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SC Governor Henry McMaster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Proclamation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    SCBIO  life  sciences  week

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

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Student 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.

    For additional information on SCBIO, visit www.SCBIO.org.  For additional information on MTC, visit www.MidlandsTech.edu.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Over 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 info@scbio.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.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Innovative ostomy care company plans to add at least 30 new jobs, make “significant investment” see more

    Stomagienics, Inc., a company that provides innovative solutions for cancer survivors and others who have undergone ostomy surgery, today announced expansion of operations in Greenville County. The company’s undisclosed investment is expected to result in growth including creation of 30 new jobs over 3 years.

    “The support and resources made available to us through state and local programs, along with outstanding private sector talent, have been instrumental in our development, and make Greenville, South Carolina a great place to start and grow a business,” said Theresa Johnson, Co-founder and COO of Stomagienics.  “We have gained access to project grants, intellectual property development, Medicare reimbursement expertise and connections to leading universities, clinical staff, and life sciences professionals. Our partnerships with SCBIO, GADC, SCRA and NEXT are all positive factors as we seek capital to reach the next level in our development.”

    Launched in 2018, Stomagienics is committed to delivering products that are easy-to-use and essential to ostomy care. The founders realized the enormous gap in ostomy care when a family member had ostomy surgery and entered a deep depression. The lack of control over stoma output led to the company’s patented StomaGenie pouch replacement cartridge, which gives ostomy patients control of output and allows for a hygienic and sanitary experience.

    “When a homegrown company experiences success within our borders, all of South Carolina wins. We are particularly proud of the fantastic work Stomagienics is doing every day to improve the lives of people around the world. We congratulate Stomagienics and look forward to many more years of their success,” said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.

    Located in expanded facilities at 1200 Woodruff Road in Greenville, Stomagienics’ expansion includes facilities and equipment for sales and operations, production of its StomaGenie pouch replacement cartridge, and research and development investment.

    “South Carolina’s life sciences industry is booming, and today’s announcement by Stomagienics in Greenville County is just the latest example,” noted Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III . “Their expansion not only proves that South Carolina has the business environment where life sciences companies can succeed, but that we have the talented workforce in place to handle the most innovative jobs.”

    With a mission to improve the lives of ostomy patients everywhere by helping them manage their ostomy, the Stomagienics team created a revolutionary device for pouch replacement that has helped many patients return to a more normal life. Stomagienics also found a ready market for its innovative product. More than 35% of ostomy patients experienced a peristomal skin complication during the first 90 days after surgery, while over 80% experience some type of complication within two years of their surgery – driving up costs and impacting patient outcomes.

    “It is particularly rewarding when a home-grown organization like Stomagienics chooses to grow and expand its presence in Greenville County, said Willis Meadows, County Council Chairman and Greenville Area Development Corporation Board Member.  This is evidence that our strategic focus on helping existing industry grow is paying off, and that our strategic emphasis on medical devices and life science organizations are producing results. We congratulate Stomagienics on this major step forward and wish them continued success into the future.”

    The Stomagienics solutions improves hygiene, promotes better skin health and condition, and enhances patient independence and self-confidence, the company reports. The company is dedicated to continuing innovation initiatives to create and produce new and advanced solutions for ostomy care.

    Stomagienics is actively pursuing distributors, investors and business partners. Individuals interested in learning about or supporting Stomagienics’ mission should email the company at info@stomagienics.com, or visit them on the web at www.stomagienics.com.

    The Greenville Area Development Corporation is a non-profit organization established by Greenville County Council to promote and enhance the economic growth and development of Greenville County. Since its founding in 2001, GADC efforts have resulted in the creation of over 30,000 new jobs, nearly $6 billion in capital investment, and a cumulative economic impact of over $55 billion in Greenville County, SC -- including an economic impact of more than $6 billion annually. To learn more, please visit www.goGADC.com or call (864) 235-2008. To learn more about workforce opportunities, visit www.jobsingreenvillesc.com.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Clinical laboratory investing over $3 million, creating 54 new positions see more

    Luxor Scientific, LLC (Luxor), a full-service clinical laboratory serving customers nationwide, today announced plans to expand operations in Greenville County, South Carolina. The more than $3.2 million investment will create 54 new jobs.

    Luxor is a CLIA and CAP-accredited, and DEA registered full-service clinical laboratory that specializes in infectious disease, immunology, integrated oncology and genetics, chemistry and hematology research. The company is comprised of recognized experts in providing cutting-edge scientific solutions to better serve the health care community.

    “We are excited to continue Luxor Scientific’s growth and investment in Greenville. Our team has established itself as one of the best serving our community, and we are glad to be adding to our capability and to our numbers,” said Luxor Scientific, LLC Chief Strategy Officer Jay Flanagan. “We are ever thankful to Greenville County and the S.C. Department of Commerce for helping us make this expansion a reality.”

    Located at 1327 Miller Road in Greenville, Luxor’s expansion will increase the company’s research and development capacity to better serve its clientele.

    “Luxor’s expansion highlights the tremendous success life science companies are seeing throughout South Carolina,” stated South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. “This investment will bring enhanced care and innovation to South Carolina’s health care community while also creating high-quality jobs in Greenville County.”

    Luxor was founded in 2016 by brothers Ryan and Jay Flanagan, and has grown to more than 140 employees, including world-class PhD science officers on its staff. Among their clients are S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the S.C. Department of Agriculture, the US Drug Enforcement Administration, private sector employers, hospitals, universities, clinics, and others.

    “When companies like Luxor Scientific operate in South Carolina and find success, it highlights the diversity of our state’s economy. We congratulate Luxor on this expansion in Greenville County and look forward to watching their continued work in South Carolina,” added Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III.

    The latest expansion is expected to be completed by April 2022. Individuals interested in joining the Luxor team should visit the company’s contact webpage.

    “We are always pleased when a homegrown company like Luxor chooses to expand here in Greenville County, commented Greenville County Council Chairman and Greenville Area Development Corporation Board Member Willis Meadows. “Luxor’s leading-edge expertise in life sciences has made them a strong resource to our state and to communities across the country already, and we are delighted that they have chosen to continue that growth from right here in Greenville County.”

    # # #

    The Greenville Area Development Corporation is a non-profit organization established by Greenville County Council to promote and enhance the economic growth and development of Greenville County. Since its founding in 2001, GADC efforts have resulted in the creation of over 30,000 new jobs, nearly $6 billion in capital investment, and a cumulative economic impact of over $55 billion in Greenville County, SC -- including an economic impact of more than $6 billion annually. To learn more, please visit www.goGADC.com or call (864) 235-2008. To learn more about workforce opportunities, visit www.jobsingreenvillesc.com.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Poly-Med welcomes Governor to Upstate see more

    Governor Henry McMaster visited with state leaders and the executive leadership team of Poly-Med, Inc.’s at its newest facility located just outside of Greenville, SC last week.  Governor McMaster’s visit was aimed at taking stock of the ever-growing biomedical industry and Poly-Med’s growing presence in the medical device industry right here in the Upstate.

    In 2019, Poly-Med, Inc., the leader in bioresorbable materials and medical device development, opened a state of the art development and production facility doubling their footprint in the Upstate.  The new facility greatly expands PMI’s capabilities to offer medical device development for  medical-grade electrospinningextrusion, additive manufacturing, and technical textile processes in a certified ISO Class 8 environment. 

    Governor McMaster was encouraged by the growth of the company and the technological advancements that Poly-Med has achieved in recent years of utilizing resorbable materials to expand medical device and implant functionality.  The Governor and many others at the state level are encouraging manufacturing investment in the life sciences and biomedical industries within the State. During his visit, the Governor toured Poly-Med’s facility and evaluated its innovative technologies used to produce implants that act as a natural scaffold in the body to replace damaged or diseased tissues.

    Poly-Med’s President, David Shalaby, stated “Poly-Med is a solutions’ driven organization that is working on the next class of medical devices.  The expansion of our facilities demonstrates Poly-Med’s dedication to build an infrastructure for custom medical device development within South Carolina. Our focus within the specialty resorbable material field continues our long history of designing and delivering first in class products. We look forward to growing our presence in South Carolina to support our clients in their medical device design and resorbable implant needs that improve the quality of life for patients.” 

    The expansion of Poly-Med’s facilities is an investment in the ever-growing life sciences community in the Southeast, particularly in South Carolina. South Carolina is home to a $12+ Billion industry with over 700 dedicated life science firms. To learn more about Poly-Med or the opening of the new facility, please contact Poly-Med.

     

    About Poly-Med, Inc.

    For the past 28 years, Poly-Med has developed first in class innovative medical implants that improve the quality of life for patients.  Poly-Med’s mission is to drive innovation in the biomedical industries that positively impact human health.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Company investing, adding jobs to expand capabilities see more

    Arthrex, an orthopedic technology innovator, today announced plans to expand operations in Anderson County. The more than $100 million investment will create 500 new jobs.

    Founded in 1981, Arthrex is a global leader in orthopedic surgical device design, research, manufacturing and medical education. The company develops and releases more than 1,000 innovative products and surgical procedures each year to advance minimally invasive orthopedics worldwide.

    Located at 130 Arthrex Drive in Pendleton, Arthrex’s expansion will include adding a second manufacturing facility and an Electron-beam (E-beam) and X-ray sterilizations facility.

    The expansion is expected to be completed by mid-2023. Individuals interested in joining the Arthrex team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

     QUOTES

    “This investment will help Arthrex better support the growth and development of new and innovative products that help surgeons treat their patients better. Arthrex has been committed to manufacturing quality products in the United States, and this represents that continued commitment.” -Arthrex Vice President of Manufacturing Andy Owen

    “I congratulate Arthrex on this more than $100 million investment in our state. The 500 new jobs this expansion is generating will make a big difference in Anderson County, and we look forward to watching this great company continue to thrive here for years to come.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

    “Arthrex is on the cutting edge of orthopedic innovation and is a leader in our state’s booming life sciences sector. Today’s announcement by Arthrex not only proves that South Carolina has the business environment where life sciences companies can succeed, but that we have the talented workforce in place to handle the most innovative jobs. Team S.C. congratulates Arthrex on their continued success.” -Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III

    “Our partnership with Arthrex is succeeding beyond anyone’s expectations. They showed a lot of faith in our community when they began their journey with us a few short years ago, and today’s announcement indicates the level of confidence they have in our workforce. These jobs will improve the lives of hundreds of Anderson County families, and I am truly thankful.” -Anderson County Councilman Brett Sanders, District 4

    FIVE FAST FACTS

    • Arthrex is expanding operations in Anderson County.
    • The more than $100 million investment will create 500 new jobs.
    • Arthrex is an orthopedic surgical device company.
    • Located at 130 Arthrex Drive in Pendleton, S.C.
    • Individuals interested in joining the Arthrex team should visit the company’s careers webpage.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Charles River Labs quietly continues its critical work to save lives see more

    Compliments of the Associated Press

    CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — It’s one of the stranger, lesser-known aspects of U.S. health care — the striking, milky-blue blood of horseshoe crabs is a critical component of tests to ensure injectable medications such as coronavirus vaccines aren’t contaminated.

    To obtain it, harvesters bring many thousands of the creatures to laboratories to be bled each year, and then return them to the sea — a practice that has drawn criticism from conservationists because some don’t survive the process.

    The blood, which is blue due to its copper content, is coveted for proteins used to create the LAL test, a process used to screen medical products for bacteria. Synthetic alternatives aren’t widely accepted by the health care industry and haven’t been approved federally, leaving the crabs as the only domestic source of this key ingredient.

    Many of these crabs are harvested along the coast of South Carolina, where Gov. Henry McMaster promoted the niche industry as key to the development of a domestic medical supply chain, while also noting that environmental concerns should be explored.

    “We don’t want to have to depend on foreign countries for a lot of reasons, including national security, so it’s good to see this company thriving in the United States,” McMaster told The Associated Press. He spoke this month during a visit to Charles River Laboratories at its Charleston facilities, to which AP was granted rare access. “We want to do everything we can to onshore all of these critical operations.”

    Horseshoe crabs — aquatic arthropods shaped like helmets with long tails — are more akin to scorpions than crabs, and older than dinosaurs. They’ve been scurrying along the brackish floors of coastal waters for hundreds of millions of years. Their eggs are considered a primary fat source for more than a dozen species of migratory shore birds, according to South Carolina’s Department of Natural Resources.

    Their value to avoiding infection emerged after scientists researching their immune response injected bacteria into horseshoe crabs in the 1950s. They ultimately developed the LAL test, and the technique has been used since the 1970s to keep medical materials and supplies free of bacteria.

    Their biomedical use has been on the rise, with 464,482 crabs brought to biomedical facilities in 2018, according to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

    In South Carolina, that’s done only by Charles River, a Massachusetts-based company that tests 55% of the world’s injectables and medical devices — like IV bags, dialysis solutions and even surgical cleaning wipes, according to company officials.

    “We are almost the last line of defense before these drugs leave the manufacturing area and make it to a patient,” senior vice president Foster Jordan told McMaster. “If it touches your blood, it’s been tested by LAL. And, more than likely, it’s been tested by us.”

    Charles River employs local fishermen to harvest the crabs by hand, a process governed by wildlife officials that can only happen during a small annual window, when the creatures come ashore to spawn.

    Contractors bring them to the company’s bleeding facilities, then return them to the waters from which they came. During a year, Jordan said his harvesters can bring in 100,000 to 150,000 horseshoe crabs, and still can’t satisfy the growing demand.

    “We need more, though,” Jordan told McMaster, adding that his company is working with the state to open up more harvesting areas. “The population’s steady. ... We need access to more beaches, to get more crabs.”

    The practice is not without its critics, some of whom have argued that bleeding the crabs and hauling them back and forth is harmful. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 10% to 15% of harvested crabs die during the process.

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature listed the species overall as “vulnerable,” noting decreasing numbers as of a 2016 assessment. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission listed 2019 stock as “good” in the Southeast, but “poor” in areas around New York.

    Conservationists sued last year, accusing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of shirking its duty to protect areas including South Carolina’s Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge by allowing horseshoe crab harvesting. They argued that taking out the crabs affects other species in the protected area. A federal judge temporarily halted the harvest, but was reversed following Charles River’s appeal.

    The environmental groups asked to withdraw their complaint this month after federal officials imposed a permitting process for any commercial activity in the refuge, including horseshoe harvesting, beginning Aug. 15. Even if such permits are denied, Jordan told McMaster that only 20% of its harvest came from the refuge, with most coming from further down the South Carolina coast.

    There is a synthetic alternative to the horseshoe crab blood, but it hasn’t been widely accepted in the U.S., and meanwhile, Charles River’s international competitors are making synthetics and also pressing for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, which Jordan said could hamper domestic efforts like his own.

    “My mission is to make sure that any competitor that comes into the United States, from China or any of these other producers, has to go through the same regulatory process that we had to go through, to make sure that it’s safe,” Jordan said. “If all these synthetics start coming in from other countries, we’re going to lose the protection that we’ve had for all these years, and the safety, and the control of the drug supply.”

    “We want to have as much stuff made here as we can,” McMaster said in response.

    As for the environmental concerns, the governor said maintaining a healthy balance between scientific demands and the state’s ecosystems, which bolster a significant portion of South Carolina’s tourism economy, is paramount.

    “It’s like a house of cards. You pull out one part, and the rest of it will fall,” McMaster said. “So I think we have to be very careful, and be sure that any company, any business, any activity, whether it’s commercial or otherwise, meets whatever requirements are there to protect the species — birds, horseshoe crabs, any sort of life.”

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Lou Kennedy and Nephron Team step up for SC again see more

    Glove Plant Will Shore Up Domestic Supply Chain, Reduce American Dependence on Foreign Sources of Medical-Grade Gloves & Create New Jobs

    WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. – During a celebration attended by strategic partners, business leaders and public officials, Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation CEO Lou Kennedy and Governor Henry McMaster today announced the opening of Nephron Nitrile, a plant that will produce American-made, medical-grade nitrile gloves.

    The announcement is the latest Nephron expansion on the sprawling company campus located at Saxe-Gotha Industrial Park in Lexington County.

    Nephron Nitrile – which will be headquartered in more than 400,000 square feet of space in the Kennedy Innovation Complex – represents an investment of more than $100 million in the Midlands. The plant will generate 250 jobs for the area.

    “This is a historic day for our company, and, we believe, for South Carolina,” said Kennedy. “Over the course of the last year, we have poured every bit of creativity, energy and resources we have at our disposal into doing our part, as a proud Made-in-America manufacturer, to respond to an unprecedented crisis. Nephron Nitrile is the latest part of our ongoing effort to make South Carolina the nationwide example for effectively responding to America’s needs, this time by shoring up the domestic supply chain.”

    Kennedy and the governor, along with the entire Nephron team, have made reducing the American dependence on foreign sources of critical health care-related items, such as personal protective equipment (PPE) and lifesaving medications, a top priority. Kennedy joined the governor in April when he announced an executive order to safeguard South Carolina from supply chain disruptions, such as those caused by countries like China, experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic by working to manufacture even more essential, life-saving products in South Carolina.

    Now, just months later, Kennedy and her team at Nephron are stepping up once again. In doing the work on the front end of the announcement to secure partnerships with trusted companies to provide raw materials, machinery and technology, Nephron is in position to make a significant difference in bolstering the PPE supply chain by early 2022.

    “It is critical that South Carolina lead the charge in bringing the production of life-saving medications and supplies back home to the United States,” said Governor McMaster. “After last year’s supply chain disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I announced a new initiative aimed at expanding recruitment efforts of pharmaceutical and medical supply manufacturers in the Palmetto State. Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation’s continued investment in South Carolina and our people will go a long way toward creating much-needed independence in this industry. This great company continues to show that we have the talent and the ability to do anything we put our minds to, right here in South Carolina.”

    Last July, Kennedy announced an investment of $215 million for Lexington County, bringing 380 new full-time jobs to the area by 2024, and adding new office, warehouse and vaccine production space. This announcement included the establishment of the Kennedy Innovation Complex, home of Nephron Nitrile, and these projects are ahead of schedule. Since re-locating company headquarters to Lexington County from Orlando, Nephron has invested more than a half billion dollars in the region, creating almost 2,000 full and part time jobs.

    “Lexington County is beyond excited to say congratulations again to Nephron Pharmaceuticals,” said Lexington County Council Chairman M. Todd Cullum. “The county is enthusiastic about this announcement as much or more than the company’s original announcement to locate in Lexington County. Their investment in hard assets and jobs is second to none in South Carolina. Nephron’s partnership with Lexington County has been tremendous in helping to improve the quality of life in our county and the region. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for this extraordinary company.”

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

    For more information regarding Nephron Nitrile, including orders and partnerships, please email: NephronNitrile@nephronpharm.com.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Medical data company relocating headquarters in the Upstate, creating 10 new jobs see more

     COLUMBIA, S.C. Sync.MD, a medical data company, today announced plans to establish operations in Anderson County, creating 10 new jobs.

    Founded in 2015, Sync.MD specializes in the mobile data storage of health and medical records. The company’s patented technology enables users to securely store complete and current health care records and update information on smartphones for seamless sharing of medical records with health care providers. Sync.MD helps solve the problem of connecting otherwise incompatible medical records systems, as well as meet the specific needs of veterans or those who require specialized care. Sync.MD’s innovative technology enables higher-quality coordination of care, which means better outcomes and reduced costs for patients. 

    Located in Anderson, South Carolina, Sync.MD’s new facility will increase the company’s capacity to meet growing demand.

    Operations are expected to be online by fall 2021. Individuals interested in joining the Sync.MD team should email or call (864) 260-1061 for additional information. 

     

    QUOTES

    "Sync.MD is excited to continue its growth with a relocation to Anderson County. We are incredibly grateful for the assistance of the South Carolina Department of Commerce and Anderson County officials throughout our site selection process, and we are looking forward to what we know will be a fruitful partnership going forward." -Sync.MD CEO Eugene Luskin 

    “We are thrilled to add Sync.MD to the South Carolina family. This announcement is great news for Anderson County, and we look forward to the great work this company will accomplish.” -Gov. Henry McMaster

    “It’s always exciting to see a company choose South Carolina as their new home. We celebrate Sync.MD’s decision to invest and create new jobs in Anderson County and look forward to watching them grow in the future.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

    "I am very excited for Sync.MD to establish operations in Anderson County. The jobs that are moving here are high-paying tech jobs, and more will be created in the future. When I first met with Sync.MD’s leadership years ago, I told them South Carolina has a great business environment, and that we would welcome the chance to help them grow. I am thrilled that Sync.MD will be providing services to our veterans and their customers around the world from right here in Anderson." -U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan

    “We are excited to welcome software company Sync.MD to Anderson County’s new soft-landing economic development space. Sync.MD exemplifies the type of innovative business we continually seek to attract to further diversify and support the local economy.” -Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn

    “Sync.MD landing in the Upstate represents areas where the Upstate is poised for growth — life sciences, technology and market entry into a landing pad space. We look forward to seeing this innovative digital health solutions provider grow in our region.” -Upstate SC Alliance President & CEO John Lummus

     

    FIVE FAST FACTS

    • Sync.MD is establishing operations in Anderson County.
    • The company is creating 10 new jobs.
    • Sync.MD is a medical data company.
    • Located in Anderson, S.C.
    • Individuals interested in joining the Sync.MD team should email or call (864) 260-1061 for additional information.
     

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Lightsey nominated to succeed Bobby Hitt as leader of SC Commerce Department see more

    Compliments of Greenville Business Magazine

    Gov. Henry McMaster announced Thursday, June 17, 2021, that he has nominated longtime South Carolina business executive Harry M. Lightsey III to be the next secretary of the South Carolina Department of Commerce. 

    Lightsey - a former top executive with Bellsouth, AT&T and General Motors - will succeed Bobby Hitt, who is retiring in the fall.

    “Harry Lightsey has been a fixture in South Carolina’s business community for decades, and I’m confident that with the vast experience he will be bringing to the Department of Commerce, South Carolina will keep winning,” McMaster said. “Our state will have the workforce, infrastructure, intellectual capital, environmental assets and the quality of life necessary to compete – both nationally and globally – for jobs and investment.”

    A fixture in South Carolina’s business community for decades, Lightsey served in top executive leadership roles for major corporations in South Carolina and across the nation. 

    Notably, he served as the president of BellSouth Telecommunications for South Carolina prior to its merger with AT&T, afterward becoming president for AT&T’s Southeast region.

    Following his 26 years in the telecommunications industry, Lightsey joined the General Motors Corporation where he directed the legacy automaker’s federal government affairs operation, as well as their emerging technologies, OnStar and infotainment divisions.

    Lightsey is a principal with Hawksbill Advisors - a subsidiary of Hawksbill Group.  He has also served as a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, Virginia.

    “It would be my distinct honor and privilege to have the opportunity to serve as South Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce,” Lightsey said. “In addition to bringing new businesses into our state, I believe we have a role to play in helping our established businesses thrive and transform when necessary. 

    “As the governor has said, South Carolina needs an educated, trained, and skilled workforce so that we can compete nationally and globally for jobs and capital investment. Our workers will need to develop new skills to adjust to ever changing technological advances. I am excited about the opportunities to usher in a new era that enhances the quality of life for all South Carolinians.”

    Fluent in Japanese, Lightsey is a 1978 graduate of Princeton University, and a 1981 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law. (For a copy of Lightsey’s full resume, click here.)

    Lightsey, 65, is a native of Columbia, S.C. and is married with two adult children. 

    The governor’s nomination follows Hitt’s decision to retire after over 10 years of service to the state of South Carolina.

    Originally appointed by former Gov. Nikki Haley in her first year as governor, Hitt’s years at the helm of the S.C. Department of Commerce have been marked by significant success in recruiting businesses from around the world to invest in the state.

    “What team South Carolina has done over the last 10 plus years – creating economic opportunities and improving lives within our borders – is quite simply remarkable,” Hitt said. “I couldn’t be prouder of our accomplishments and also couldn’t feel more confident in the direction moving forward. Harry Lightsey’s extensive background aligns with Commerce’s mission and will provide meaningful context for engagement in the state’s business community.”

    “Secretary Hitt’s leadership at the Department of Commerce has helped usher in an era of unprecedented economic growth in our state,” McMaster said. “He has helped solidify Team South Carolina’s global brand for automotive, aerospace, and tire manufacturing and their international export. While we are sorry to see his time at the agency come to an end, we are immeasurably grateful for his service and for the bright future we know our state will realize, in no small part, because of his leadership.”

    During Hitt’s time as secretary, South Carolina has announced 1,141 projects, 129,373 new jobs, and over $35.8 billion in capital investment, including three new automotive manufacturers – Volvo Cars, Mercedes Benz-Vans, and Arrival.

    Additionally, manufacturing employment grew from 16.7 percent from 209,491 in January 2011 to 244,476 in December 2020. South Carolina remains the largest exporter of passenger vehicles, tires, and ball bearings.

    Hitt will continue to serve in his current capacity until the S.C. Senate confirms the governor’s nomination of Lightsey.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Governor provides strong support for growing life sciences in state see more

    In front of several dozen business leaders, executives and media members at Bausch and Lomb in Greenville today, Governor Henry McMaster today issued Executive Order 2021-17, which directs the Department of Commerce to enhance recruitment efforts of pharmaceutical and medical supply manufacturers in South Carolina and directs state agencies to focus procurement efforts of medicines, medical devices, and medical supplies on those made in South Carolina. The new initiative will safeguard South Carolina from supply chain disruptions experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic by working to manufacture even more essential, life-saving products in South Carolina.

    “This last year has made it very clear that relying on China for life-saving medical supplies is a risk we can no longer afford, and South Carolina can lead the way when it comes to bringing the manufacturing of those products back home to the United States," said Gov. Henry McMaster. “By successfully recruiting pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing companies to invest and locate here, we will bring good, high-paying jobs for our people and reliable access to the critical supplies we may need in an emergency.”

    The Department of Commerce will work directly with SCBIO on the new initiative. SC BIO is a statewide, not-for-profit life sciences and economic development organization formed to promote and expand South Carolina’s life sciences industry.

    “As a major driver and diversification of South Carolina’s growing economy, the surging impact, reach and significance of the multi-billion dollar life sciences industry in our state certainly warrants the strategic emphasis being placed on it by Governor McMaster,” noted SCBIO President and CEO Sam Konduros. “We’re honored by the Governor‘s  profound support, and this bold Executive Order further demonstrates his ongoing commitment to empower our statewide mission to build, advance and grow the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry in the Palmetto State like never before.”

    To further investment and job creation from businesses in the pharmaceutical industry, the governor’s Order directs the South Carolina Department of Commerce to:

    • Prioritize and enhance ongoing economic development and recruitment efforts by identifying, encouraging, and incentivizing pharmaceutical and medical supply manufacturers, both international and domestic, to locate research, development, and production facilities within the State of South Carolina.
    • Develop and execute international and domestic marketing campaigns that promote the State of South Carolina as a global leader in this Sector.
    • Facilitate, assist, and incentivize growth, expansion, investment, and employment opportunities at existing businesses and industries in the Sector located within the State of South Carolina.
    • Identify and advocate for statutory or regulatory changes or enhancements to the state’s existing economic development mechanisms for new business and industry investment or expansion in the Sector.

    The Order also directs the Department of Commerce to review its existing operations and organizational structure to determine whether any changes would assist with the recruitment of pharmaceutical companies and to recommend any needed modifications to the General Assembly, if statutory authority is required to make them.

    To further ensure supply chain security, the governor’s Order calls upon state agencies to prioritize South Carolina-made products in the procurement of medicines, medical devices, and medical supplies. The move will benefit existing businesses and will give Commerce another resource to attract additional life science investment into South Carolina.

    Click to read the full Executive Order here.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    SCBIO, industry honored by Governor during record-setting virtual annual conference see more

    South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster

    Proclamation – Feb. 15, 2021

     

    WHEREAS, South Carolina has cultivated a cutting-edge life sciences sector with an annual economic impact of more than $12 billion dollars; and

    WHEREAS, more than 800 firms and over 43,000 professionals are directly involved in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotechnology products; and

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

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

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

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

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, Henry McMaster, Governor of the great State of South Carolina, do hereby proclaim February 15-19, 2021, as

    SCBIO LIFE SCIENCE WEEK

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

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Governor salutes industry during record-setting SC Life Sciences Conference see more

    SOUTH CAROLINA – February 16, 2021 – In recognition of the importance of the life sciences industry in South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster today issued a proclamation recognizing February 15-19, 2021 as South Carolina Life Sciences Week in the Palmetto State.

    Governor McMaster made the announcement just steps from where SCBIO organizers were putting the finishing touches on Day 1 of the largest-ever life sciences gathering held – virtually of course -- in the state.  A record 600 registrants from across America and around the globe are attending the virtual SCBIO gathering of South Carolina’s life sciences community – and celebrating the contributions of its 800+ organizations in helping America and the world overcome the challenging COVID-19 pandemic.

    “South Carolina has developed a strong reputation as an emerging leader in the life sciences,” said Governor McMaster. “Our innovative companies and exceptional workforce are key drivers in strengthening our economy and creating new opportunities for South Carolinians. With an incredible pace of growth in the industry here, we know that the life sciences will continue to play a critically important role in our state’s economic success for generations to come.”

    Governor McMaster made the proclamation in downtown Greenville, in the heart of the county which possesses the state’s largest concentration of life sciences companies, although the industry boasts life sciences organizations in 42 of South Carolina’s 46 counties currently.  Governor McMaster was flanked by leadership and Board members of SCBIO, South Carolina’s investor-driven economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, innovating and growing the life sciences industry in the state. 

    Life sciences has a $12 billion economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 800 firms involved and over 43,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotechnology products.  It also represents a significant economic development focus for the state, with strong life science recruiting initiatives led by the South Carolina Department of Commerce and other regional economic development teams.

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

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

    For additional information on SCBIO or to register for SCBIO 2021, visit www.SCBIO.org.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    $215.8 million investment will create 380 new jobs in Lexington County, SC see more

     Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nephron), a global leader in the production of generic respiratory medications and blow-fill-seal contract manufacturing, today announced plans to expand operations in Lexington County. The company's $215.8 million investment will create 380 new jobs.
     
    A West Columbia, S.C.-based company, Nephron develops and produces safe, affordable generic inhalation solutions and suspension products, including those used to treat severe respiratory distress symptoms associated with COVID-19. 
     
    The company also 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 drug shortage needs. Nephron fills the needs of patients and health care professionals as they arise nationwide, and recently opened a CLIA-certified diagnostics lab.
     
    Headquartered at 4500 12th Street in West Columbia, Nephron’s expansion will add new offices, a new warehouse and production space at its campus in Saxe-Gotha Industrial Park.
     
    The expansion is expected to be completed by Q1 of 2021. Individuals interested in joining the Nephron team should visit https://www.nephronpharm.com/careers

    The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project.
     
    QUOTES
     
    “The Nephron family is extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to grow in South Carolina. Thanks to our partnerships with state and local officials, and the trust they have placed in us, we have been able to provide life-saving medications to patients around the world and establish ourselves as the global leader in what we do. We are proud of these achievements and more, and we know our best days are ahead of us. That is what makes this latest announcement so special.” -Nephron Owner & CEO Lou Kennedy
     
    “We are proud to have Nephron Pharmaceuticals in South Carolina. Since coming here they have become an integral part of the community, and recently have been vital in the fight against COVID-19. This new investment of more than $215 million creating 380 new jobs in Lexington County is a great win for Team South Carolina.” -Gov. Henry McMaster
     
    “Nephron is a longtime steward of South Carolina’s business community, and we congratulate them on their continued growth within our state. Today’s announcement is yet another big win for South Carolina, our people and our burgeoning life sciences sector.”  -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
     
    “We are excited to continue to partner with such an innovative and forward-thinking company like Nephron Pharmaceuticals. We know that Lexington County is a great place to establish and grow a business, and Nephron’s continued success is a testament to good government-business relations.” -Lexington County Council Chairman Scott Whetstone
     
    FIVE FAST FACTS

    •    Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Nephron) is expanding operations in Lexington County.
    •    The $215.8 million investment is projected to create 380 new jobs.
    •    Nephron is a global leader in the production of generic respiratory medications and blow-fill-seal contract manufacturing.
    •    Headquartered at 4500 12th Street in West Columbia, S.C.
    •    Individuals interested in joining the Nephron team should visit https://www.nephronpharm.com/careers.