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  • sam patrick posted an article
    Thorne HealthTech named an Official US Rowing Partner see more

    USRowing is pleased to announce that Thorne HealthTech (NASDAQ: THRN) has signed on as an Official USRowing Partner and the Exclusive Supplement Supplier for the U.S. National Team for 2022, 2023, and 2024.

    "We are so pleased to sign on Thorne as the Exclusive Supplement Provider for the U.S. National Team," said USRowing CEO, Amanda Kraus. "Thorne has an exceptional reputation in the supplement and wellness space and their commitment to research and development is in line with USRowing's values of excellence, performance, and safety." 

    "We continue to take great pride in supporting, educating, and providing personalized health and wellness solutions to multiple U.S. National teams over the years," said Paul Jacobson, CEO of Thorne HealthTech. "Our partnership with USRowing will help athletes integrate nutritional supplementation into their health and wellness regimens to support their peak performance goals. Time and time again, we see how important it is for athletes to know exactly what they are putting in their bodies, and we are proud to provide USRowing with high-quality, NSF Certified for Sport nutritional supplements."

    Throughout the partnership, Thorne will provide USRowing with its high-quality products and resources to support the overall performance of the U.S. National Team's athletes, as well as USRowing's support staff and USRowing members. To learn more about Thorne and their suite of product solutions, visit Thorne.com.
     

    About Thorne HealthTech:

    Thorne HealthTech is a leader in developing innovative solutions for delivering personalized approaches to health and well-being. As a science-driven wellness company that empowers individuals with the support, education, and solutions they need to achieve healthy aging – living healthier longer – Thorne utilizes testing and data to create improved product efficacy and to deliver personalized solutions to consumers, health professionals, and corporations. Predicated on the power of the individual, Thorne leverages artificial intelligence models to provide insights and personalized data, products, and services that help individuals take a proactive and actionable approach to improve and maintain their health and wellness over a lifetime. Thorne is the only supplement manufacturer that collaborates with Mayo Clinic on wellness research and content and is trusted by more than four million customers, 45,000 health professionals, thousands of professional athletes, more than 100 professional sports teams, and 12 U.S. National teams. For more information, visit Thorne.com.

    About USRowing

    USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing has 83,000 individual members and 1,350 member organizations, offering rowing programs for all.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Precision Genetics featured in Silicon Review article see more

    Courtesy of Silicon Review

    Silicon Review recently interviewed Nate Wilbourne, founder and CEO of Precision Genetics-- a life sciences organization based in Greenville, SC -- about how the company is making a difference in helping patients use of tools to share genetic risk assessments with their healthcare provider.  Enjoy the complete article here.

     

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Zeus has facilities in Aiken, Columbia, Gaston and Orangeburg, S.C. see more

    Compliments of Columbia Regional Business Report

    Orangeburg-based Zeus today said the company will invest millions to expand catheter manufacturing capacity worldwide, starting with the expansion of a plant in San Jose, Calif., where construction is already underway.

    The company’s core business is the development and precision extrusion of advanced polymeric materials.

    Zeus purchased CathX Medical in June 2021. CathX Medical provides catheter-based design, development and manufacturing services to medical device original equipment manufacturers. The expansion will extend the facility's footprint to increase catheter-based design and manufacturing capacity, the company said in a news release.

    The company did not say where other else it may invest in expanding catheter production.

    Steve Peterson, CEO and president at Zeus, said the investment is in response to growing demand from medical device OEMs.

    “Our customers depend on innovative thinking, speed, and the latest catheter design and manufacturing technologies to deliver their life-saving products,” Peterson said in the news release. “We want to solidify Zeus' position as their strategic, long-term partner.”

    The existing San Jose site will increase by 127%, extending its footprint to 32,000 square feet, the release said. The expansion also will increase the facility's ISO-certified cleanroom capacity for design, prototyping, validation and manufacturing to more than 7,000 square feet and double Zeus' braiding and coiling capacity for catheter-based minimally invasive devices.

    The expansion will create 15 new jobs this year in San Jose and 50-plus new jobs over the next two years, the company said, including project engineers, project managers, product builders and technicians.  

    Zeus’s enterprise includes advanced polymer solutions, from tubing, catheter componentry and heat shrink to bioabsorbable and implantable medical products, sutures and more. The company employs more than 2,000 people worldwide with manufacturing and sales facilities in Aiken, Columbia, Gaston and Orangeburg in South Carolina, along with Branchburg, N.J.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; San Jose; Guangzhou, China; and Letterkenny, Ireland. Zeus products and services serve companies in the medical, automotive, aerospace, fiber optics, energy and fluid management markets.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Innovation protecting against burnout and improving work lives see more

    Compliments of Beckers Hospital Review

    A new solution for protecting against burnout and improving the work lives of medical professionals may be to encourage innovation and creation, according to one physician from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

    Stephen Kalhorn, MD, professor of neurosurgery at MUSC spoke to Becker's about the hospital's innovation project, how it has improved his work life and how it has the potential to create inventions that benefit both patients and medical professionals alike. 

    Dr. Kalhorn's passion for innovation came while he was a resident. His chairman was also an innovator and together they would come up with ideas for inventions that would help patients and physicians. 

    "He would tell us, the Book of Ecclesiastes says there's nothing new under the sun." 

    While he believes that to be true, Dr. Kalhorn also argues that there are ways to get credit for being the first one to describe those ideas and then protect them, and that's what MUSC is helping their medical staff do.

    MUSC formed the Zucker Institute of Applied Neurosciences (ZIAN) in 2012, which encourages physicians and medical staff to share and submit any ideas for innovations and inventions they may have. If there is any room to protect those ideas via intellectual property laws or to fulfill a commercial need, the center will help those staff do so. To date, the institute reviews around 60 inventions annually, has funded 11 technologies, issued 17 patents and got three inventions FDA approved.

    Dr. Kalhorn told Becker's that he never would have thought he would get to create inventions while being a practicing physician. This opportunity to explore a creative side of science may also be an aid against burnout so many healthcare workers feel.

    As is already well known that burnout is a major factor among healthcare professionals, with 29 percent of the hospital workforce considering leaving the field, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Dr. Kalhorn described how one patient compared physicians to scrambling ants:

    "It's like we're ants on top of an ant hill that has just been kicked over. You're literally just running around, and ants can lift several magnitudes of their own strength, and they're just carrying these chunks of dirt around and viciously and ferociously trying to fend off the problems around them as well as rebuild the hill." 

    The challenging requirements of the field make the job difficult, but it can be made more enjoyable through innovation and creativity.

    "I think some people, especially those prone to burnout, often don't have different outlets in their lives to vent frustrations or to use a creative aspect of their mind and personality," he said. 

    ZIAN's encouragement of innovation and creation offers a potential respite for tired medical professionals and gives them a chance to create solutions to their problems. It also gives the staff a sense of agency in an industry that can often feel increasingly bureaucratic and high pressure.

    "You can draw something on a dry erase board or napkin and take a picture of it and then send it to the group [ZIAN] and they'll say, yes or no," Dr. Kalhorn told Becker's. The group, made up of biomedical engineers, a commercialization officer, an IP director then all work together to make the physician's idea work, testing it in 3D models and coming up with commercial strategies to bring it to market or submit patent applications.

    Some of the innovations coming out of ZIAN include a blink reflexometer to detect concussions and a 3D printed titanium plate called Heal X, used to remove damaged vertebrae. Dr. Kalhorn himself came up with VayuClear, a suction de-clogging device that eliminates obstructions from surgical suction devices saving time and energy during long surgeries. 

    "At the end of the day, the goal is to be able to help as many patients as we can in the least invasive way possible with as little as possible stress and strain on your own body.  So if there are ways to make it easier and better for both you and the patient, everyone wins."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Grant is administered by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke see more

    The Greenwood Genetic Center’s (GGC) Rich Steet, PhD, Director of Research, and Heather Flanagan-Steet, PhD, Director of Functional Studies, have secured a renewal of their long-standing grant titled 'Pathogenic Mechanisms of Lysosomal Disease.'

    The R01 grant, which is administered by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides $1.2 million over four years to continue the team's ongoing work to better understand the mechanisms behind lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs).

    The duo has spent years studying the function of lysosomes and how their abnormal function results in the clinical features associated with LSDs. While the clinical features vary between different types of LSDs, common findings include coarse facial features, cardiac and skeletal anomalies, learning difficulties, and a shortened life span.

    Prior research under this grant focused on a single disorder, mucolipidosis type II (MLII). The research team has made significant progress in understanding how MLII symptoms develop, and they have been able to successfully treat cardiac and skeletal disease manifestations in their zebrafish models. This breakthrough has fostered collaborations to advance treatment studies into a mammalian model with the ultimate goal of developing an effective therapy for patients with this rare disease.

    "We are pleased that our prior work on LSDs has been so fruitful and that we are able to continue to move toward better understanding and novel treatment options for families impacted by these rare disorders," said Steet.

    The primary hypothesis for this new round of funding is that the mechanisms identified in MLII are similar across other LSDs, which could lead to novel therapies for several disorders.

    The grant renewal will also allow the research team to expand their work on the NUS1 gene which came to the team's attention through functional studies on a GGC patient.

    Through both cellular and zebrafish experiments, researchers were able to confirm that this patient’s NUS1 variant was pathogenic, and they were also able to identify the likely mechanism and a possible therapy.

    "Zebrafish that mimic this NUS1 variant not only exhibited a movement disorder as seen through abnormal swimming patterns, but they also displayed significant accumulation of cholesterol in their lysosomes," said Flanagan-Steet. "By using an FDA-approved small molecule, we were able to reduce cholesterol storage in the zebrafish and restore normal swimming behaviors."

    The additional funding through the grant renewal will also help the research team to refine how the storage of cholesterol in the lysosomes occurs in patients with NUS1 mutations and why it leads to neurological symptoms and movement disorders.

    "After completing 13 years of research through this grant funding, we are excited by the potential to further unravel the mysteries of lysosomal storage disorders and identify novel treatments that can help GGC patients and the thousands of others who are impacted by LSDs," said Steet. "While this renewal continues to support our ongoing basic research, it also allows us to expand our work into patient-specific projects here at GGC."

    About Greenwood Genetic Center

    The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC), founded in 1974, is a nonprofit organization advancing the field of medical genetics and caring for families impacted by genetic disease and birth defects.  At its home campus in Greenwood, South Carolina, a talented team of physicians and scientists provides clinical genetic services, diagnostic laboratory testing, educational programs and resources, and research in the field of medical genetics.  GGC’s faculty and staff are committed to the goal of developing preventive and curative therapies for the individuals and families they serve.  GGC extends its reach as a resource to all residents of South Carolina with satellite offices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence and Greenville. The GGC Foundation provides philanthropic financial support for the mission of the Center. For more information about GGC or the GGC Foundation please visit www.ggc.org.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    MUSC SJCH only children’s hospital in South Carolina to be ranked see more

    New rankings from U.S. News & World Report’s (USNWR) 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospitals survey place the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital once again as the only children’s hospital in South Carolina to be ranked. And, the hospital improved one ranking, to #11, in the Southeast region best children’s hospitals survey. The latest rankings are published online and indicate the herculean efforts health care workers provided during the second year of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The highly recognized specialties for MUSC SJCH include the following national rankings: No. 4 for cardiology & heart surgery, No. 30 for nephrology, No. 31 for cancer and No. 41 for gastroenterology & GI surgery. This year, the MUSC Pediatric & Congenital Heart Center received the #1 spot in the nation ranking for outcomes. This phenomenal achievement recognizes that the pediatric and congenital heart center’s expected outcomes are the best in the nation. USNWR issues the annual rankings “to help families with complex and rare conditions find the best medical care for their children,” according to the publication’s website. They’re designed to steer parents and caregivers to the hospitals that are best equipped to treat their children.

    The 16th annual rankings highlight the top 50 U.S. pediatric hospitals in each of 10 specialties: cancer, cardiology & heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

    “The U.S. News rankings recognize on a national stage that MUSC Children’s Health is a leader in pediatric health care and a safe and compassionate choice for parents seeking care for their child,” said Mark A. Scheurer, M.D., MUSC Children’s Health chief of clinical services.

    This is the 15th consecutive year that the 4th-ranked cardiology & heart surgery program has made the overall Best Children’s Hospitals list. Criteria include the survival rate of patients after complex heart surgeries along with the level of specialized staff, services and technologies and the ability to prevent infections.

    The nephrology program at the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital ranks No. 30 in the U.S. That means it excels when it comes to the survival rate of children who have had kidney transplants, the management of dialysis and infection prevention and other factors. It maintains its status as the highest-ranked children’s kidney program in South Carolina. The program ranked #3 in the Southeast for overall care and the third best outcomes.

    The GI & GI surgery program is no stranger to the U.S. News rankings, either. For the 15th year in a row, it made the grade, coming in at No. 41, one spot higher than last year. The rankings factor in the survival rate for children who have had liver transplants, the effectiveness of the hospital’s treatment of children who have inflammatory bowel issues and other key measures. Like all of the rankings, the GI rankings also include input from specialists in the field who responded to U.S. News surveys and recommend the hospital for serious cases in GI care. GI & GI Surgery ranked #8 in the Southeast region.

    Finally, the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital’s cancer program ranks No. 31 on the list of Best Children’s Hospitals for Cancer. That’s a 13-level increase from last year’s ranking and a direct result of the #15 national ranking in outcomes. Cancer ranked #3 in the Southeast for overall care and achieved the best outcomes in the region. These rankings are based in part on the five-year survival rate for children with leukemia-related cancer, bone marrow transplant services, programs for brain tumors and sarcomas and infection prevention.

    A critical criterion measured by USNWR is outcomes. Five of 10 MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital programs placed in the top 50 nationally for the outcomes portion of their respective survey, including:

    Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery                         #1

    Cancer                                                                  #15

    Nephrology                                                         #26

    Pulmonary                                                          #35

    GI / GI Surgery                                                  #37

    For the second year, U.S. News featured regional rankings, and the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital tied at #11 for the Southeast region, which is one of the most competitive pediatric regions in the country. Four of MUSC’s pediatric specialties ranked in the top 10: cardiology & cardiac surgery #1, cancer #3, nephrology #3, and GI & GI surgery #8.

    Current methodology combines clinical and operational data, results from a reputational survey of board-certified pediatric specialists and supplemental information from resources such as the National Cancer Institute. RTI International collects and analyzes the data for the rankings. The methodology reflects clinical outcomes, such as patient survival, infection rates and complications; the level and quality of hospital resources directly related to patient care, such as staffing, technology and special services; delivery of health care, such as programs that adhere to best practices and prevent infections; and expert opinion among pediatric specialists. This year, scoring also included an increased focus on the subjects of diversity, equity and inclusion efforts; internal and external affiliations of experts; and clinical issues related to the pandemic.

    “Our MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital care team members continue to be recognized for the outstanding care, service and commitment they provide, even in challenging times,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and executive vice president for Health Affairs, University. “The strength of our specialty outcomes is a testament to the quality of care our team members seek to provide to patients and their families on a daily basis.”

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Lancaster County, SC lands life sciences expansion see more

    Nutramax Laboratories, an industry-leading manufacturer and marketer of nutritional supplement products for people and pets, today announced plans to expand operations in Lancaster County. The company’s $30 million investment will create ­­­­approximately 200 new jobs.

    For 30 years, Nutramax Laboratories has been researching and developing high-quality nutritional supplement products. In 2010, the company conducted a multi-state site search and moved its animal health business and corporate operations to Lancaster County and, since that time, has been actively engaged in the Lancaster community, providing support to local schools and churches, area law enforcement and fire services, numerous small businesses and many local charitable organizations. Nutramax Laboratories operates facilities in both South Carolina and Maryland and continues to be an industry leader in setting and adhering to high standards in research, manufacturing and quality control.

    “We are pleased to continue to grow in Lancaster County. With this newest expansion to the Indian Land area, we will continue providing a positive impact that goes beyond our economic development commitments. For 30 years, we have been blessed with a fantastic team of employees committed to delivering the very best to our consumers,” said Nutramax Laboratories President and CEO Todd Henderson, DVM.

    In addition to three existing locations in Lancaster, Nutramax Laboratories’ new facility will be located at 785 Fort Mill Highway in Indian Land and will house additional warehousing, distribution and future manufacturing capabilities.

    Individuals interested in joining the Nutramax Laboratories team should visit the company’s careers page.

    The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project. The council has also awarded a $500,000 Set-Aside grant to Lancaster County to assist with costs related to this project.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Clemson researchers seek solutions to Alzheimer's mysteries see more

    Clemson University is seeking healthy older adults to volunteer for a study called Preventing Alzheimer’s with Cognitive Training. This study examines whether computerized brain training exercises can reduce the risk of cognitive impairment and dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.

    Additional funding of $3.2 million was awarded to further investigate if Alzheimer’s disease can be detected early through simple blood tests, according to a university news release. The grant from the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, expands Clemson’s PACT study. The PACT study will now work with the National Centralized Repository for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias to analyze blood specimens collected from study participants.

    The PACT study is recruiting volunteers aged 65 and older with no signs of cognitive impairment or dementia, the release said. Those interested in the study may participate in initial testing at the Clemson University’s Institute for Engaged Aging at Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital in Seneca. Participants may also join the study at the University of Florida, University of North Florida, University of South Florida, or Duke University. PACT participants may now volunteer to provide blood samples that will be used to develop tests for early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.

    “We need another 400 healthy older adults to volunteer for the PACT study,” said principal investigator Lesley Ross, SmartLIFE Endowed Chair in Aging and Cognition in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences and director of the Clemson University Institute for Engaged Aging and associate professor of psychology at Clemson University.

    “We are very grateful for the 250 volunteers who have already joined our fight against Alzheimer’s disease by enrolling in PACT,” she said in the release. “The additional funds will enable us to further our goal of understanding and ending Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in the future. I am excited to bring this study to the Seneca and surrounding communities and further the Clemson University Institute of Engaged Aging’s mission of conducting groundbreaking research and providing opportunities to the community.”

    More information is available at the PACT study website, pactstudy.org.

    The Clemson University PACT study concentrates on the effectiveness of computerized programs, or brain games, for preventing dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease, the release said. At the end of the PACT trial, the scientists will examine the blood samples from willing participants and determine which specific blood-based biomarkers predict Alzheimer’s disease, the severity of the disease, or responsiveness to treatment.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Zylo lcoses on $5.2 million Series B round see more

    Zylö Therapeutics has secured funding to advance its Z-pod topical delivery particles, putting together a $5.2 million series B round to support work on a technology with applications in erectile dysfunction and cutaneous lupus.

    South Carolina-based Zylö is built on technology called Z-pods, engineered amorphous silica particles designed to encapsulate compounds. Through encapsulation, the company aims to extend the release of the payload, enable targeted delivery, enhance dissolution and otherwise improve the administration of compounds with a range of physicochemical properties. 

    The potential of the technology has attracted investors including VentureSouth, which contributed more than $1.3 million to the series B, the New York Angels, SC Launch, the Boston Harbor Angels and the Cowtown Angels.

    That mix of new and existing investors came together to pump $5.2 million into Zylö, adding to the $4 million series A round that the company raised in 2019. Zylö issued the series B shares at $0.50, up close to 50% on the series A price. 

    Armed with the money, Zylö will complete internal research projects, further scale up the manufacturing process for Z-pod and fully implement ISO-9001 and cGMP quality systems. The funding also gives the company a financial cushion as it enters a potentially tricky period for VC-backed startups. 

    “The series B funds will extend our runway and hedge against the risk of a recession over the next two years, while simultaneously financing investments that will accelerate growth,” Charles Hinkle, chief financial officer at Zylö, said in a statement. 

    Zylö is applying its technology to erectile dysfunction and cutaneous lupus, an indication in which it has assessed the ability of Z-pods to improve the bioavailability of the endocannabinoid AEA. The company teased upcoming news about “prospective partners that are conducting human studies to demonstrate Zylö’s technology can help combat aging, hyperpigmentation, acne and diabetic foot ulcers.”

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Reshoring accelerates in life sciences, other industries see more

    Compliments of GSA Business Report

    Some South Carolina-based suppliers are feeling a burst of demand as domestic content percentages for materials used in public projects are set to go into effect in October. 

    The Buy American Act – not to be confused with the Reagan-era Buy America Act – was first created in 1933 to give preference to domestic manufacturers. 

    The bill has evolved over the years, but in January 2021, the Biden Administration passed an executive order sparking “the most robust changes to the implementation of the Buy American Act in almost 70 years,” according to a White House news release.

    The order raised the percentage of domestic content required in public projects from today’s 55% to 60% starting Oct. 22, according to a document published by Federal Register. 

    By 2024, the required percentage will climb to 65%, and in 2029, to 75%. The initial increase to 60% will occur several months from publication of the final rule, according to the Defense Department, General Services Administration and National Aeronautics and Space Administration document.

    Andrew McAllister, partner with Washington D.C-based Holland & Knight, shared in a webinar that materials “manufactured in the United States” is not defined in the law, but that it implies a step beyond assembly.

    “Then the second piece of that test is that the cost of the components from the U.S. must exceed a certain threshold of the cost of all components,” McAllister said, adding that iron and steel products undergo more strict standards. 

    Under the new ruling, foreign iron and steel must make up less than 5% of the total cost of components purchased.

    “It doesn’t mean you can never offer a foreign product,” he said. “It’s more so you’re going to be penalized for providing that foreign product.”

    Bringing it all home

    The Buy American Act may often come up in conversations about building materials and construction products, but it also dictates procurement for other forms of federal infrastructure as well – for example, procedure trays used in tax-funded operating rooms.
    COVID-19 wreaked havoc on medical product supply chains Greenville’s CPT Medical depended on for their company’s specimen collection supplies in 2020. 

    “A lot of it was not just made in China, but one of the largest specimen collection manufacturers COPAN is in Italy, and BD is in Germany,” said Austin Shirley, vice president of commercial operations at CBT Medical’s holding company Diversified Medical Healthcare. “So there was very little U.S. production.”

    So, out of necessity, Diversified Medical Healthcare certified its viral transport medium for distribution and launched production. Being one of few domestic manufacturers, Shirley said they couldn’t fill orders fast enough.

    An ongoing shortage of polypropylene wrap used to sterilize surgical instruments later prompted Diversified Medical Healthcare to seek out U.S. partners Hanes Fabrics.

    So, when a federal customer came to CBT Medical with a request for medical supplies and the Buy American Act requirements in hand nine month ago, the OEM supplier was poised for action.

    Now, about 67% of CBT products go toward facilities used by this federal customer, he said. 

    It hasn’t always been easy to find domestic suppliers – especially for plastics, textiles and nitrile rubber components– but Shirley said they’ve uncovered many U.S.-based suppliers able to supply CBT’s custom surgical trays.

    Teasing out impacts 

    Jarrett Martin, president of Mar-Mac Industries, an industrial wire supplier for concrete reinforcement in McBee, said he has witnessed a positive uptick in U.S. suppliers used by the Florida Department of Transportation.

    But, at this time, he said it is hard to pinpoint the booming demand for Mar-Mac products to the Buy American Act alone. More than 90% of his business comes from outside the Palmetto State.

    “It has been difficult to tease out impacts to our business just with all the other noise going on in the supply chain disruptions, and before that, the pandemic, and before that, the steel tariffs from Section 232 by the Trump administration,” Martin told SC Biz News. “We expect a positive impact.”
    Section 232 placed a 25% ad valorem tariff on steel imports from all countries except Canada and Mexico as a national security measure, according to the Executive Office proclamation. 

    Turmoil in the ocean freight market, along with ongoing lockdown in China due to COVID-19, forced many contractors to reassess of their suppliers before the Oct. 22 requirements come into place.

    “Essentially, we saw demand snap back much more quickly than we expected after the spring of 2020, and nobody was ready for it,” Martin said. “Everybody in the supply chain had done the same thing. They had moved to conserve cash and take inventory down, expecting a big recession.”
    The rise in ocean freight prices and the uncertainty of import times has proved kind to Mar-Mac Industries so far.

    “As a domestic manufacturer, I’ve been well positioned to take advantage of that,” Martin said.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Major PPE manufacturer to invest $150 million, hire 600 in Greenville, SC see more

    A packed house applauded the announcement Monday by Health Supply US, a leading government contracting and medical supply company, to establish manufacturing operations in Greenville County at the Greenville Area Development Corporation’s (GADC) annual meeting at Westin Poinsett Greenville. The company is investing more than $150 million and creating 600 new jobs over the next five years. The new Glove One operation will have the capacity to produce 4.3 billion nitrile gloves annually, with the ability to triple production in the future.

    A dedicated health care industry and government private sector partner, Health Supply US works to secure the United States’ domestic pipeline of medical supplies by identifying, sourcing, and delivering personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care systems and federal, state, and local governments. The company’s FDA-compliant products include Class I medical devices and products such as medical isolation gowns and nitrile gloves.

    The announcement was the latest feather in the life sciences cap of Greenville County and the Palmetto State. Since 2017, life sciences have become the state’s fastest-growing industry and feature a higher growth rate than any other Southeastern state. More than 1,030 life sciences companies are spread across 42 of the state’s 46 counties, employing 87,000 citizens.

    “Health Supply US is dedicated to bringing critical medical supply chains back to the United States,“ said Health Supply US CEO Christopher Garcia. “Nitrile gloves are a vitally needed medical item that keep our frontline health care professionals and first responders safe, an item that we simply cannot rely completely on international markets for our domestic supply in the future.”

    “This major investment by Health Supply US is further proof that our increased efforts to recruit life sciences companies to South Carolina are paying off,” stated SC Governor Henry McMaster at the GADC’s annual meeting. “Expanding our life sciences industry is critical to safeguarding our supply chain and ensuring life-saving medical supplies are readily available during future emergencies. I congratulate Health Supply US on their investment and look forward to the impact they will have statewide.”

    Founded in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic with a mission focused on American manufacturing, Health Supply US has employed thousands of American workers across nine facilities in five states. Today, the company operates in the U.S. and Malaysia, and focuses on strategic partnerships for domestic industrial base expansion allowing its operations to scale up quickly to employ thousands of domestic workers producing essential PPE.

    The Health Supply US Greenville County facility will operate as Glove One with a focus on manufacturing American-made nitrile gloves and will employ 600 workers. The state-of-the-art facility will produce more than 4.3 billion nitrile gloves per year and greatly increase the domestic supply for this critical item – helping to protect America’s public health and national security. The Glove One facility will include nearly 400,000 square feet of industrial manufacturing and distribution space and will be located at 1 Quality Way adjacent to Beechtree Business Park.

    “We embarked on this critical project on behalf of our nation, and in doing so, knew that manufacturing site selection was of paramount importance to operational longevity. Greenville and the entire state of South Carolina displayed tremendous enthusiasm for life sciences and support for this medical device operation,” said Health Supply US Executive Vice President Aaron Petrosky. “We’d like to thank all those involved from the Lowcountry to the Midlands to the Upstate that enabled this project to find its Greenville home for many decades to come.”

    The GADC annual meeting was conducted in person for the first time since South Carolina fully emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting also featured congratulatory comments by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, U.S. Representative William Timmons, GADC CEO Mark Farris and other notables.

    “South Carolina’s life sciences sector continues to grow at a rapid pace – amplified by today’s announcement that Health Supply US is investing over $150 million and creating 600 new jobs in the Greenville County community. Not just a win for South Carolina, Health Supply US’s new Glove One operation is a win for the medical supply chain across all of the U.S. We look forward to a strong partnership with Health Supply US for many years to come,” added Secretary of Commerce Harry M. Lightsey III.

    Health Supply US is committed to transforming the pipeline for America’s health care facilities, first responder networks, and Federal, State and Local Governments by identifying, sourcing, and delivering essential safety and medical supplies to frontline workers and those who need them most.

    The company is dedicated to reshoring PPE manufacturing as a matter of national security so that overreliance on foreign products which led to chronic shortages of critically needed products during the pandemic does not reoccur in the future.

    In addition to the Health Supply US announcement, the GADC celebrated 2021’s strong job creation and capital investment as GADC CEO Mark Farris noted that Greenville County announced capital investment of $1.1 billion and 4,644 new jobs since the start of the pandemic in 2020. For 2021 alone, Greenville County realized $142 million in investment and 1,836 new high-paying jobs, with mean wages well above both County and South Carolina averages.

    The strong numbers were validated by an economic impact study released in 2021 by researchers from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina which estimated that the GADC’s total economic impact in the county exceeds $6 billion annually and sustains 64,784 jobs in Greenville County alone. Over its 20 years of service to Greenville County, cumulative economic impact from GADC activities was validated at more than $55 billion.

    “Despite COVID, Greenville County and GADC have realized a remarkable period of growth by virtually any metric,” said Mr. Farris. “The $1.1 billion in capital investment adds to our community’s economic vitality, diversity, and tax base. And the 4,644 announced jobs, with mean wages well above both County and South Carolina averages, portend a bright future. Raising per capita income is always a primary goal in our efforts, and we continue to raise the bar.”

    “Health Supply US produces and delivers essential safety and medical supplies to frontline workers, our military and those who need them most. Greenville County is excited to welcome the organization as they establish this significant manufacturing facility here, and we wish them long-lasting success," stated Greenville County Council Chair and Greenville Area Development Corporation Board Member Willis Meadows.

    Saluted with the GADC Chairman’s Award at the meeting was Caroline Schroder, Vice President of Business Development & Corporate Services at Coldwell Banker Caine, and a longtime ambassador for economic development in the county. Ms. Schroder’s work has focused on supporting executives and key employees of companies considering relocation and expansion in Greenville County. Knowledgeable in all facets of the county, its schools and assets, her knowledge has provided newcomers information and confidence in choosing Greenville as the home for themselves and their organizations. She was saluted as “a vital and unselfish partner and contributor to the growth and success of Greenville County,” stated GADC Board Chairman Don Erickson.

    Also saluted by GADC Chair Erickson for his contributions was outgoing GADC Director Don Godbey, who welcomed incoming Board members William Moon and Charles Piszczor. Mr. Erickson expressed deep appreciation for the continuing support of GADC Investors, County Council, and leaders from the county’s municipalities.

    About GADC

    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
    MUSC team the first to place MRI in the back of an ambulance, drive around and take pictures see more

    Compliments of MUSC Catalyst News

    An interdisciplinary team of researchers at MUSC has received an inaugural Blue Sky Award for their study to determine whether equipping ambulances with a portable MRI scanner could reduce the time to treatment for South Carolina stroke patients in a cost-effective way. The team is led by MUSC Health neuroradiologist Donna Roberts, M.D.,  a professor in the College of Medicine, and evaluation expert Jillian Harvey, Ph.D., an associate professor in the College of Health Professions at MUSC. The Blue Sky Award, which will provide $100,000 in funding to test the feasibility of the idea, was created to reward such creative, out-of-the-box thinking and cross-disciplinary collaborations.

    When a patient experiences a stroke, the clock starts ticking for receiving effective, emergent care. For patients with strokes caused by blood clots, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), an important clot-busting drug, can help clear blocked vessels if given within a narrow time window. Because tPA carries a risk for increased bleeding, scans are needed before treatment to ensure that the stroke is not a brain bleed.

    “We know that the faster we treat people, the better the outcomes and the lower the risk of complications from the tPA,” said MUSC Health stroke neurologist Christine Holmstedt, D.O., a professor in the College of Medicine and a collaborator on the project.

    MUSC Health has worked to dramatically shorten its door-to-needle time – the time from when a patient enters the hospital until the tPA is infused. For example, stroke neurologists already conduct virtual pre-scan evaluations of patients en route to the hospital, shrinking the time to treatment from 40 to 20 minutes.  However, Roberts and her colleagues thought more could be done to cut the crucial time lost while patients are transported to the hospital.  Enjoy the complete article here, compliments of MUSC Catalyst News.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    Working and living in Charleston and South Carolina is drawing talent from across the globe see more

    Compliments of Investment Monitor

    Boarding a one-way flight out of the Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana to relocate some 4,800 miles (7,700km) to the US city of Charleston is a huge move, and it is one that Andreja Tajnic, chief financial officer at Belimed USA, decided to take in 2021. Here, she shares her experiences of working and living in Charleston SC with Investment Monitor.

    Originally based in Slovenia and then Germany, Andreja Tajnic has worked for Belimed Infection Control, a global provider of medical sterilisation and disinfection technology, for more than a decade. In 2021, the Slovenian national left her position as one of two managing directors of Belimed’s German office with a focus on finance and IT to pursue an exciting overseas opportunity: chief financial officer (CFO) at Belimed USA.

    Her move to the company’s US offices located in Charleston, South Carolina, was not just a new step in her career at Belimed. It was a chance to realise a long-term ambition.

    Tajnic kicks off our 30-minute Zoom call by explaining that she has always been driven by life’s challenges, both big and small. “I am a person who likes challenges,” she says. “I always have target goals, and one of them was to prove that I could make it here in the US.

    “I always had the wish that I would come here. It is a very corporate-oriented country and I wanted to be in a US corporation. I wanted to feel that beat and experience how they do business, and that is why I was accepting of this challenge.”

    Enjoy the complete article, compliments of CRDA and Investment Monitor.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    MUSC researchers using genetics to tackle health disparities see more

    Compliments of Kaiser Health News

    Quenton Tompkins’ family tree is deeply rooted in rural McCormick County, South Carolina.

    His grandfather was a sharecropper in McCormick. His mother, who turns 88 this month, grew up as the youngest of 24 children. Branches of aunts, uncles, and cousins now stretch from Florida to Chicago.

    And although 48-year-old Tompkins has heard plenty of stories, his family holds its secrets, too.

    He didn’t know until he was an adult that his grandfather died of leukemia. And he’s still unsure if his father’s bout with prostate cancer runs in the family. Tompkins’ mother and her siblings have dealt with a range of health issues, including diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes, but he still doesn’t know what killed his grandmother more than 70 years ago.

    “Those are questions I go through personally,” said Tompkins, a lobbyist for the Medical University of South Carolina. “There’s another side to knowing where you come from.”

    Twenty-two years ago, President Bill Clinton announced the completion of a “draft version” of the Human Genome Project, a breakthrough he described as “the language in which God created life.” He predicted that scientists, armed with genetic discoveries, would find cures for Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes in the coming years.

    Clinton’s prediction, of course, hasn’t yet come to pass. But researchers in Charleston are hopeful that a large genetics research project underway across South Carolina may help scientists address some of the state’s persistent health disparities, which disproportionately impact its Black residents and regularly rank among the nation’s worst.  Enjoy the rest of this article compliments of Kaiser Health News.