a  cutting-edge  life  sciences  sector  with  an  annual  economic  impact  of  more  than  25  billion  dollars;  and

    WHEREAS,    more  than  1,000  firms  and  over  87,000  professionals  are  involved  in  the  research,  development,  and  commercialization  of  innovative  healthcare,  medical  device,  industrial,  environmental,  and  agricultural  biotechnology  products;  and

    WHEREAS,    since  2017,  the  life  sciences  sector  has  become  South  Carolina’s  fastest-growing  industry,  with  employment  growing  at  double  the  rate  of  South  Carolina’s  economy;  and

    WHEREAS,    SCBIO  is  the organization  exclusively  focused  on  attracting  new  life  science  sector  jobs  and  investment  to  South  Carolina;  and

    WHEREAS,    during  the  COVID-19  pandemic,  more  than  100  life  sciences  organizations  across  South  Carolina  worked  together  to  support  and  promote  the  procurement  and  distribution  of  personal  protective  equipment,  support  and  implement  COVID-19  testing,  and  expedite  health  solutions  for  our  citizens;  and

    WHEREAS,    in  collaboration  with  the  South  Carolina  Department  of  Commerce  and  SCBIO,  South  Carolina’s  economic  development  recruitment  efforts  shall  include  an  enhanced  emphasis  and  focus  on  attracting,  building,  advancing,  innovating,  and  growing  existing  and  new  life  sciences  businesses  in  the  state.

    NOW,  THEREFORE,  I,  Henry  McMaster,  Governor  of  the  great  State  of  South  Carolina,  do  hereby  proclaim  February  21 – 25,  2022,  as

    SCBIO  life  sciences  week

    throughout the state and encourage  all  South  Carolinians  to  recognize  and  appreciate  the many  contributions  of  the  life  sciences  industry  to  South  Carolina’s  health  and  economic  prosperity.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Core industry grew faster in SC than any Southeastern state from 2017 – 2020, at double region’s rat see more

    On the heels of the proclamation by Governor Henry McMaster that  he was recognizing February 21-25 as SC Life Sciences Week in recognition of the importance of the industry to South Carolina, researchers from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina have determined that the industry is not only South Carolina’s fastest-growing overall – it is growing at a faster rate than its peers across the Southeast.

    Since 2010, annual employment growth within the life science industry core has averaged approximately 2.7 percent, far exceeding that of the state as a whole over the same time period (1.4%). More recently, although South Carolina’s overall employment growth experienced a slight decrease since 2017 due to the pandemic-induced recession of 2020 (-0.4%), the life science industry core experienced remarkably high growth of 26.4 percent over the same period according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data – and an even higher rate of 42.2% using proprietary South Carolina data.

    These growth rates are unparalleled in the region, researchers noted. The life science industry core grew faster in South Carolina than in any other Southeastern state between 2017 and 2020 and at approximately twice the rate of the Southeastern region as a whole. South Carolina’s life science industry core currently ranks 5th among all Southeastern states in total size, behind Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.

    The research went on to document that the annual economic impact of the life science industry on the state of South Carolina totals a robust $25.7 billion. This figure reflects the dollar value of all goods and services that can be attributed (either directly or indirectly) to life science-related firms in South Carolina. This $25.7 billion in economic output is associated with 87,773 total jobs and over $5.6 billion in labor income – and a sizable jump from the $11.4 billion impact in a late 2016 study.

    The economic impact resulting from the life science industry is associated with an employment multiplier of 2.9, which implies that for every 10 jobs that are created within the life science industry in South Carolina, an additional 19 jobs are created elsewhere in the state. This multiplier effect is substantially higher than that of the average South Carolina industry multiplier, which is 1.7.

    The life science industry in South Carolina currently consists of approximately 30,731 employees across 1,033 firms. Employment is most concentrated within firms specializing in medical devices & equipment manufacturing and bioscience-related distribution. When the indirect and induced impact of the industry is considered, the life sciences industry here accounts for a staggering 87,773 jobs, researchers note.

    Better still, the average direct job in the life science industry in South Carolina pays an annual total wage of $87,639, which represents a 79 percent premium over the average annual wage in South Carolina across all jobs ($48,942). And the industry supports a significant demand for high-wage, high-skilled jobs in various STEM fields (science, engineering, technology, mathematics, and related occupations). Approximately 26 percent of the life science industry statewide is driven by high-tech R&D, with another 33 percent in production-related activities, and the remaining 41 percent providing transportation and other support services.

    Even the growth of the firm count is extraordinary, having grown from 402 firms counted in the Palmetto State in the 2016 study to 1,033 firms today in the rapidly expanding ecosystem. And life sciences impact the entire state, with a current presence of industry organizations in 42 of 46 state counties.

    The research, led by Research Economist Joseph Von Nessen, further noted that industries grow over time, and those able to maximize the economic impact of their growth and add the most value to their local regions are typically those that focus on expanding their R&D subsectors. This bodes well for South Carolina life sciences because the high-tech R&D subsector is projected to be the fastest growing segment of life sciences over the next decade. This total anticipated growth rate of 18.4 percent exceeds projections for the broader life sciences sector and reveal significant potential for South Carolina life sciences – namely, the ability to capitalize on the projected economic growth trends that already signal strong demand for R&D.

    The findings were presented as hundreds of life science executives from 27 states and six countries assembled in Charleston, SC for SCBIO 2022: The Life Sciences Conference of South Carolina. Among more than 35 featured presenters at the conference were BIO’s global CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, Clemson University President Jim Clements, PhRMA executive Courtney Christian, Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO Lou Kennedy, and SC Commerce Secretary Harry Lightsey III.  SCBIO President and CEO James Chappell delivered a State of the Industry review and outlook as well.

    Life sciences today represents a key economic development focus for the state, with strong life science recruiting initiatives led by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and other regional economic development teams. Governor McMaster issued an Executive Order in April 2021 for the state to make life sciences a strategic focus for South Carolina in its recruiting and economic development priorities.

    “Life sciences is a major driver of South Carolina’s economy today, and this conference is testament to the industry’s surging impact, reach and rapidly rising economic significance in our state and country,” noted SCBIO President and CEO James Chappell. “We’re honored by Governor McMaster’s personal support for the contributions that life sciences are making to improve quality of life, care and economic standing for South Carolina citizens.”

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

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Download and review your complimentary copy of the 2021 SCBIO annual report now. see more

    The Board and staff of SCBIO have issued their 2021 Annual Report in advance of the organization hosting SCBIO 2022: The Life Sciences Conference of South Carolina, which begins this week.

    More than 500 live and virtual attendees will participate in the record-setting conference, which features more than 35 speakers, major economic development announcements, hundreds of partnering sessions and more.

    The annual report contains key statistical updates on the growth of the life sciences industry, its economic impact on the state, major milestones of the past 12 months, trends and much more.  Download your complimentary copy here.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    SCBIO launches first-in-kind, next-generation life sciences workforce development mobile app see more

    The South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization (SCBIO) is pleased to announce the launch of its first-in-kind, next-generation life sciences workforce development mobile app, undertaken at an Executive Breakfast held at the Omni Hotel on Wednesday, June 15th.

    ‘Rad Lab’ is designed for middle- and high schoolers across South Carolina. It is part of a workforce and career development initiative spearheaded by SCBIO and select industry partners that seek to connect over 400,000 middle and high schoolers in the state, including underserved youth, to life-science careers via mobile gaming technology.

    Geo-specific job descriptions, salaries, educational pathways, and inroads to life science companies are offered through engaging, career-simulated gameplay based on their whereabouts, proficiencies, and job preferences.

    “This is a fish-where-the-fish-are strategy,” said Erin Ford, executive vice president and chief operating officer for SCBIO. “By engaging this next generation of the workforce where they are – on their phones – via their preferred form of entertainment, we now have the ability to scale awareness, while supporting regional industry needs.”

    Within the game, real-world rewards are offered and Rad Lab is able to provide virtual recruitment services through fun, free-to-play gamification for post-secondary and full-time positions.

    “This is a life-changing initiative for our gifted young people in South Carolina, especially the underserved, who represent our future workforce,” added Lou Kennedy, CEO and Owner of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation. “We see them visiting our company regularly and are inspired by their potential. That is why this was an easy initiative for us to support for the entire life science industry in the state. A win-win for all.”

  • sam patrick posted an article
    How Lou and Bill Kennedy brought Nephron Pharmaceuticals home... and are making a difference in SC see more

    Compliments of The State

    Bill and Lou Kennedy consider their first date to be a trip to Blue Marlin in Columbia’s Vista, after a Georgia-South Carolina football game where they first met. While at the restaurant, Lou started asking about Bill’s business, a Florida-based manufacturer called Nephron Pharmaceuticals.

    “I asked how many customers he had, and he said ‘three, my old company and two people who used to work for me’,” Lou Kennedy remembers. “And I said, ‘don’t you think you ought to diversify?’ That was the first time we ever met.”

    Today, they have been married 20 years, and Nephron is based in Lou Kennedy’s home county, operating on a 715,000-square-foot campus in a Lexington County industrial park. Thousands of workers develop, produce and distribute a wide range of medical products. Lou Kennedy went from an interested outsider to the majority owner, now overseeing the company’s latest expansion during a time of growing needs in the medical field and a global pandemic.

    Read the entire article at: https://www.thestate.com/news/business/article259185098.html

  • sam patrick posted an article
    SCBIO Board Chair and Nephron CEO receives top honors from NAM see more

    The National Association of Manufacturers today honored NAM board member and Nephron Pharmaceuticals CEO and Owner Lou Kennedy with the Manufacturing Icon Award during the NAM’s spring board meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. The award recognizes leaders who inspire Americans to promote, perpetuate and preserve manufacturing in America.

    “Lou Kennedy embodies the spirit of manufacturing, possessing a fearless commitment to solving some of our nation’s and the world’s most pressing challenges,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “With trademark enthusiasm, Lou inspires those around her and brings together people from all sorts of backgrounds around a common purpose. In channeling her drive and dedication toward the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute’s Creators Wanted campaign, she is changing lives not just in South Carolina but across America. Her support has been game changing, and her passion for building the manufacturing workforce has helped us see our own vision for Creators Wanted more clearly. We’re honored to present this award to Lou in recognition of her exceptional leadership.”

    Kennedy serves as co-chair of Creators Wanted. Last year, Nephron Pharmaceuticals hosted the Creators Wanted Tour Live in West Columbia, South Carolina.

    The NAM and the MI’s “Creators Wanted” campaign is a member-driven initiative to inspire, educate and empower more Americans to pursue careers in modern manufacturing and to shift perceptions about careers in the industry. The campaign supports MI initiatives for students, women, veterans and other underrepresented communities and features a first-of-its-kind mobile experience and tour. It seeks to cut the skills gap by 600,000 workers by 2025 and increase the number of students enrolling in technical schools, vocational schools and apprenticeships by 25%. The campaign also seeks to increase the percentage of parents who would encourage their children to pursue a career in modern manufacturing to 50% from 27%.

    In 2019, Kennedy was named a STEP Ahead Award Honoree. The MI’s STEP Ahead Awards honor women in science, technology, engineering and production careers who have demonstrated excellence and leadership across all levels of the manufacturing industry. Kennedy continues to work with the MI to help increase women’s representation in manufacturing and support the next generation of female talent.

    -NAM-

    The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.5 million men and women, contributes $2.57 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Business is booming across South Carolina... and the future is bright. see more

    Compliments of Greenville Business, Charleston Business and Columbia Business magazines

    John Wall authored an article highlighting the positive economic development outlook for South Carolina, which was published in the March 2022 issues of Integrated Media Publishing’s three monthly business publications: Charleston Business, Columbia Business Monthly, and Greenville Business Magazine.

    “The future is bright for South Carolina, her people, and the economy,” Wall said before detailing how the state’s economic foundation has primed the business landscape for sustained success in many areas.

    South Carolina’s massive port activity has positioned the state for growth in several industries thanks to its global connections and international trade routes. In addition to the environmentally driven sectors like timber companies and agribusiness, the Palmetto State has reinvented itself for the modern business environment with success in the evolving textile industry, as well as manufacturing and life sciences sectors.

    Wall noted that the recipe for sustained success extends beyond the foundational advantage already in place and into the effective leadership in place to continue moving the state into the future. “We have amazing industry-specific organizations, such as the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance, which has worked tirelessly for over a century to advance manufacturing and the business community,” he said. “Newer organizations like the South Carolina Boating & Fishing Alliance have made major waves in promoting the burgeoning boating and fishing industry in South Carolina.”

    Additionally, Wall noted the importance of state agencies like the South Carolina Department of Commerce that do a great job in supporting existing businesses and recruiting new ones to the state, especially with effective leadership from the Department’s new Secretary, Harry Lightsey.

    For the full article, please click here.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    South Carolina's fastest-growing industry stars in new SCBIZ Magazine features see more

    The story on life sciences in South Carolina just took a big step forward to becoming even better known as SCBIZ Magazine featured the booming industry as its Summer 2021 cover story -- out now.

    The 14-page feature spanned four stories, from the trends driving the rapid growth of life sciences in South Carolina, to major advances in life science research happening here at home. A fabulous story on how SCBIO and life sciences organizations are working to close the workforce gap is also included, as well as an industry salute for our role in helping America emerge from COVID.  It's a tremendous section.

    Over 20 organizations are featured in stories, and nearly as many industry leaders from across SC are quoted in articles, enriched with photos, industry data on segments and market penetration, and more.

    More than two years in the making by the SCBIO team who worked with SCBIZ to bring this first-ever magazine feature on the industry to life, SCBIZ intends to build on this year's momentum and do another life sciences feature next Summer.  READ THE ENTIRE SECTION HERE!

  • sam patrick posted an article
    As Company Builds on Momentum, New Product Will Be Safer for Patients see more

    Continuing to build on the momentum that comes with explosive growth, Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation today announced the launch of a brand new syringe presentation under the highly successful Nephron 503B Outsourcing Facility operation.

    The Cyclic Olefin Copolymer syringe (COC) has a glass-like appearance, but is break-resistant and lightweight. COC syringes are suitable for a variety of medications, including highly viscous drugs and provide for extended product shelf-life. The disconnected plunger allows for easier storage.

    “From lifesaving drugs to cutting-edge automation, Nephron is known for the innovative new ways it approaches pharmaceutical manufacturing,” said Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy. “That is why we could not be more excited or proud for the launch of our first COC syringe. In the same way we are transitioning products from traditional IV bags into Blow-Fill-Seal plastic IV bottles, this product launch represents a progressive, and necessary change, making life easier for health care professionals and products safer for patients.”

    8.4% Sodium Bicarbonate Injection is the first product Nephron is set to launch in a COC syringe. However, the company plans to move more products to this format in the coming months.

     

    A West Columbia, S.C.-based company, Nephron develops and produces safe, affordable generic inhalation solutions and suspension products. The company also operates an industry-leading 503B Outsourcing Facility division which produces pre-filled sterile syringes, luer-lock vials, IV bottles and IV bags for hospitals across America, in an effort to alleviate drug shortage needs. Nephron launched a CLIA-certified diagnostics lab last year where it tests people for COVID-19 and administers vaccinations. In July, Nephron announced the opening of Nephron Nitrile, a plant that will produce American-made, medical-grade nitrile gloves.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Nephron Pharmaceuticals continues on rapid growth curve... see more

    Compliments of the Post and Courier

    Nephron Pharmaceuticals’ expansion is progressing as production gets underway on a spate of new business ventures — from at-home COVID-19 test kits to chemotherapy drugs.

    Since 2020, the West Columbia drug maker has invested $215 million to build out its campus in Lexington County’s Saxe Gotha Industrial Park. In the past month, the company hired 1,500 new part-time workers as it ramps up production of new product lines, CEO Lou Kennedy said, bringing it to 1,200 full-time employees and 2,500 part-timers.

    The hiring spree comes as Nephron produced 30 million doses of reagent for Abbott Laboratories’ at-home COVID-19 test kits last month and assembled about 1 million kits. Kennedy hopes to increase kit production to 2 million per month in January as demand for them has skyrocketed amid new variants of the deadly virus. 

    CONTINUE READING FULL STORY HERE...

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Apprenticeship program paying dividends for Nephron see more

    Compliments of Columbia Regional Business Report

    Five graduates have completed Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp.’s 2021 Pharmacy Technician Apprentice Program with the highest grade point average and completion rate in the history of the program, started in January 2018.  

    The class’s completion rate of 100% and its GPA of more than 3.5 set records for the program, a partnership between Nephron and Midlands Technical College.  

    "We could not be more excited about this bright group of future pharmacy technicians,” Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy said in a news release. “They demonstrated precisely the kind of hard work, determination and attention to detail it takes to excel in an increasingly competitive professional field. We look forward to watching them as they flourish into the industry leaders of tomorrow.” 

    The program marked Nephron’s first official apprenticeship through Apprenticeship Carolina and the U.S. Department of Labor. Students are enrolled in MTC’s seven-month pharmacy technician certification program.  

    Each Nephron employee will continue to work full time while completing the MTC program, with all educational costs paid by Nephron, according to the release.   

    The 2021 Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship class members are: 

    • Yulander Brown 
    • Hannelore Ignacio 
    • Sha’Keela Shiggs 
    • Gabriela Solla 
    • Michelle Whetstone 

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Nephron steps up to help state's most vulnerable see more

    As children ages 5 to 11 become eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation has announced the opening of a pediatric COVID-19 vaccine clinic at its vaccination drive-thru in West Columbia. The clinic is open Monday – Friday from 12:00 PM – 5:30 PM.

    Nephron, in partnership with Dominion Energy South Carolina, launched a convenient drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site earlier this year. The drive-thru is located on Dominion Energy property off of I-77 at Exit 2. In addition to providing the space for a drive-thru, Dominion Energy is also generously contributing power and logistics support.

    As a part of its ongoing efforts to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nephron offers Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations to citizens, including those ages 5 to 11, who are eligible. This includes regular doses and boosters for adults, during regular hours, which remain Monday – Friday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

    Nephron registered nurses and pharmacists are administering vaccinations, with assistance from Nephron CLIA-certified diagnostics lab employees.

    COVID-19 tests are also available as a part of the drive-thru. Nephron established a diagnostics lab last year in order to conduct COVID-19 tests. Since opening the lab, Nephron has tested thousands of people across the state for COVID-19 – including employees, students, educators, athletes and families – as the company does its part to keep South Carolina healthy and safe during the public health crisis. The Nephron CLIA-certified lab procured state-of-the-art technology for COVID-19 real-time PCR testing and serological antibody testing. Results are delivered within 24-48 hours.

     

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Goal to “take South Carolina life sciences to an entirely new level” see more

    Following a nationwide search that targeted 200 candidates in 39 states and resulted in 116 total applications from across the country, the Board of Directors of SCBIO has named James Chappell, an executive with Louisiana Economic Development, as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer.

    Dr. Chappell, whose career also includes time with Chartic Management Consulting in Boston, joined Louisiana Economic Development (LED) in 2013 and held positions of increasing responsibility at the organization including Executive Director of State Economic Competitiveness before being named Executive Director of Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship for the organization in 2021.

    During his tenure at LED, Dr. Chappell’s numerous successes included designing and implementing the state’s $100 million venture capital and small business funds, developing strategies to recruit globally recognized companies to the state , and joining the Louisiana MediFund board to develop strategies to increase the biosciences and healthcare industries in Louisiana. He also collaborated with bioscience and technology advocates to improve incentives to promote growth in the bioscience and technology industries.

    Dr Chappell earned his B.S. and M.S. in Plant Environmental Sciences from Clemson University, his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, and a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Stem Cell Biology focusing on cancer and diabetes from Harvard Medical School. A three-year varsity football letterman while at Clemson, he is married with two children. He will begin his new role with SCBIO starting November 8, 2021.

    “SCBIO and South Carolina life sciences are excited to welcome James to lead this dynamic and forward-looking industry organization, and to help our hundreds of life sciences companies and thousands of employees and innovators take it to an entirely new level,” said Lou Kennedy, Board Chair of SCBIO and founder and CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals, and a member of the search committee. “Competition for the position was extremely strong but we unanimously felt that his credentials in both life sciences and economic development were the precise mix we sought as we continue to build, advance and grow the industry in South Carolina.”

    Life sciences has a $12 billion economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 700 firms involved and over 43,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental, and agricultural biotechnology products. It also represents a significant economic development focus for the state, led by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and other regional economic development teams.

    South Carolina life sciences has seen a near-doubling of firms and 40% increase in life sciences’ direct employment since 2017, which combine to make it the fastest growing industry sector in the state, according to data provided by Dr. Joseph Von Nessen, state research economist and noted economic development expert with the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.

    “As a South Carolina native, I am thrilled to join SCBIO and return home.  South Carolina has become an emerging leader in life sciences, and I am excited to continue SCBIO’s great work in helping to grow the life sciences industry,” noted Dr. Chappell. 

    Ms. Kennedy went on to thank SCBIO Interim CEO Erin Ford for her critical contributions in leading the organization during the search process, which began in May with the resignation of prior CEO Sam Konduros.

    “Erin continued to do a strong and stellar job in leading the organization, charting the path, and maintaining the momentum without missing a beat during this national search, and our board and membership are grateful to her. The entire board and SCBIO membership are excited that she will remain a key part of the organization in her prior role of Executive Vice President and COO to add a steady and experienced hand to crafting an exciting new future.”

    Ms. Ford has served as primary lead for SCBIO’s business operations and finances, championing investor relations and existing industry strategies, and spearheading integrated marketing initiatives. She has managed the majority of the organization’s day-to-day requirements since joining SCBIO in 2017.

    Since 2017, SCBIO has more than tripled membership and quadrupled revenues, implemented a strong economic development focus, and launched a new innovation platform. It serves as the voice of the life sciences industry, implemented a surging workforce development initiative and created ongoing programs to encourage participation by women in life sciences, to support diversity-equity-inclusion initiatives and to encourage student participation in the industry. The organization also successfully led industry and organizational pivots during the COVID pandemic.  In a recent executive order, Governor Henry McMaster authorized SCBIO and the state’s Commerce Department to work together to accelerate the onshoring and repatriation of the pharmaceutical industry and vital PPE products and technologies to South Carolina.

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

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Nephron went looking for a way to automate syringe-filling for small batch manufacturing, found more see more

    Compliments of Pharma Manufacturing

    t’s no secret that working long hours in a cleanroom environment can be grueling. The bunny suits can get sweltering and the hours doing monotonous tasks can drag. On top of that, staffing cleanroom techs for an around-the-clock operation can be a major challenge for pharma companies.

    With the hope of overcoming these issues, South Carolina-based Nephron Pharmaceuticals recently went looking for a way to automate syringe-filling for small batch manufacturing and turned to the brainpower nearby.

    Within the University of South Carolina, the Office of Innovation, Partnerships, and Economic Engagement (OIPEE) provides a way for companies to engage with students and faculty to solve vexing industry problems. 

    “The university can bring a client in, and we’ll create a solution for that client with advanced manufacturing,” Bill Kirkland, executive director of OIPEE, explains.

    For Nephron, that solution was robotics. After striking up a partnership, students and researchers from UofSC eventually innovated a new automated syringe-filling system that utilizes flexible, high-speed robots provided by Yaskawa Motoman and processing power developed by Siemens. According to Kirkland, the system’s robotic arm that works under a single hood is part of what makes it unique. It was also designed specifically for small-batch operations, and importantly for Nephron, the new technology will help eliminate manufacturing downtime.

    “We have a workforce issue in that we have lots of trained sterile pharma techs, but expecting them to show up every shift 24/7 is challenging,” Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron, says. “So, for example, if someone calls in sick, this allows us to do many steps using robotics, and it keeps us from having to shut down.”

    Although there are other robotic syringe-filling solutions on the market, Kennedy says she has never seen a system as small and nimble as the one built by UofSC.

    “It operates underneath a flow hood in a cleanroom and that’s important because we are working with injectables,” Kennedy says. “And it’s compact and can move from one cleanroom to another.”

    After the technology was developed, the system was installed in a Nephron facility earlier this year, where Kennedy says the company is perfecting the tech and it is being commercially validated. Once they find the manufacturing “sweet spot” and it wins regulatory approval, the companies plan to license and commercialize the technology. Ultimately, the plan is to target biopharma facilities and hospitals in need of small-batch manufacturing solutions. 

    “By virtue of its previous relationships with Yaskawa and Siemens, UofSC faculty and OIPEE pitched this solution to Nephron, who agreed to bear some of the initial cost of setting up the research facility in the McNAIR [Aerospace] Center,” Kirkland said in a statement this spring. “All three companies, as well as the university, will benefit greatly from the introduction of this system into the commercial space.”

    In addition to being a boon for the Nephron, the collaboration also showcased how industry partnerships can be a stepping stone for engineering and manufacturing students — including those who were not considering a career in pharma before. According to Kirkland, one of the students involved in the collaboration went on to score a job at Siemens, and another did the same at Nephron.

    “Partnerships like this one are a win for patients, employees and students, not to mention for companies like ours, that continue to grow and expand our capacity to help others,” Kennedy said in a statement this spring. 

     September 26, 2021
  • sam patrick posted an article
    South Carolina and National executive address what's next for South Carolina as we battle COVID. see more

    On September 9, 2021 SCBIO hosted a statewide webinar program entitled "COVID-19 and South Carolina:  What's Next?".  The program was attended by a large audience across South Carolina, including business leaders, healthcare executives, elected officials, and regional media.

    BIO’s Phyllis Arthur, Nephron Pharmaceutical’s Lou Kennedy and VCOM’s Matt Cannon shared their views on what obstacles we have to overcome to get through this latest surge, using science as the foundation. This discussion also addressed the science, data and real life experiences confronting us all as we manage our response to the Delta Variant of COVID-19.  It’s a conversation you won’t want to miss if you aren’t sure about vaccines, antibodies, masks and more.  

    Enjoy the program by clicking here.

     September 10, 2021