Working and living in Charleston and South Carolina is drawing talent from across the globe see more
Boarding a one-way flight out of the Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana to relocate some 4,800 miles (7,700km) to the US city of Charleston is a huge move, and it is one that Andreja Tajnic, chief financial officer at Belimed USA, decided to take in 2021. Here, she shares her experiences of working and living in Charleston SC with Investment Monitor.
Originally based in Slovenia and then Germany, Andreja Tajnic has worked for Belimed Infection Control, a global provider of medical sterilisation and disinfection technology, for more than a decade. In 2021, the Slovenian national left her position as one of two managing directors of Belimed’s German office with a focus on finance and IT to pursue an exciting overseas opportunity: chief financial officer (CFO) at Belimed USA.
Her move to the company’s US offices located in Charleston, South Carolina, was not just a new step in her career at Belimed. It was a chance to realise a long-term ambition.
Tajnic kicks off our 30-minute Zoom call by explaining that she has always been driven by life’s challenges, both big and small. “I am a person who likes challenges,” she says. “I always have target goals, and one of them was to prove that I could make it here in the US.
“I always had the wish that I would come here. It is a very corporate-oriented country and I wanted to be in a US corporation. I wanted to feel that beat and experience how they do business, and that is why I was accepting of this challenge.”
CRO sells to Singapore company see more
A Charleston-based medical firm that conducts clinical research for the biopharmaceutical industry is being acquired by a Singapore company that’s looking to expand its reach in the U.S. market.
Novotech, which has an office in Boston but has primarily provided contract-based clinical services in the Asia-Pacific region, will take on NCGS’ roughly 300 employee and a client base that has been built over the past 38 years. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The Charlotte Street company said on its website that it has conducted research for 80 approved drug, biologic, diagnostic and device products for the medical industry.
“We have a similar cultural fit and focus on excellence, so joining Novotech will be seamless for both ours and Novotech’s clients,” NCGS founder Nancy C.G. Snowden said in a written statement.
Snowden, a onetime owner of Carolina’s restaurant on Exchange Street in downtown Charleston, said the two companies have previously collaborated on research.
“NCGS focuses on complex areas of clinical development, oncology, hematology, infectious disease and CNS (central nervous system) in both adult and pediatric populations,” Snowden said. “Our lean organizational structure and nimble operational model with highly tenured staff have been specifically designed to overcome the challenges inhibiting our industry today. We have the ability to pivot in real time as the needs of the trial evolve.”
Novotech CEO John Moller said called the acquisition “a strategic move to provide U.S.-based expertise and infrastructure for our U.S. clients wanting trials” in both the Asia-Pacific and domestic markets, as well as for Asia-Pacific clients wanting to U.S. clinical programs.
“Clients will receive seamless service, with a unified approach to systems and standard operating procedures well developed,” he said.
Privately held NCGS is headquartered at 16 Charlotte St. on the peninsula’s historic Wraggsborough neighborhood. It bought the building for $4.95 million in July 2016, when the business was based on Broad Street, and spent $10 million on renovations before the site became operational in the spring of 2017.
NCGS is the third major acquisition for Novotech in recent years. The company in 2018 bought out the Clinical Network Services research group, which gave it a customer base in the U.S., New Zealand and Australia, according to a report by Endpoints News. In 2020, the company raised $59 million in venture capital to purchase London-based ASLA Venture, which had backed oncology-based companies Epsilogen and Oxford Biotherapeutics, according to Endpoints.
Prior to founding NCGS, Snowden was the senior nursing lead for a National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute grant at the Medical College of Georgia/University Hospital. She also established a community clinical oncology program at the hospital, and oncology trials were an early focus for her company.
XtremedX, LLC launches Temperature and Pressure Sensing Insole to detect diabetic foot problems earlyGreenville, SC organization prepares to move into new 50,000sf facility in Upstate see more
XtremedX, LLC, a medical device technology and product innovation company based in Greenville, SC has introduced the Temperature and Pressure (TAP) Sensing Insole, the newest addition to its product line.
The Temperature and Pressure (TAP) Sensing Insole provides early detection of diabetic foot ulcerations (DFU) by incorporating flexible sensors in the shoe insoles of a diabetic patient experiencing peripheral neuropathy.
Real-time alerts are then sent to the patient, caregiver and physician, providing an earlier warning of issues and potentially preventing an infection that could result in amputation or an extended hospital stay.
The Temperature and Pressure (TAP) Sensing Insole recently received top honors in the Innovation Challenge at WearRAcon 22, the annual international conference of the Wearable Robotics Association, which was held in Scottsdale, AZ.
In addition, the TAP Insole has been chosen as a Top 20 New Device for diabetes treatment by the Diabetes Centre Berne of Berne, Switzerland. Only two entries from the U.S. were selected for consideration in the competition, with top honors to be bestowed in mid-May.
XtremedX was selected as a 2021 Top BIOMECHANIC Solution Provider by Med Tech Outlook magazine. The company, which has two laboratory technology centers in Greenville where it develops products and prototypes, has research relationships with Clemson University, the University of South Carolina, and Duke University. The organization is preparing to expand into a new 50,000 sq. ft. facility in Greenville to provide room to accelerate manufacture of the insoles and other products.
Global BIO CEO to Keynote 2022 SC Life Sciences Conference; Registration Soars, Exhibit Hall Nears Sell-Out in CharlestonOver 140 organizations and hundreds of nation’s industry leaders to gather Feb. 22-24 see more
SOUTH CAROLINA – January 24, 2022 – Global President & CEO of BIO, Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, will be live in Charleston to keynote the opening day of SCBIO 2022, the Life Sciences Conference of South Carolina, conference organizers have announced.
Dr. McMurry-Heath will join more than 30 additional speakers as featured presenters at the largest life sciences conference in Palmetto State history as the event convenes both in-person and virtually February 22-24 at the Gaillard Center in the heart of Charleston, S.C.
Themed “Challenge Accepted,” the 2-day SCBIO 2022 event will feature national speaker sessions including Transformational Technologies, Next Generation Patient Care, Ensuring Opportunity for All, and Embracing Collaboration & Innovation – fundamental forces driving the state’s fastest growing industry: life sciences.
Dr. McMurry-Heath assumed the leadership of BIO as just its third President and CEO in June, 2020. A medical doctor and molecular immunologist by training, she stewards the world’s largest biotechnology advocacy group, representing 1,000 life sciences companies and organizations from 30 countries. The organization’s mission is to support companies that discover and deploy scientific breakthroughs that improve human health, environmental stewardship, and sustainable agriculture.
She has championed a focus on broadening access to scientific progress so more patients from diverse backgrounds can benefit from cutting-edge innovation, clinical trials and healthcare funding, a topic she terms “the social justice issue of our age.” She joined BIO from Johnson & Johnson where she served as Global Head of Evidence Generation for Medical Device Companies and then Vice President of Global External Innovation and Global Leader for Regulatory Sciences. She was also instrumental in bringing J&J’s incubator, JLabs, to Washington, DC. She led a global team of 900 with responsibilities in 150 countries around the globe.
Presented by sponsoring organizations Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Vikor Scientific, Revaly (a Zverse Solution) and other top organizations, the conference is expected to draw a sell-out attendance of 450 in person attendees and hundreds more virtually to Charleston. Attendees will be required to present proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test result within 72 hours of arrival before being admitted.
Among other top speakers scheduled to appear include FDA Associate Director of the CDER Drug Shortage Staff Valerie Jensen MUSC Health CEO Dr. Pat Cawley, Velocity Clinical Research executive Steve Clemons, and USC Provost Dr. Stephen Cutler, Clemson University President James Clements, Commerce Secretary Harry Lightsey III, Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy, PhRMA Senior Policy Director Courtney Christian, Georgia Health Information Network Director Dr. Denise Hines, State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell and more than 20 others.
National economist Dr. Joseph Von Nessen of University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business will report findings of a just-completed economic impact study of the state’s life sciences cluster, last analyzed in 2017, while SCBIO CEO James Chappell will present a State of the Industry presentation on the outlook for South Carolina’s $12 billion – and fastest-growing – industry.
The conference features an expanded – and nearly sold out -- exhibit hall showcasing scores of life sciences industry businesses, institutions of higher learning and essential support industry partners from across America. The conference also features presentation of the prestigious Pinnacle Awards by South Carolina Life Sciences to the outstanding 2021 Organization of the Year, Individual of the Year, and Rising Star under 40 years of age, as well as a new recipient into the SC Life Sciences Hall of Fame.
Hundreds of in-person and virtual attendees will take advantage of meetings and connection sessions through the conference’s Partnering Portal as well as at two gala receptions planned for attendees.
Registration to attend SCBIO 2022 is now open at the 2022 Annual Conference section of www.scbio.org for interested companies, industry supporters, students interested in life sciences, faculty and teachers. Limited Exhibit space and sponsorships are still available by inquiring at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2-day conference draws attendees from across America for networking, innovation updates, opportunity discovery, partnership making and strategic discussion. Already committed attendees include officials across a broad spectrum of life sciences industries including medical devices, bio manufacturing, drug discovery, R&D, pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and testing, digital health and health IT, bio-ag and more.
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 more than 700 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. In 2021, Governor Henry McMaster issued an Executive Order making it a state priority to continue to grow and expand the life sciences industry in the Palmetto State.
Among 140 leading biotech and med-tech industry brands participating in the conference are Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Vikor Scientific, Zverse, BIO, Johnson & Johnson, AVX, PhRMA, Medpoint, AdvaMed, Poly-Med, VWR, Rhythmlink, SoftBox Systems, ZEUS, Patheon Thermo Fisher, Abbott, Alcami 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, South Carolina Hospital Association and others.
For additional information on SCBIO or to register for SCBIO 2021, visit www.SCBIO.org.
South Carolina's fastest-growing industry stars in new SCBIZ Magazine features see more
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!
South Carolina life sciences is surging across the state, experts say see more
When describing today’s South Carolina’s life sciences industry, words like "surging" and “booming” are often mentioned.
Life sciences is diverse, with seven sectors: drugs and pharmaceuticals; medical devices and equipment; digital health solutions; research, medical and testing laboratories; bioscience distribution; bio-agriculture and ecosystem support.
Surprisingly, life sciences are South Carolina’s fastest-growing industry -- not more expected industries like automotive, tires, or aerospace, notes Erin Ford, Interim CEO of SCBIO -- a nonprofit dedicated to building, advancing and growing life sciences here.
“A 2017 study by USC's Moore School of Business showed 402 life science companies in South Carolina – that’s grown to over 700 today. It employed over 43,000 South Carolinians and generated $12 billion in impact,” said Ms. Ford.
South Carolina-based firm names new head of pharma and medtech see more
DUNCAN, SC - Stäubli announced today that Olivier Cremoux has been appointed Deputy Head of Pharma and Medical Device for Stäubli Robotics North America.
Cremoux joined Stäubli Group in 2015 before transferring to Stäubli Corporation as the North American Business Development Manager for Robotics in 2018. Most recently, he became Key Account Manager – Pharma and will maintain this role throughout the transition period. Cremoux will use his experience to help build the Medical Robotics team while focusing on the Pharma and Medical Device specific markets.
Cremoux graduated from the National Institute of Science Applied of Lyon (France) with a bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering.
Commenting on the announcement, North American Robotics Division Manager, Sebastien Schmitt stated, “We are pleased to announce Mr. Cremoux as Stäubli Robotics North American Deputy Head of Pharma and Medical Device. We believe Mr. Cremoux is the right leader for Pharma and Medical Device as we continue to expand our growing team. This is an important step in setting up an organization fully dedicated to the pharmaceutical industry to build on our existing expertise in a number of high‑tech markets.”
Olivier Cremoux: “I am honored by such an opportunity within Stäubli Robotics. The Pharma and Medical Device is a strategic and growing market in which Stäubli has provided, for over 20 years, significant technological innovations. High throughput screening, aseptic fill/finish, orthopedic surgery, bio-printing and cell culturing are examples of processes where Stäubli Robotics started as a pioneer and became a reference. With COVID-19 pandemic, robotics became even more essential to our customers, from drug production to Covid test manufacturing. In North America, we will continue the development of our organization to ensure all current and future needs of our customers.”
About Stäubli Robotics
Stäubli Robotics is a leading global player in robotics, consistently delivering engineering as effective and reliable as our service and support. A complete solutions provider for digitally networked production, Stäubli offers a broad range of 4- and 6-axis robots including robotic arms designed specifically for sensitive environments, autonomous mobile robots, driver-less transport systems (AGVs) and cobots for human-robot collaboration. www.Stäubli.com/robotics
About Stäubli North America
Stäubli North America has more than 200 employees supporting Connectors, Robotics and Textiles customers. The company’s North American headquarters is in Duncan, South Carolina. Stäubli provides customer support through its locations in Duncan, Queretaro, Mexico, and the newest Stäubli North American facility, which opened in 2018 in Novi, Michigan. In addition to 24/7 customer support, each of these facilities offers training and has dedicated on-site technical experts who can be deployed whenever needed. Stäubli’s North American sales force is located strategically on the West and East coasts, and also serves Canada and Puerto Rico.
Worldwide, Stäubli is a leading manufacturer of quick release couplings, robotics systems and textile machinery. With a workforce of more than 5,500 employees, Stäubli is present in 29 countries supported by a comprehensive distribution network in 50 countries worldwide.
Arthrex, Clemson work to resolve workforce pipeline needs see more
As the biomedical industry continues to expand in South Carolina, so does Arthrex’s need for a specialized workforce.
Arthrex, a company engaged in the research, design and manufacture of minimally invasive surgical technology, announced in 2017 plans for its new $69 million facility and the creation of 1,000 new jobs in Sandy Springs. Kevin Grieff, Arthrex senior vice president of operations, said he expects to reach 1,000 employees by 2024.
A pair of programs with Clemson University helps bridge a divide between science and sales for the company’s future workforce.
Students like T.J. Biondolillo are also recognizing the need for more specialized education, especially when it comes to blending science and business.
“Both of the programs have helped my education immensely,” Biondolillo, a senior majoring in biological sciences, said in a news release. “As a biology student, who for the first two years of college had the goal of one day attending dental school, until I shadowed a neighbor who does medical device sales, I had pretty much no selling experience.”
Soon after the expansion announcement, Arthrex approached Clemson University with an educational partnership opportunity to help students develop the interdisciplinary skills to position them for success in the fast-growing orthopedic medical device field. The result was an educational pilot program designed with the needs of the global medical device industry in mind.
Arthrex has since expanded its partnership with Clemson, which is just 10 miles from the Sandy Springs location.
Working with the academic leaders and the Clemson University Office of Corporate Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, the company has created scholarships and two certificate programs.
“Arthrex takes great pride in its commitment to education and we are pleased to help develop the next generation of highly skilled professionals like Arthrex technology consultants who work with orthopedic surgeons to provide trustworthy technical product support,” Arthrex President and founder Reinhold Schmieding said in the release.
The Sales Innovation Certificate Program and Orthopedic Medical Device Product Specialist certificate programs are designed to enable students from any major to explore medical device technology consulting. Through the programs, students gain knowledge of medical devices and techniques, and gain an introduction to the sales and marketing aspects of medical products. The programs are intended to create a strong pipeline to help support Arthrex’s growing needs in this area, according to the release.
More than 10 students in the Sales Innovation Certificate Program have been hired by Arthrex in the last two years.
“Through the strategic partnership with Arthrex, we have worked together to develop one-of-a-kind workforce development programs to support an integral partner need,” Angie Leidinger, vice president of external affairs for Clemson, said in the release. “The success of the pilot programs has showcased the talent of our faculty and students, and we’re excited about the opportunity to continue engaging with Arthrex in mutually beneficial ways that will strengthen educational outcomes while providing them with top-tier talent.”
After learning about the certificate program, Biondolillo said he jumped at the opportunity to gain the targeted knowledge in medical device sales.
“The Sales Innovation Program has improved my selling skills and taught me the principles of being a great salesperson and the Orthopedic Device Product Specialist Program has improved my product knowledge from materials used in devices to diagnosing issues and being able to properly convey product benefits,” he said in the release.
The Sales Innovation Program coursework is tailored to develop students’ business acumen, selling frameworks and presentation ability in order to equip them for roles in health care and medical device sales or related positions. Through the program, students also take part in real-world challenges, foundational role-play exercises and leadership opportunities, the release said.
The Orthopedic Medical Device Product Specialist Certificate provides students with core competencies in the orthopedic medical device industry with a focus on managing a product throughout its life cycle, including product development and performance relevant to clinical use, and communication of its commercial value.
In addition to the certificate programs that provide students a pathway to learning about medical device sales, the Arthrex Scholars program provides scholarships to those same students, according to the release.
Arthrex Scholars was announced in 2019 as a two-year pilot program, with the first scholarships awarded in 2020. Fifteen students pursuing medical device sales careers will receive $5,000 scholarships and a potential summer internship.
“Under the direction of Ryan Mullins, our Sales Innovation Program has shown an ability to connect students with companies like Arthrex that can potentially lead to sales careers with those organizations,” Jennifer Siemens, department of marketing chair, said in the release. “Arthrex’s investment as an innovation partner in our Sales Innovation Program helps students financially and potentially creates a pipeline to our best and brightest as their next generation of employees.”
Managed by the Department of Marketing and the Sales Innovation Program team, applications open during the fall semester and are awarded the following spring semester.
Arthrex also works with Clemson on several research projects, including a NanoScopeTM Surgical Imaging System reprocessing assessment with bioengineering associate professor Melinda Harma, according to the release.
South Carolina featured in JD Supra article see more
South Carolina has long been known for its colorful history, beautiful beaches and vibrant tourist industry. In recent decades, it has also come to be well known for its high-tech manufacturing with the likes of BMW, Boeing, Honda, Michelin, Samsung and Volvo, all locating large manufacturing facilities throughout the State. What you might not know is that South Carolina is also home to another rapidly growing high-tech industry—the Life Sciences industry.
The term Life Sciences is generally used to include companies in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, food processing, environmental, and biomedical devices. The Life Sciences industry also includes organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts in the various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization, as well as the companies who support these entities.
According to SCBIO, the trade association which represents the Life Sciences industry in South Carolina, there are over 700 companies and businesses actively engaged in the Life Sciences industry in South Carolina and at least one Life Sciences organization is located in 42 of the State’s 46 counties. The economic impact of the Life Sciences industry is approaching $12 billion per year and is continuing to increase, according to a recent study. It is also estimated that the Life Sciences industry has created over 40,000 high paying jobs in South Carolina over the last several years, with an average annual salary of over $70,000.
The Life Sciences industry in South Carolina is very diverse. It includes companies ranging from small startups focusing on developing new technology like Okra Medical, to a unique genetic clinical and research institution like Greenwood Genetic Center, which has been serving the State for decades, to large established companies like Nephron Pharmaceuticals. Nephron is a pharmaceutical manufacturer and cGMP compliant 503(B) Outsourcing facility, and a global leader in the manufacture of generic respiratory medication that has rapidly expanded its manufacturing capacity and services over the last seven years. Nephron is owned and led by Lou Kennedy, whose vision and leadership have spurred the Company’s growth and success and have also made her one of the State’s most important business leaders, as well as an important thought leader in the Life Sciences industry.
South Carolina is a pro-business state that has worked diligently to attract large companies looking for a friendlier business climate from a tax and regulatory perspective. An additional driver for the growth of the Life Sciences industry is the existing ecosystem for Life Sciences, which is supported by the State’s three major research universities: University of South Carolina, Medical University of South Carolina and Clemson University as well as over ten additional universities and colleges in the State - from Furman University with its innovation program and nationally recognized chemistry department, to Newberry College launching new curriculum and a degree focused on pharmaceutical manufacturing. These universities and colleges further validate the increasing depth of the existing ecosystem and the positive impact it will have on strengthening the talent pool available to the Life Sciences industry. Other factors contributing towards this growth are the efforts of the South Carolina Department of Commerce and the South Carolina Research Authority, the strong system of hospitals and health care systems within the State, the support of various economic development alliances, the State’s expanding technical college system, the support of elected officials and the growth and leadership of SCBIO over the last several years.
SCBIO has spearheaded a series of joint private / public initiatives to promote the growth of the Life Sciences industry in South Carolina. These efforts include promoting statewide economic development strategies to attract Life Sciences companies to locate or relocate in South Carolina and consistently promoting and strengthening the existing ecosystem which allows established South Carolina Life Sciences organizations to collaborate, grow and flourish. In addition to its economic development efforts, SCBIO has integrated its efforts with the broader mission to transform and positively impact healthcare as evidenced by its unique alliances forged with the South Carolina Hospital Association, several large health systems and large payers like Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. For the past four years, SCBIO has been led by its CEO, Sam Konduros. Konduros has experience with economic development, operations of Life Sciences companies, developing start-up companies and most importantly—developing and implementing an ambitious strategic plan for the Life Sciences industry. During his time at SCBIO, Konduros has assembled a talented team. His vision and energy have fueled a rapid growth in membership and engagement and an increased in awareness and support for the Life Sciences industry across the State. Under his leadership, SCBIO significantly expanded its membership and quadrupled its revenues, while at the same time establishing itself as a powerful force for economic development and creating a new platform for Life Sciences companies to collaborate on innovations and research. Earlier this month, Konduros announced his departure from SCBIO to serve on the Board of Vikor Scientific, another successful company within the Life Sciences space in South Carolina that is rapidly expanding. He will also serve as CEO of a new health innovation company powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technologies focusing on science personalized medicine strategies that will be a part of Vikor Scientific’s expanding portfolio of companies. SCBIO is conducting a national search for Konduros’ replacement and there is no doubt that the association and its members will continue to benefit from the momentum created over the last four years as it continues to push the Life Sciences industry forward.
The global COVID-19 pandemic presented a profound challenge to the Life Sciences industry as it disrupted the way business was conducted. The Life Sciences industry in South Carolina stepped up to these challenges and turned them into opportunities. Many Life Sciences companies pivoted from their existing strategic plans to address the needs of the State and Nation by providing assistance in key areas that became critical during the pandemic. Companies like Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Vikor Scientific, KIYATEC, Premier Medical Lab Services and others offered much needed expanded COVID-19 testing services inside and outside South Carolina. Others such as ZVerse, a digital manufacturing company, modified its business model to become one of the largest producers of reusable face shields for use during the pandemic and beyond. Over the last 12 months, they have produced millions of these reusable facemasks and have been recognized throughout the country for their efforts. Rhythmlink International, a medical device leader, donated thousands of masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals and other healthcare providers across South Carolina. In addition, Milliken & Company boosted its production of biosmart fabrics used in scrubs and lab coats, which uses chlorine bleach-activated technology and molecular engineering to kill up to 99.9% of the bacteria and viruses it touches. Headquartered in Greenville, Vitalink Research was selected by Moderna to run its Phase III vaccine clinical trial, demonstrating national confidence in Life Sciences research operations in South Carolina. These are just a few examples of how South Carolina Life Sciences companies responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight why the Life Sciences industry is one of the fastest growing segments of South Carolina’s economy.
The future of the Life Sciences industry is bright in South Carolina. South Carolina has become an attractive place to develop and expand Life Sciences companies and there is great leadership within these companies. The rapid growth of Life Sciences is becoming more apparent to the public and media. In February 2021, Governor McMaster proclaimed February 15-19 as South Carolina Life Sciences Week in the Palmetto State. Our Life Sciences companies are leading the discussions of how to bring more Life Sciences manufacturing back to the U.S, including to South Carolina, and how to develop a domestic source of PPE and other parts of the supply chain. There is also increased collaboration on leveraging increased use of technology like telehealth and digital health to deliver health care services to rural and less developed areas using technology developed and perfected in South Carolina. SCBIO is also leading an effort to expand and improve the workforce to support Life Sciences companies. All signs point to a very bright future for the Life Sciences industry and South Carolina is just beginning to see the benefits of this growth and development.
Newly elected President's plans have major bearing on the medtech industry see more
While former Vice President Joe Biden and the team he builds won't take office for another two months, the campaign’s plans for COVID-19, healthcare and other policy areas offer clues to how changing tides in Washington may impact the medtech industry.
In approaching the top task at hand — getting the pandemic under control — the Democrat's plan includes proposals with implications for the industry, from how diagnostic testing is covered to access to telemedicine services.
In some ways, the act of swapping out administrations, regardless of who's in power, means device makers can anticipate shifts at key government agencies like the FDA.
South Carolina life sciences is booming, with new organizations growing and moving here see more
Comprised of 650 life sciences firms, with wages nearly double state averages and an annual economic impact over $12 billion, South Carolina life sciences employs 43,000 professionals in research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products. It’s a powerful force in today’s Palmetto State economy.
The fastest growing segment of the state’s innovation economy, life sciences shows no signs of slowing — despite a global pandemic that has advanced public awareness of the vital sector.
Life sciences’ 6 major segments include pharmaceuticals/biotech (including such state organizations as Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Thorne and Thermo Fisher Scientific), medical devices/medtech (Abbott, Arthrex and AVX), Health IT/digital health (ChartSpan), research-testing-diagnostics-labs (Greenwood Genetics Center, Precision Genetics and Vikor Scientific), bioscience distribution (SoftBox Systems), and Bio-Ag. Every sector is well-represented across South Carolina, with life sciences active in at least 43 of our 46 counties.
What makes the industry even more compelling is that it averages triple the R&D spend of all other industries and is highly recession resistant due to its connectivity with healthcare. An $8 trillion annual global healthcare spend is supported by a $1.5 trillion global life sciences industry – with the United States responsible for almost half of the world’s innovations.
To help the Palmetto State become a significant player in life sciences, SCBIO was refocused 3 years ago – with economic development as the focal point. Providing support for existing industry, working with economic development organizations to recruit global life sciences companies, and developing strategies to grow our own companies has had a seismic impact on SCBIO and its stakeholders — and ushered in a new era ripe with opportunity.
Aligning with the SC Department of Commerce in 2017 helped SCBIO to triple revenue in 3 years, more than quintuple membership, develop a full-time multi-disciplinary team, and cultivate an extraordinary board of directors from industry, academia, healthcare, core service providers, and economic development partners.
SCBIO has become a catalyst for and voice of South Carolina life sciences. From offices in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston, SCBIO represents companies in the advanced medicines, medical devices, equipment, diagnostics, IT, and healthcare outcome industries. As the official state affiliate of BIO, PhRMA and AdvaMed, SCBIO members and allies include hundreds of academic institutions, biotech companies, medtech companies, entrepreneurial organizations, service providers, thought leaders, economic development organizations and related groups.
Working with allies and partners, SCBIO created the state’s first ever SC Life Sciences Strategic Plan – now in its third iteration — to build a nationally competitive and sustainable ecosystem focused on building, advancing, innovating and growing the industry.
And innovation is the lifeblood of progress. For the state to become an innovation destination for life sciences, the effort requires relentless pursuit – of talent, of transformational ideas, of organizations bringing operations and R&D to our state, and of an enhanced ecosystem that supports existing industry while growing our own companies.
Life sciences innovation has a rich legacy in South Carolina, drawing on the notable talents and creativity of the research universities of Clemson, University of South Carolina, and MUSC… a Top 25 national health system in Prisma Health… plus South Carolina Research Authority, Greenwood Genetics Center and others whose ground-breaking work has earned South Carolina a deserved reputation as a life sciences up-and-comer.
From pioneering medical grade electrolytic capacitors that made thoracic implantable defibrillators possible at St. Jude Medical (now Abbott)… to the recent invention and introduction by MUSC, ZIAN and Rhythmlink of a novel safety electrode that has the potential to reduce needle sticks in surgical settings around the globe, South Carolina life sciences innovation is on the move.
Even facing a global pandemic, SC’s life science companies are on the front lines and performing at a high level. Entrepreneurs and academic institutions have deftly shifted focus or pivoted production to address needs resulting from the crisis. Providing everything from COVID-19 PCR test kits to antibody tests, from respiratory therapies to face shields, and from developing specialty garments for frontline workers to being selected to conduct Phase III vaccine trials in the hunt for a COVID cure, South Carolina is now a part of the global solution team.
A prime example is Columbia’s ZVerse, a digital manufacturer. Seeing desperate need for protective shields for healthcare workers, the early-stage company quickly pivoted to become one of America’s largest manufacturers of reusable face shields. ZVerse then devised a new, proprietary shield that is more comfortable to wear over long periods of time. Sales have soared.
The booming ecosystem includes technology incubators and accelerators across the state, providing entrepreneurs with guidance and opportunity to collaborate with peers. A recent SCRA initiative—the creation of the South Carolina Business Incubator Association — is an important step in helping organizations share best practices and stimulate innovation.
Along with Southeastern partners Global Center for Medical Innovation and Health Connect South, SCBIO is championing a unique innovation partnership: The Southeast HealthTech Collaboration. Leveraging complementary strengths, resources and networks, the group will identify pressing health needs in our region without requiring major new investment in infrastructure or capital.
Now a finalist for a major grant in the EDA 2020 Build to Scale Venture Challenge, the Southeast HealthTech Collaboration will launch a three-year program to:
- Convene healthcare leaders to identify top healthcare challenges and innovators working on technology-based solutions to address them;
- Accelerate best solutions through development and into commercialization; and
- Scale startups and networks to drive investment and job creation across South Carolina and Georgia.
With a focus on minority and underserved populations, the initiative will accelerate development and commercialization of technological solutions to address unmet clinical and health needs, leading to scaling of startup growth and a sustainable economic engine.
As American poet Robert Frost penned:
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
Despite miles to go, there is plentiful evidence that our state is “punching above our weight class”, given our relative size and resources. With innovation blossoming and a surging passion for improving prosperity, the promise of South Carolina and its future has never been brighter.
Monday Moment 5-4-2020 see more
SCBIO's latest Monday Moment arrives amidst the COVID-19 storm to provide meaningful and inspiring information in 3 minutes or less. This week, enjoy an uplifting reminder from University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy Dean Stephen Cutler saluting all those on the front lines of healthcare, plus helpful webinars, news on how SC is stepping up and the ever-popular 3 Great Links. Click here.
AVX stepping up to fight COVID-19 crisis see more
To meet the rapid increase in customer demand for critical medical equipment such as lung ventilators, mobile x-ray, CT systems, ultrasound, and patient monitors, AVX is preparing its plants to actively support the manufacture of all required components to produce the medical equipment needed to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus and treat those who have been infected.
AVX provides a wide range of components that are critical to medical electronics in general and specifically ventilators. AVX NTCs measure gas and patient temperature. Tantalum and ceramic capacitors as well as Schottky diodes are used throughout the power supply system that powers the pumps, motors, displays, and control logic in ventilators. TransGuards are used as transient voltage protection on interfaces, keyboards, touch screens and audio alarms.
AVX provides a wide range of components that are critical to medical electronics in general and specifically ventilators. (Credit: AVX)
“All of us, at every level, function and business, feel the significance and the intensity surrounding the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic situation, both in our personal and professional lives. Teams across the company have been meeting daily to address critical employee and customer issues. What motivates AVX every day is knowing that despite the current situation, we are rising to the challenge as our manufacturing plants continue to deliver for our customers around the globe,” the company notes.
In a recent example, AVX has committed to fast delivery of high-grade tantalum capacitors from its plant in Lanskroun, Czech Republic, directly to UK Smith Medical company in urgent need for building 10,000 ventilators for hospitals and healthcare institutions. The requirement for three TRJ series part types were processed with top urgency to deliver it in the shortest term while keeping its high-quality standard.
According to the company, the plants continue to give their best effort to deliver all parts as soon as possible, with the shortest possible lead times with a focus on functioning effectively and efficiently to minimize all delays.
SCRA added three advisory groups for biomedical sciences, cybersecurity and industry see more
Summerville, S.C.—South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) announces the formation of three Business and Science Advisory Boards (BSABs). The purpose of the BSABs is to advise SCRA’s Board of Trustees when requested by it. The boards include representatives from South Carolina research universities, the venture capital/angel investment community, South Carolina Department of Commerce, and industry leaders in the following areas:
Each board provides key business and technical expertise, acts as an independent/ unbiased sounding board for input on SCRA’s program implementation and performance and provides guidance to SCRA regarding funding opportunities. One upcoming funding opportunity on which the BSABs will advise is the SCRA-Academia Collaboration Team (SACT) Collaborative Research Grants. These grants will be available for multi-institutional, collaborative research teams that seek to advance commercially relevant research and address key industry challenges to foster technology-enabled growth of the state’s innovation economy. The solicitation will be released in June.
“SCRA serves as a bridge between industry and academia. It is imperative that the applied research SCRA funds benefits not only its academic stakeholders, but also South Carolina’s industrial base. The development of the BSABs ensures that the new SACT program achieves those objectives for both stakeholder groups,” said Christine Dixon Thiesing, SCRA Director of Academic Innovations.
The SCRA fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy by accelerating technology-enabled growth in academia, entrepreneurship and industry. SCRA works with public and private sectors, including industry, to identify market trends and validate the commercial relevance of academic research that SCRA funds. SCRA’s programs and operations had an almost $700 million impact on the state’s economy during the last fiscal year.
Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, nonprofit corporation, SCRA fuels South Carolina’s Innovation Economy by accelerating technology-enabled growth in research, academia, entrepreneurship and industry.
Arthrex has completed construction on their new South Carolina manufacturing facility see more
Brasfield & Gorrie recently completed construction on a new manufacturing facility in Anderson for Arthrex, a global orthopedic medical device company headquartered in Naples, Florida.
The $36.1 million project includes a 250,000 square foot medical device manufacturing building and a 30,000 square foot central services building. The manufacturing building consists of 175,000 square feet of manufacturing floor space and 20,000 square feet of clean room assembly space for sterile packaging activities for all manufactured medical devices. The remainder of the building is a two-story office space for support staff. Click here for the full story.