SCBIO and Midlands Technical College Debut New Biopharma Certificate Program to Develop Talent for StateStudent find recruiters "ready and waiting" to interview themfor life sciences jobs see more
In recognition of the importance of adding talented workers for the booming life sciences industry in South Carolina, Midlands Technical College is the first in the state to launch the all-new SCBIO Life Sciences Pharmaceutical Manufacturing certificate program. The program will help to build a workforce pipeline for positions in what is now the Palmetto State’s fastest-growing industry.
To the gratification of many but the surprise of none of the organizers, the class was completely filled within 48 hours of registration opening. The inaugural class graduated May 6, 2022.
Developed in conjunction with SCBIO, the statewide organization dedicated exclusively to advancing and growing life sciences in South Carolina, the 48-hour curriculum was developed in partnership with numerous industry partners. The certificate program is the first of several planned for rollout over the next 12 months. A similar program is nearing launch at Greenville Technical College.
Highlights of the program include an overview of the pharmaceutical industry; introduction to quality assurance principles; a regulatory overview; documentation practices and measurement skills; and 12 hours towards Essential Skills for the Workplace certificate.
“Midlands Technical College is proud to be the educational partner for this pilot program that supports the life science industry, a high growth industry in the Palmetto State. We are always interested in providing our community with the education needed to be successful in the workforce,” said Ryan Hemby, Business Solutions Director for Midlands Technical College.
Tuition for the program is covered by industry partners. People interested in registering for upcoming classes should visit https://midlandstech.formstack.com/forms/scbio.
The pilot program, the first of its kind in South Carolina offered by the Technical College System, reflects the growing demand for skilled workers to continue fueling the rapidly expanding life sciences industry, which has a presence in 42 of the state’s 46 counties, boasts a more-than-$25 billion annual economic impact, and features average wages nearly 80% higher than South Carolina’s average wage.
“Life sciences is a major driver of South Carolina’s economy today, and this new certificate program is a first step in addressing the talent needs of the industry’s surging growth, reach and rapidly rising economic significance,” noted SCBIO Executive Vice President and COO Erin Ford, a key organizer of the statewide initiative. “We’re laser focused on doing all that we can to train, retrain and encourage South Carolinians to pursue and prepare for careers in life sciences, an industry that improves quality of life and economic standing for South Carolina citizens.”
While SCBIO is focused on developing programs for the Technical College System, it also has initiatives underway with state colleges and universities, connecting students interested in careers in life sciences with industry partners seeking talent, and with K-12 students where life science career paths and awareness of STEM opportunities are shared with schools and students statewide.
Recently, Governor Henry McMaster issued a proclamation recognizing South Carolina Life Sciences Week in the Palmetto State in testament to its growth of more than 42% since 2017. Since 2017, South Carolina also is growing its life sciences industry employment at a faster rate than any other Southeastern state, Ms. Ford noted.
Even the growth of the state’s 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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
SC's life sciences industry responds to the challenge of COVID-19 see more
I just completed a radio interview with SC Business Review, focused exclusively on the all-consuming and seismic topic of the Coronavirus – which is dramatically impacting all our lives. As I made clear to interviewer Mike Switzer, any relevance of me being interviewed as opposed to our scientists and clinicians is tied to the privilege that SCBIO has of serving as a voice and accurate storyteller for the 600+ life sciences companies and entities that proudly call the Palmetto State home.
And there are incredibly meaningful and encouraging stories to share in the midst of this very real public health crisis – regarding SC companies and institutions that will positively impact patients across the state and nation with innovative and creative approaches they are actively, and very rapidly, undertaking.
Just a few exemplary SC examples include:
- MUSC Health was the first in the nation to uniquely provide both direct, timely, and online access to Coronavirus screening via their virtual care platform coupled with a drive-through specimen collection site for patients with possible COVID-19 symptoms or exposure. This was done in partnership with the developers (newest SCBIO Member, Trademark Properties) of the dramatically redeveloped Citadel Mall Epic Center, which is now home to MUSC Health’s West Ashley Medical Pavilion – as they worked closely to secure immediate approvals for the location of the collection site in the mall parking lot. If you or someone you know needs to be screened, log on to www.musc.care and use COVID19 as the promo code. This is FREE for all South Carolinians.
- Nephron Pharmaceuticals, a major national supplier of respiratory therapy medications badly needed by patients suffering from COVID-19, is aggressively ramping up their ability to increase production of 90 million sterile doses per month of targeted drug therapies with an additional 32 million doses, as they work with the FDA to have 3 new aseptic filling lines approved and brought online quickly to meet skyrocketing demands they are experiencing.
- Vikor Scientific has specifically dedicated 2,000 sq. ft of their brand new 22,000 sq. ft. headquarters and CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited lab facilities at WestEdge for COVID-19 testing as soon as approval is received from the FDA. They are in fact preparing 100,000 test kits to be available for shipment to customers as soon as Wednesday of this week – and are working closely with the FDA for continued guidance on expediting the approval process.
On the national front, there are also some encouraging stories emerging, including the most rapid launch of a possible new vaccine on record.
Moderna has already begun its first coronavirus vaccine trial in Washington State (the nation’s worst hot spot at present) with volunteers at Kaiser Permanente Research Institute in Seattle. Over the next 2 months, volunteers ages 18-55 will get two doses of the trial vaccine (known as mRNA-1273). Dr. Fauci of the national Coronavirus Task Force has confirmed that this 65-day development is the fastest ever accomplished for a new vaccine of this magnitude. And while widespread utilization of a newly approved vaccine is still likely 12-18 months away, gratefully progress is on track to achieve that. Also noteworthy are other vaccines and targeted therapies concurrently in the pipeline, involving companies such as Pfizer, Regeneron and Sanofi.
Finally, on a very personal note, each of us and our extended families are being dramatically impacted by this global pandemic and are encouraged to do our parts in mitigating the spread of this fearsome and highly contagious virus. After an extended battle with metastatic lung cancer, my dad peacefully passed away this past weekend, and regrettably his funeral will have to be limited to a private family graveside service (with a future memorial service to be scheduled once the health crisis has subsided). In an interesting juxtaposition of life & death, my nephew’s wedding this weekend has been compressed to a small family rehearsal dinner combined with a quiet ceremony in conjunction with the dinner. I’m certain that there will be a multitude of other similar stories from most of you regarding how we grapple and deal with this unprecedented event with no clear endpoint at present.
While all of this will ultimately be in our “rear view mirrors” at some point in the future through the power and innovation of our industry, our researchers, and our heroic healthcare providers, life and business as we know it will have to be dramatically different in the weeks – and possibly months – ahead. Expect a more virtual experience with SCBIO for the near future, and look to hear from us more often via electronic means ranging from e-blasts to social media efforts to increased website postings to webinars. I am fully confident that all of our life & health sciences companies and leaders will respond valiantly, and that this will bring out the best in us – with creative and even transformative solutions and strategies that will enable us to maintain momentum in our vital missions. And we will learn a great deal and grow through this challenging process – as our strength is truly forged in fire…
We will update you on various developments around COVID-19 and beyond and encourage all of you to share your stories of hope and progress as we collectively battle this formidable foe. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our SCBIO team for any reason, and we are more grateful than ever for all of you.
Sam Konduros, CEO
University of South Carolina initiative saving lives see more
A gentle hum can be heard from a lab in the depths of the University of South Carolina's life sciences building. Take a peek inside, and you'll find something unusual.
Thousands of tubes of the spit belonging to the university's students, faculty, staff and Columbia residents.
Almost a year ago, the school's colon cancer lab changed course from its usual area of study and started analyzing how it could help as COVID-19 ravaged the world, killing hundreds of thousands across the country and shutting down campuses.
USC professors had a breakthrough when they started studying saliva there, said biomedical sciences professor Phillip Buckhaults.
They ended up creating what looks like a blue cocktail — and it exposes the COVID-19 genome in our saliva.
"We figured out a way to photocopy bits of the COVID genome," Buckhaults said. "It's like a liquid photocopier."
It's proven to be more efficient than nasal swabs for COVID-19 testing. There's no uncomfortable nasal swab involved. Materials for nasal-swab testing are often limited. And these saliva results come quicker. Those who get tested on USC's campus typically receive results within 24 hours.
When the saliva testing first began on campus, scientists were pipetting saliva samples with the "photocopier" liquid to see the COVID-19 genome appeared in the DNA when the saliva was "photocopied" several times.
Because it was done solely by hand, they were able to test only several dozen samples a day.
"The demand was more than we could keep up with," Buckhaults said.
So he sent an email pleading with USC president Harris Pastides for a liquid-handling robot that's able to do the pipetting automatically, saving a lot of time.
Pastides then got South Carolina-based Nephron Pharmaceuticals owner Lou Kennedy to write Buckhault a $14,000 check to buy one of the robots.
"Within two weeks, we went from a junkie, underutilized, decrepit lab space to really state-of-the-art," said laboratory director and professor Carolyn Banister.
Buckhaults also credited former USC president Bob Caslen for removing roadblocks to get more machines and a bigger lab — speeding up the process to speed up the process, so to speak.
Caslen worked with the state government and university officials to get thousands of dollars for lab equipment and borrowed testing machines from nearby labs, Buckhaults said.
"He saved a lot of lives in the Midlands by pouring resources into (Banister) and that lab and getting this test running," Buckhaults said.
Now, the lab is testing about 2,000 samples a day and returning samples within 24 hours, and its reach is beyond the Midlands. Quick-turnaround testing allows people to identify themselves as COVID-19-positive earlier and isolate themselves, reducing the spread of the virus and saving lives.
The testing technology has expanded across the state. USC satellite campuses, including Upstate and Union, as well as Clemson, Winthrop, the College of Charleston and Trident Technical College are able to use the saliva tests created at the USC lab.
The testing is able to recognize different variants of COVID-19 as well.
Red Cross CEO: Nephron and Lou Kennedy have been great partners see more
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation announced the donation of a Dodge Promaster 3500 to the American Red Cross of South Carolina on Wednesday.
The donation of the vehicle will provide critical assistance with disaster response and the processing of life-saving blood donations.
“I am honored to be a part of this effort that includes providing critical disaster relief to families and collecting and delivering blood to those in need across the state,” said Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals, and member of the board of directors for Red Cross of the Lowcountry, who also serves as the Biomed Committee chair.
These vehicles are important to the Red Cross mission to collect, test, and deliver blood to patients. Vans like these are essential in disaster situations, enabling the Red Cross to lift up families impacted by everything from fires to hurricanes.
The announcement was made at the Nephron headquarters, where Lou Kennedy and Rod Tolbert, CEO of American Red Cross of South Carolina, held a ribbon-cutting to commemorate the delivery of the new van.
“Nephron Pharmaceuticals and their CEO Lou Kennedy have been such great partners to the American Red Cross. We simply cannot and will not be able to deliver our mission across our great state without partners and supporters like Lou and Nephron Pharmaceuticals,” said Rod Tolbert.
In addition to Kennedy and Tolbert, Brenda Green participated in the event, thanking the Red Cross and its leadership for the work the Red Cross does to assist children like her son, who has sickle cell anemia. World Sickle Cell Day is June 19.
“We thank you, Lou,” said Green. “We thank you for this opportunity. I think I can say on behalf of all of the parents and all of the caregivers of those with sickle cell that we appreciate you and your efforts. You are helping to save lives.”
Nephron announces new partnership see more
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation, one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies in the country, announced a new partnership with One Medical, a leading national digital health and primary care organization that combines 24/7 access to virtual care and digital health tools with COVID-19 testing services to businesses and employees.
“Re-opening businesses, and getting our economy moving again, is one of our highest priorities,” said Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy, who is a member of Governor Henry McMaster’s #accelerateSC, the coordinated COVID-19 advisory team tasked with recommending economic revitalization plans for South Carolina. “Part of the new normal for businesses is testing employees to make sure the workplace is safe. We couldn’t be prouder to offer COVID-19 testing services to our employees and neighbors.”
Kennedy and John Singerling, Chief Network Officer of One Medical and a longstanding healthcare executive based in South Carolina, are working together to make this partnership a reality, hoping that it serves as an example for businesses around the country.
The Nephron CLIA-Certified lab has procured state-of-the-art technology for COVID-19 real-time PCR testing and serological antibody testing for its own employees, and for employees of neighboring businesses. The lab intends to integrate with One Medical’s technology platform, which is capable of supporting a comprehensive workplace reentry COVID-19 testing program. One Medical’s virtual care solutions facilitate scheduling for specimen collection and digitally documenting those test results. It also screens and evaluates clinical risk factors and symptoms and supports employer tracking and reporting needs.
“I am very pleased to be working alongside the Nephron team to leverage One Medical’s digital health platform as a way to help get South Carolinians back to work safely,” said One Medical Chief Network Officer, John Singerling. “Currently working with over 7,000 employers nationwide has allowed One Medical to build a comprehensive workplace reentry program that is grounded in medicine and testing, and powered by our technology, which allows for seamless tracking, tracing and ongoing monitoring.”
SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests diagnose whether a person is infected with the virus by using technology that analyzes viral genetic material. Antibody tests check blood for antibodies. If present, antibodies indicate a person has been previously or is currently infected by the virus.
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation has been on the frontlines of the nationwide COVID-19 response. The West Columbia-based company develops and produces safe, affordable generic inhalation solutions and suspension products that can be used to treat severe respiratory distress symptoms associated with COVID-19. In addition, the company operates an industry-leading 503B Outsourcing Facility division which produces pre-filled sterile syringes and IV bags for hospitals across America, in an effort to alleviate their drug shortage needs. These products are used, many times, to sedate patients and keep them comfortable when health care professionals place them on ventilators in the fight against the virus.
Nephron, Ritedose to the rescue with respiratory drugs see more
Two South Carolina companies that make drugs used to treat respiratory illnesses and symptoms, like those experienced by people infected with the coronavirus, have upped their production amid increased demand.
Nephron Pharmaceuticals in West Columbia and Ritedose Corp. make generic versions of almost all the respiratory drugs used in the United States, including albuterol sulfate and ipratropium bromide, according to the CEOs of the two companies.
Business at Nephron spiked last week, CEO Lou Kennedy said, with orders up 48 percent. The CEO of Ritedose, Jody Chastain, said his company has received a slight increase in demand. Click to read full story, courtesy of The Post and Courier...
Nephron's Lou Kennedy appointed by Governbor to SCRA Executive Committee see more
SCRA, a public, nonprofit corporation chartered to grow South Carolina’s innovation economy and foster job creation, announced the appointment by Gov. Henry McMaster of Lou Kennedy to the SCRA Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee.
The nine-member group is comprised of the presidents of Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina, the governor or designee (to serve as Chairman), an additional appointee of the governor, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee or designee, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee or designee and two additional members.
Ms. Kennedy is the president, CEO and owner of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation, a woman-owned business that leads the world in the manufacturing of generic respiratory medications. Kennedy received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from the University of South Carolina. She has received numerous awards in South Carolina and across the country for her achievements in business and leadership. Kennedy is also the immediate past chairman of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Board of Directors of SCBIO, the state's official life sciences organization.
“I am excited to welcome Ms. Kennedy to SCRA’s Executive Committee,” said Don Herriott, chairman of the SCRA Board. “Her extensive business and leadership experience has had a tremendous positive impact on South Carolina and makes her a valuable addition to the governing body of SCRA.”
South Carolina Life Sciences Industry Honors Commerce Secretary Hitt, Abbott's Tom Strange, Nephron Pharmaceuticals for Leadership, Contributions to IndustrySC Commerce's Bobby Hitt, Abbott's Tom Strange, Nephron saluted by SCBIO see more
Nearly 350 industry leaders on hand to salute inaugural honorees for commitment to advancing South Carolina’s booming life sciences industry
NOVEMBER 2, 2018 – To resounding applause from a record gathering from 4 countries, 22 states and virtually every county in South Carolina, life sciences leaders saluted three leaders – two individuals and one organization – for profound positive impact and exceptional contributions to the advancement of South Carolina’s $11.4 billion life sciences industry.
South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Robert M. “Bobby” Hitt III was presented with the inaugural South Carolina Life Sciences Hall of Fame Award for his personal championing of the life sciences industry, which today has an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms directly involved and 15,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotechnology products. SC Commerce is a Founding Partner and strategic supporter of SCBIO, and has been highly instrumental in helping the rapid growth of life sciences in the Palmetto State.
Mr. Hitt has served as South Carolina Secretary of Commerce since January 2011. Promoting a team-first approach to economic development, Hitt has positioned the S.C. Department of Commerce and its many partners and allies for industry recruitment success. Since 2011, Team South Carolina has recruited more than $35 billion in capital investment and approximately 125,000 new jobs to the state. This year alone, multiple world-class companies have made significant investments in South Carolina, including BMW, Samsung and Volvo Cars. Before his time as Secretary of Commerce, Hitt served as manager of Corporate Affairs at the BMW Manufacturing Company in Spartanburg County after 17 years as managing editor of The State and Columbia Record newspapers.
Presented with the inaugural South Carolina Life Sciences Pinnacle Award for Individual Contribution to the industry was Tom Strange, Senior Director of Research & Development for Abbott Labs in Liberty, South Carolina. With an extensive background in materials science, Mr. Strange holds 48 patents and has authored numerous papers covering all aspects of capacitor development. He began his illustrious career with Philips Components in 1979 leading research activity involving development of capacitors that made thoracic implantable cardioverter defibrillators possible. Today, with over 20 years at St Jude Medical/Abbott, his team continues to define state of the art in implantable medical devices for pacing and arrhythmia correction, neuromodulation and battery performance.
Honored for his exceptional industry-related contributions and profound impact on the state, its citizens and the life sciences industry, Mr. Strange led efforts to establish SC Launch!, the public/private initiative with the SC legislature to fund start-up activities in SC under SCRA, and helped to launch SCBIO as an affiliate of the national BIO organization. He holds numerous honors and awards, and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Physics from the University of South Carolina.
Presented with the inaugural South Carolina Life Sciences Pinnacle Award for Organizational Contribution to the industry was Nephron Pharmaceuticals of West Columbia, represented by owners Lou and Bill Kennedy. A Vision Partner of SCBIO, CEO Lou Kennedy joined Nephron Pharmaceuticals in 2001, and was named President/CEO in 2007. She led the creation of a state of the art manufacturing facility in West Columbia in 2014, and oversaw development of a national sales force which helped Nephron grow by 300% and increased shipped product to over one billion doses annually.
Honored for Nephron’s economic, innovation, social and quality of life impact in the state, the Kennedy’s helped establish the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center in conjunction with the USC School of Pharmacy. Ms. Kennedy serves on or chairs numerous boards including those of SCBIO, the SC Chamber of Commerce, the National Bank of South Carolina, and the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance.
The three honorees joined BIO global CEO Jim Greenwood and more than 50 additional national speakers at SCBIO 2018 – the annual conference which brought top leaders and executives from life sciences organizations across the state and nation to Charleston, South Carolina October 23-25.
Included among attendees were 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 including DePuy Synthes Global Orthopedic Leader I.V. Hall, J.P. Morgan Executive Director of Healthcare Investment Banking Bell Zhong, MUSC President David Cole, USC President Harris Pastides, Siemens Healthineers North Americas President Dave Pacitti, and numerous others.
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 an $11.4 billion economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms directly involved and 15,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotechnology products.
“The life sciences industry is a major driver of South Carolina’s economy, and these noted honorees and this conference is testament to the industry’s growing impact, reach and rapidly rising economic significance in our state and region,” noted SCBIO President and CEO Sam Konduros. “We’re pleased to honor them for their many contributions, and salute them for the advances they have facilitated for this industry.”
As the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations – SCBIO members include hundreds of 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.
USC, Nephron partner to improve safety through automation see more
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation has joined forces with the University of South Carolina's College of Engineering and Computing and the College of Pharmacy to design and implement an automation process that significantly boosts production of pre-filled medication, reducing the physical burden on workers and increasing patient safety.
Traditionally, pre-filled syringes are filled by hand in clean-room environments. In recent years, federal regulations governing sterile compounding have become more stringent and complex as a result of accidental contaminations. The use of robots to compound prescription products exceeds those new federal guidelines and provides a more sterile environment with better accuracy and precision than traditional methods of compounding.
The research collaboration with Nephron will position UofSC to develop state-of-the-art sterile compounding methods benefiting hospitals throughout South Carolina and the nation.
“Demand for pre-filled medication has exploded in recent years, and our company is responding to the market needs for affordable and accessible life-saving medications in pre-filled syringes,” said Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy. “We are excited to partner with innovative students and leading researchers from Engineering and Pharmacy at the University of South Carolina to meet the demands of hospitals and patients, and we look forward to working together for years to come.”
To help Nephron meet the market demand, the College of Engineering and Computing and the College of Pharmacy have finalized plans to build a fully functional sterile compounding lab at the McNAIR Aerospace Center. This fully functional, first-of-its-kind compounding suite will offer students the opportunity to learn and develop the techniques of sterile, robotic manufacturing processes for human drug compounding.
Between the College of Engineering and Computing and the College of Pharmacy, well over a dozen undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students are involved in the project. Utilizing a state-of-the-art robot from UofSC corporate partner Yaskawa Motoman Robotics, as well as Process Simulate — a Siemens software package included in its $628 million gift to McNAIR Center and to the College of Engineering and Computing in 2017 — these students are learning skills that will immediately translate to increased job opportunities upon graduation.
“This team is a unique collection of talents, not just from engineering but with advisers from the College of Pharmacy and partners from Office of Economic Engagement as well,” said Ramy Harik of the McNAIR Aerospace Center, who leads the project design team. “By bringing together a cross-disciplinary team, and constantly seeking feedback from Nephron engineers and pharmacists, our students are building a real-life application that, when completed, will be implemented in production. Particularly for our undergraduate students, this type of impactful research experience is invaluable.”
The Nephron project is a continuation of an ongoing university partnership with the company. When Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. opened its manufacturing campus in West Columbia in 2015, proximity to the flagship research university was an important factor. Owned and operated by UofSC alumni Lou (’84) and Bill (’66) Kennedy, whose $30 million endowment created The Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center (KPIC) in the College of Pharmacy in 2010, Nephron has found success by meeting the increasing demand for pre-filled medications at medical facilities nationwide.
“Our engagement with industry leaders like Nephron is key to helping our students gain important knowledge and experience while solving real-world problems,” said UofSC President Bob Caslen. “By tapping into our research expertise, our corporate partners can bring innovative products to market, which grows their businesses and the state’s economy. That ensures more opportunity for all South Carolinians and furthers our university system’s mission of service.”
Nephron is a certified woman-owned business and one of the fastest-growing pharmaceutical companies in the country. In 2017, they added a $12.5 million, 36,000-square-foot expansion to its manufacturing facility so they would be strategic in meeting the U.S. drug shortages. By partnering with UofSC students and researchers, Nephron seeks to fully automate parts of the syringe-filling process.
Nephron advances let it deliver supplies to hospitals faster than ever see more
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp., headquartered in West Columbia, has announced the implementation of a microbial testing tool that the generic respiratory medication manufacturer says will help it deliver medical supplies to hospitals faster than ever.
Growth Direct, developed by Massachusetts-based lab equipment supplier Rapid Micro Biosystems, automates the incubation, colony counting and data entry of microbial environment testing, according to a Nephron news release. The tool also detects microbial growth 50% faster than human eye.
“We work hard, day in and out, to deliver safe, effective and affordable life-saving medications as efficiently as possible,” Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy said in the release. “Automating our microbial monitoring process allows us to produce safer drugs faster and decreases the shortage of opioid-free pain medication currently facing our nation’s hospitals.”
Growth Direct will allow Nephron’s 503(b) outsourcing division, which produces pre-filled sterile syringes and IV bags, to deliver medical supplies more quickly, the release said.
“We're excited that Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. has joined the growing list of global pharmaceutical manufacturers who are upgrading and automating their QC Microbial testing methods with the Growth Direct,” Rapid Micro Biosystems CEO Rob Spignesi said. “And we are proud to help Nephron Pharmaceuticals reduce the shortage of important drugs that help make surgery safer and less painful for patients across the country.”
Nephron initiates EDI through Global Healthcare Exchange see more
Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation initiated Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) ordering through the Global Healthcare Exchange, LLC (GHX) platform, accessible immediately.
Joining GHX allows Nephron customers to purchase products on the FDA drug shortage list in one simple step. This platform enables purchasers to select products from multiple vendors in one place, rather than logging in to the Nephron online ordering system. Utilizing the GHX cloud-based platform helps to reduce manual work and provides real-time data to view and validate order information. Nephron and its customers are working in real time, using all available data to streamline each process.
“Nephron is constantly trying to improve the customer experience,” said Hank Jibaja, Chief Information Officer at Nephron. “We believe utilizing the GHX platform will decrease the time required from the hospital or ordering staff.”
Nephron products including Sodium Bicarbonate, Phenylephrine, Labetalol and more are available for purchase through the GHX platform.
Hospitals and surgery centers may contact Nephron toll free at 1-800-443-4313, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nephron 503B Outsourcing is a division of Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation. This division produces pre-filled sterile syringes and IV bags for hospitals and surgery centers across America, in an effort to alleviate their drug shortage needs. In accordance with the DQSA draft guidance, the company follows cGMP, GDP and all quality expectations. The company has been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration as a sterile manufacturer of generic respiratory medications along with an Outsourcing Facility providing equal sterility and quality. Nephron received a 2017 ISPE/FOYA innovation award for the high level of automation present throughout the facility. For more information, please visit www.nephronpharm.com.
Global Healthcare Exchange, LLC (GHX) is a healthcare business and data automation company, empowering healthcare organizations to enable better patient care and maximize industry savings using its world-class cloud-based supply chain technology platform. GHX brings together healthcare providers, manufacturers and distributors in North America, and Europe, who rely on proven healthcare-focused technology and comprehensive data to automate business processes and make more informed, timely and fact-based decisions. Solutions span procurement and accounts payable automation, contract and inventory management, vendor credentialing and management, business intelligence, payment management and other supply chain-related tools and services. For more information, visit www.ghx.com and The Healthcare Hub.
SCBIO's Morgan Nichols is a STEM advocate, marketing guru and Miss America candidate. see more
CLEMSON, South Carolina – When Morgan Nichols takes the stage at the Miss South Carolina pageant this June, she will fulfill a dream – but maybe not the kind viewers would expect.
Nichols was recently named Miss Clemson and her excitement about the opportunity to showcase her passion for Science is evident in her platform “Stronger with STEM,” which inspires students to stick with STEM through exploration, education, and innovation.
Nichols is a Lexington, South Carolina, native and a senior in the College of Science‘s department of genetics and biochemistry. With a minor in business, she is blazing a career path that she is defining along the way.
SCBIO's Membership & Marketing intern is an emerging voice for life sciences in South Carolina. Read the full story here.
Top life sciences leaders from across the state have been named to the SCBIO Executive Committee see more
Leadership team provides strategic blend of economic development, industry, higher education expertise
GREENVILLE, SC – January 17, 2019 – SCBIO has announced its 2019 Executive Committee following formal confirmation at the life science organization’s December 2018 meeting in Columbia. Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation CEO Lou Kennedy will serve a second term as SCBIO’s 2019 Board Chair.
Ms. Kennedy joined Nephron Pharmaceuticals in 2001, and assumed the position of President and CEO in 2007. She has held a variety of marketing and operational roles during her career and has helped Nephron Pharmaceuticals grow by more than 300% and increased shipped product to one billion doses each of the last seven years. Nephron constructed a state of the art manufacturing facility in West Columbia, South Carolina and, with her husband Bill, helped establish the Kennedy Pharmacy Innovation Center in conjunction with the USC School of Pharmacy. The organization was honored as an inaugural winner of the South Carolina Life Sciences Pinnacle Award for Organizational Contribution to the industry in October, 2018.
Joining Ms. Kennedy on the SCBIO Executive Committee will be Stephanie Yarbrough, Partner with Womble Bond Dickinson, LLP as Vice Chair; Michael Rusnak, Executive Director of the MUSC Foundation for Research Development as Treasurer; and Josh Ridley, Global Business Development Director of ZEUS as Secretary.
Additional members of the Executive Committee are Jeff Stover, Special Counsel with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, PA as Legal Officer; Heather Simmons Jones, CEO of the Greenwood Partnership Alliance as Annual Conference Officer; Bryan Davis, Operations Manager with Greenville Health System’s Office of Innovations as Healthcare/Innovation Officer; Adam Hoots, Life Sciences Market Leader for DPR Construction as Talent/Workforce Officer; and Sam Konduros, President and CEO of SCBIO.
Recognized for completing their terms as contributing members of the SCBIO Executive Committee were former Vice Chair Craig Walker, executive with Hitachi Healthcare Americas, and former Secretary Kathryn Becker, Principal with Translational Science Solutions LLC.
SCBIO President and CEO Konduros praised the Executive Committee noting, “With the critically important efforts we are undertaking to advance pharmaceuticals, life sciences R&D, biotech, med-tech, and the health IT industries in South Carolina, we require strong, expert leadership from across the state, fully integrating our business, education and economic development sectors. These diverse leaders who represent the width and breadth of our state and industry will effectively champion our vision of building the business of life sciences in South Carolina for years to come.”
SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven public/private economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. The industry already has an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 400 firms directly involved and 15,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products. The state-wide nonprofit has offices in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston, and represents companies in the advanced medicines, medical devices, equipment, diagnostics, IT, and healthcare outcome industries.
The Executive Committee and Board of Directors is the policy- and strategy-making body of the organization, and meets regularly to receive updates on SCBIO business and objectives, as well as domestic and global initiatives. The Executive Committee serves roles specific to SCBIO operations, focus areas and strategies.
SCBIO is the official state affiliate of BIO -- the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology organizations. SCBIO members include academic institutions, biotech companies, med-tech 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 biotech and med-tech products that will make a difference across the Palmetto State, and around the world.
For additional information on SCBIO, visit www.SCBIO.org.