Precision Genetics receives SCRA grant see more
SCRA announces a $250,000 SC Launch, Inc. investment in Precision Genetics. The life sciences company, located in Greenville, was recently accepted into SCRA’s entrepreneurial program, SC Launch.
Precision Genetics validated the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) via the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to process COVID-19 test kits. Precision Genetics is now available to support state and local healthcare systems in need of public health surveillance, and has priority access to test reagents from commercial reagent manufacturers, which have received EUA from the FDA.
Precision Genetics provides the test kits for healthcare facilities and providers looking to test patients using real-time RT-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19) in respiratory specimens. The test uses RT-PCR to detect the virus in upper and lower respiratory specimens.
Currently, results will be available within 24 hours (one business day) from time of receipt of the sample in the laboratory, with plans to boost testing capacity in the coming week. Precision Genetics’ healthcare technology laboratory has the capability to direct-connect to other laboratories, healthcare systems, and practitioners’ offices to deliver test information within seconds of the results being reported. The laboratory uses a cloud-based information system, Ovation.io, to help expedite the test orders, specimen tracking, and results to support faster response times to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to COVID-19 testing, Precision Genetics uses an advanced scientific approach to treating employees and patients, using healthcare data to determine the risks associated with medications and complex drug regimens. By combining genetic markers, molecular data, and clinical evidence into a comprehensive and actionable solution, they allow providers to immediately develop individualized treatment and prevention plans for their patients.
“Healthcare facilities throughout South Carolina were struggling to find COVID-19 test facilities that could provide both accurate and timely results”, said Steve Johnson, SCRA Investment Manager. “Some institutions were waiting eight days or more before receiving results. Other testing services were no longer even accepting any further samples. It was critical that an experienced South Carolina-based lab have the throughput capacity to handle the volume of COVID-19 testing that was predicted to be coming. Because of Precision Genetics’ existing track record of providing excellent advanced molecular testing and innovative solutions to healthcare institutions in the state, SCRA and SC Launch, Inc. are proud to provide this investment to Precision Genetics at a time when their capabilities are critically needed in our state.”
“This national and statewide pandemic has challenged us as business leaders to create immediate solutions on behalf of our patients and healthcare providers. The challenge in South Carolina is that we lack sufficient laboratory infrastructure to deploy testing solutions in rapid form in order to manage the immenent demand that our state requires. All labs face a similar obstacle of obtaining the necessary resources and supplies to accommodate our patient volumes. SCRA and SC Launch, Inc. stepped up and provided financial commitment and strategic support for us to expedite our efforts. We are desperately trying to serve our community in this time of need, and we are very grateful for the support from SCRA and SC Launch, Inc.” said Nate Wilbourne, CEO of Precision Genetics.
SCRA is a state-chartered organization that fuels job creation and grows South Carolina’s innovation economy. Through SCRA’s programs, early-stage companies are provided mentoring and grants and may be eligible for an investment from SCRA’s investment affiliate, SC Launch, Inc.
Monday Moment for 4-6-20 see more
SCBIO's latest Monday Moment arrives amidst the COVID-19 storm to provide meaningful and inspiring information in 2 minutes or less. This week, enjoy an uplifting reminder from Nephron's Lou Kennedy that we're all in this together, plus helpful webinars, news on how SC is stepping up and the ever-popular 3 Great Links. Click here.
Enjoy SCBIO's latest news and events! see more
SCBIO continues to provide assistance, connections and resources to help our state deal with the increasing COVID-19 threat.
Check out this latest newsletter to access information on up-to-date safety, infection control and health protocols recommended by experts...
Regular webinars dealing with timely topics...
Supply chain connections assisting those in need of medicines, testing kits, personal protective equipment and other goods with suppliers who can assist them...
Assistance in accessing regulatory bodies to get solutions to market quickly... and
Great stories of how South Carolina companies are stepping up to help in this time of critical need.
Nephron seeks to stem coronavirus concerns with expanded offerings see more
In response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, West Columbia-based Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. has asked the Food and Drug Administration for permission to add up to six filling lines to ramp up its production of sterile respiratory medication.
Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy said she spoke with the FDA on Tuesday morning and is “waiting to hear back.” Kennedy also said Nephron will begin making its own hand sanitizer as early as this week.
Nephron, which CEO Lou Kennedy said is one of two companies in the U.S. that produce 98% of the nebulizer solutions used in hospitals or sold in retail outlets, relocated to South Carolina from Florida in 2014.
“We didn’t move all the equipment right away,” moving an additional six filling lines to South Carolina in 2019, Kennedy said. She said she had been in discussion with the FDA for permission to bring those machines online. A meeting had been scheduled for March 22 before she made another request Tuesday.
West Columbia-based Nephron has asked for FDA approval to add up to six filling lines for its respiratory medication manufacturing. CEO Lou Kennedy also announced the company will begin making hand sanitizer this week. (Photo/File)
The eight filling lines currently being used in production of the inhalation solutions Nephron makes typically produce 80 to 85 million doses a month “on a regular basis” and are capable of making up to 110 million monthly doses, Kennedy said.
“As of yesterday, we had orders on the books for 87 million, so already a month’s worth,” Kennedy said. “For the last two weeks, those orders have been running about 48% higher than we would normally see. … We do have backstock that we’ve built up in inventory, (but) that won’t last forever.”
To maximize Nephron’s 24-hour, seven-day-a-week production schedule, Kennedy said the company has begun providing in-house child care. Children are provided food, and already stringent cleaning efforts have been “tripled,” Kennedy said. She said the same methods used to maintain sterile facility conditions, including the use of a fogging machine and wiping down surfaces with isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, are being deployed in the day care.
“We’re really good at cleaning here, because we only make sterile drugs,” Kennedy said. “I’m very confident about making a clean environment for these children.”
During a conference call Tuesday, Kennedy also said Nephron has received FDA approval to begin making its own hand sanitizer and ordered supplies to do so on Monday.
“We will take care of the Nephron family first, and after we do that, we will look at should we go through churches, the Salvation Army, how can we help the community, and/or commercial production,” she said. “I’ve had at least six requests from various sales reps across the country. Hospitals are asking can we make that hand sanitizer for them.”
The plan is to produce 50-liter batches of a strong, FDA recipe without fragrances or other diluting agents, Kennedy said. She said she will gift what is left over from the first batch, after Nephron employees and their families have been served, to local charities.
Kennedy said as early as December, Nephron began taking stock of things such as the resin used to make vials of its liquid medication as well as its supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients. “We are fortunate that we have more than a year’s supply of that (API) on hand,” she said.
Nephron makes bronchodilators including albuterol used to treat respiratory illnesses such as bronchial asthma, pneumonia, emphysema and croup. It also manufactures Pocket Nebs, which are portable, battery-charged nebulizers.
Novel coronavirus can cause cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Severe infections can lead to complications including pneumonia, according to the World Health Organization.
Increased product demand during cold, cough and allergy season, as well as past experience with respiratory illnesses including SARS and H1N1, have made the company ever-vigilant, Kennedy said.
“We make sure to be very rock-solid in our preparation to accommodate the needs of America,” she said.
Kennedy said hiring and training has already begun in anticipation of FDA approval of the additional filling lines.
“We have the people to be able to ramp that up right now,” she said. “ … If we don’t get our hands wrapped around this quickly, meaning we squelch the spread, get control of the spread, it’s going to be a long, hard road. But it’s easily solved if the FDA allows me to ramp up the five or six other lines that I brought here from Florida.”
Company making up to 71,000 RNA extractions available to testing laboratories see more
GREENVILLE, S.C. – April 1, 2020 – KIYATEC, Inc., a clinical-stage leader in ex vivo 3D cell culture testing that supports cancer drug development and drug therapy decision-making, announced today that it is making high-throughput RNA extraction services available to clinical laboratories nationwide that are conducting COVID-19 testing. By creating additional capacity for RNA extraction, a critical component of the COVID-19 testing process, KIYATEC believes it will help testing laboratories normalize the processing and delivery of test results at a time of unprecedented testing demand and turnaround times.
Most coronavirus tests rely on RNA extraction as the first technical step; without it, the test cannot be performed. Nationwide shortages and backlogs in the reagents and kits most often used to perform these extractions have created bottlenecks and delays that have impacted COVID-19 testing volume and throughput, thereby prompting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve alternate testing processes under Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) status. With an already CLIA-certified and operational high complexity lab, KIYATEC is joining the fight against this pandemic by offering its RNA extraction services to COVID-19 testing laboratories.
While KIYATEC’s core business in oncology continues to occupy much of its laboratory testing capacity, the company has elected to make up to 71,000 RNA extractions available over the next two months, effective immediately, on a fee-for-service basis to COVID-19 testing laboratories nationwide. At a time when COVID-19 testing volume and turnaround times are surging, KIYATEC’s 24-hour turnaround time per RNA extraction could provide a cost-effective efficiency boost to laboratories performing these tests. Making RNA extraction services available to COVID-19 testing laboratories is consistent with KIYATEC’s core goals of improving patient care and outcomes.
“Although KIYATEC traditionally serves the oncology community exclusively, we quickly determined that our existing technical infrastructure and capabilities in RNA extraction were ideally aligned to address this critical pressure point in the COVID-19 test process,” said Matthew Gevaert, PhD, CEO of KIYATEC. “Following discussions with public health thought leaders and COVID-19 testing laboratories, we realized that offering RNA extraction services could provide immediate help to these laboratories in overcoming possible supply chain challenges and optimizing their volume and turnaround time potential.”
About KIYATEC, Inc.
KIYATEC leverages its proprietary ex vivo 3D cell culture technology platforms to accurately model and predict response to approved and investigational cancer drugs targeting a spectrum of solid tumors. The company’s Clinical Services business is currently engaged in the validation of clinical assays as well as investigator-initiated studies in ovarian cancer, breast cancer, glioblastoma and rare tumors, in its CLIA-certified laboratory. The company’s Drug Development Services business works in partnership with leading biopharmaceutical companies to unlock response dynamics for their investigational drug candidates across the majority of solid tumor types.
Lillia Holmes, Chief Operating Officer, 864-502-2013
Power of Collaboration: South Carolina’s Humimic Medical Arming Healthcare Workers for the COVID-19 WarHumimic Medical is stepping up for South Carolina see more
As a growing number of healthcare workers join the front lines to battle the global COVID-19 pandemic, or Coronavirus, here in America, there is critical need for basic personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect them – PPE which is now in short supply in many areas across America.
South Carolina entrepreneurs and industry leaders are stepping up in unprecedented ways to protect these first responders and to defeat the global pandemic.
Joel Edwards, CEO of Greenville’s Humimic Medical, decided his organization could do something about it – even though his company did not manufacture essential equipment like face masks, face shields, swabs, or gloves. Edwards estimated that if his team could re-purpose their own product designs and manufacturing capacity, they could deliver a quality version of these critical supplies at relatively low price-points – mirroring the approach for their existing synthetic gel and medical trainer products. With help from Deborah Herbert, President of Multiplastics in Mt. Pleasant, the company had plans and suppliers in place in less than 48 hours to deliver 80,000+ face shields over the next few weeks.
“As we sat around the table during a team meeting last week, we found ourselves asking each other how we can help,” said Edwards. “We knew we had to make something happen fast to make a difference, because healthcare workers don’t need something 3-4 weeks from now, they need it now.”
The Humimic team picked up drafting pencils and phones to devise a plan they could execute quickly, and had designs and suppliers lined up within one day and working prototypes ready to scale up 24 hours later.
The speed and agility demonstrated by Humimic Medical is not only a testament to the company’s ability to pivot and respond to market needs, but also showcases the rich, collaborative ecosystem that has emerged within South Carolina. Edwards was able to leverage relationships with physicians in a nearby health system to validate the design, tap vendor and supplier relationships through South Carolina’s Department of Commerce, and gain key insights and connections through groups like SCBIO, the South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization, which serves as the life science community’s catalyst for building, advancing and growing the industry.
Added SCBIO President and CEO Sam Konduros, whose team was able to rapidly connect Humimic with key contacts to deliver the new face shields where they are needed most, “We continue to live our mission of being the life sciences industry convener, and that’s more important than ever right now.”
“SCBIO has been a tremendous asset in this process” said Edwards. “Their team has walked right alongside of ours to ensure we maximize this opportunity to serve our front-line healthcare workers.”
He also hinted that Humimic Medical isn’t stopping with face shields either, as they work to develop other key supplies in short supply including a novel nasal swab and innovative re-usable face masks.
“The need is great, and we’re committed to making a difference during this time of need,” he added.
About Humimic Medical:
Humimic Medical is a rapidly growing medical trainer and synthetic gel manufacturing company based in Greenville, SC. The company is driven by innovative product design, world-class customer service, and fueled by robust collaborative partnerships with universities and healthcare providers. Humimic Medical utilizes its proprietary synthetic gel blend to more closely represent human tissue elasticity and maintain recyclable/reusable qualities that no other product line currently offers delivered at a significantly lower price point than any existing products.
Zylo nominated to BIO contest see more
Zylö Therapeutics Inc., developer of the transformational Z-pod™ topical delivery platform, announced that it has been nominated as a finalist for the Buzz of BIO Contest, which recognizes the most innovative companies in the life sciences.
BIO is the world’s largest biotech association. Among other conferences, the association sponsors the 2020 BIO International Convention each year, with almost 20,000 attendees. It takes place in San Diego this year in June, where the winner of Buzz of BIO will be announced.
Each finalist was asked to submit the three compelling reasons to vote for them. Zylö’s reasons are summarized as follows:
1. Zylö’s endocannabinoid-loaded Z-pod™ solution is showing striking results in a lupus model... Lupus affects women and people of color disproportionately and has tragic quality-of-life ramifications.
2. Our nitric-oxide-releasing Z-pod™ topical solution is showing compelling results in an Erectile Dysfunction model (where ED is secondary to prostatectomy, a condition that is not treatable with Viagra et al.); this solution should translate well as a treatment for older women with sexual dysfunction.
3. Our technology is disruptive and affordable... and we plan on keeping it that way.
Scott Pancoast, Zylö CEO and founder, stated “This is a huge honor and reflects the incredible innovation taking place in our lab from Andrew Draganski PhD, scientific founder, and scientists Eric Renne (M.S., U.C.) and Clay Tucker (M.S., Clemson). We encourage folks in the Upstate to vote in an effort to continue this region’s winning ways in the world of technological innovation.”
About Zylö Therapeutics: Zylö has developed a breakthrough topical delivery system that extends the duration-of-effect, improves the solubility/targeting, and/or enhances the product performance of many therapeutic agents. Notably, the Z-pod™ technology platform has enabled the Patchless Patch™ concept and has successfully harnessed the therapeutic potential of nitric oxide, one of the most powerful—and short-lived—biomolecules produced by our bodies. For more details please visit our web site, www.zylotherapeutics.com and follow us on Twitter (@ZyloTherapies).
Erin Ford of SCBIO appointed to Trade post see more
The U.S. Department of Commerce has appointed Erin Ford, Executive Vice President of SCBIO, as a Member of South Carolina’s District Export Council for 2020-2021. District Export Council (DEC) Members are a dedicated group of nearly 1,500 leaders from across America appointed by the U.S. Department of Commerce to work with exporters and export service providers to expand America’s exporting activities to the world.
Ms. Ford was appointed to the South Carolina DEC by Ana Guevara, Deputy Assistant Secretary for U.S. Field operations, in the International Trade Administration of the United States Department of Commerce.
The District Export Councils were created in 1974 by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to support the expansion of export opportunities for American organizations, and to serve as a vital communication link between the business community and Department of Commerce. DEC’s assist companies in local communities to export, promoting U.S. economic growth, thereby creating and sustaining new and higher paying jobs in local areas. There are 61 DECs across America, and Members are appointed by the Secretary to renewable four-year terms.
As Executive Vice President of SCBIO – South Carolina’s official life sciences organization -- Ms. Ford works on corporate strategies emanating from the organization’s 3 statewide offices, its Board and hundreds of supporting Members and Investors. Her comprehensive responsibilities include serving as primary lead for SCBIO’s business operations and finances, championing investor relations and existing industry strategies, and spearheading integrated marketing initiatives.
She previously served as sales and marketing executive at Poly-Med, a global innovation company that is developing absorbable polymers and constructs for the medical device industry, during which she served on the SCBIO Board of Directors. She previously was a business recruitment officer at the Upstate SC Alliance, where she was the main point of contact for life sciences companies interested in expanding or locating in Upstate South Carolina, where she gained in-depth economic development experience. While at the Upstate Alliance, Ms. Ford served as an ex-officio SCBIO board member from 2013-2015 and led a regional biosciences task force comprised of industry executives from across the region. She also has extensive television experience as a documentary producer and sportscaster and received her B.A. in Communications from La Salle University in Philadelphia.
“Erin is a strong and forward-thinking leader for the SCBIO organization and South Carolina’s life sciences industry, and we are pleased that her contributions to our state are being recognized with this important appointment,” said Sam Konduros, President and CEO of SCBIO. “With her efforts and leadership, South Carolina and SCBIO should benefit greatly from the rapidly growing export economy here in the Palmetto State.”
SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven public/private economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. The industry has an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 675 firms directly involved and 43,000 professionals employed directly or indirectly in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products. The state-wide nonprofit has offices in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston, and represents companies in the advanced medicines, medical devices, equipment, diagnostics, IT, and healthcare outcome industries.
As the official state affiliate of BIO, PhRMA and AdvaMed, SCBIO members include hundreds of academic institutions, biotech companies, medtech companies, entrepreneurial organizations, service providers, thought leaders, economic development organizations and related groups whose members are leading the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental products that transform how we heal, fuel and feed the world.
For additional information on SCBIO, visit www.SCBIO.org.
Dr. Carol Moore steps down as Columbia College president see more
Dr. Carol A. Moore announced her decision to step down as president of Columbia College after four years in the top leadership role. During her tenure, Dr. Moore helped Columbia College strengthen its mission of providing a strong liberal arts education and professional programs emphasizing service, social justice, and leadership development.
“The Columbia College family thanks President Moore for her tireless effort to make our school a special place for so many. She has taken on re-positioning Columbia College with leadership and strength,” Board of Trustees Chair Toby Goodlett said. “Since her arrival in September 2016, Dr. Moore has been invaluable to our mission. We respect her decision to step away at this time to care for her family and her health and we want to express our appreciation for her unwavering dedication to our school and mission,” Goodlett said.
The extraordinary planning necessary for a smooth transition to becoming a coeducational college, exacerbated by the challenges facing senior management to provide a comprehensive response to COVID 19, convinced the Board of Trustees to consider a familiar voice to lead. Former President, Dr. Peter Mitchell will serve as the interim President, effective immediately while the board starts a search for a permanent president.
As former President of Columbia College from 1988-97, Dr. Mitchell has a passion for the school and an understanding of and appreciation for the leadership role the College plays in South Carolina. During his tenure the Women’s Leadership Institute was established, the Johnnie Cordell Breed Leadership Center was built and Mitchell helped secure funding for the Barbara Bush Center for Science & Technology. For the past 13 years, Dr. Mitchell has served as a consultant to college and university trustees and presidents in the areas of strategic planning, enrollment management, and fundraising.
“Dr. Mitchell worked with Dr. Moore for four years and they have remained friends for decades. We have no doubt this transition will be seamless and the students and staff will be thrilled to have Dr. Mitchell’s excitement and energy on campus,” Goodlett said.
ABOUT COLUMBIA COLLEGE
Columbia College was founded in 1854 as Columbia Female College by the Methodist Conference of South Carolina. The College, located on Plain Street, now Hampton, in Columbia, SC, opened to students in October 1859. Columbia College continues to serve as an institution for higher education with approximately 1,200 male and female students in both undergraduate and graduate courses.
David Zaas, M.D., named CEO for MUSC Health - Charleston Div. and Chief Clinical Officer for MUSC HealthDavid Zaas Named to executive post at MUSC see more
Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., CEO for MUSC Health and vice president for Health Affairs, University, named David Zaas, M.D., MBA, as the new chief executive officer, MUSC Health - Charleston Division, and chief clinical officer for MUSC Health. In these roles, Zaas will report directly to Cawley, who leads the entire MUSC Health statewide system. Following a national search, Zaas was recommended for this major leadership position by a search committee co-chaired by Prabhakar Baliga, M.D., chair, Department of Surgery, and Lisa Montgomery, MHA, MUSC executive vice president, Finance and Operations. Zaas is scheduled to join MUSC in July.
As the CEO of MUSC Health - Charleston, Zaas will lead the MUSC Hospital Authority in Charleston, including the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion. He will oversee the executive leadership team of the MUSC Health - Charleston Division and serve on the MUSC Health System Council, as CEO of our flagship hospital. His responsibility as chief clinical officer will involve providing guidance and advice on health care system strategies.
“Dr. Zaas has a deep appreciation for academic medicine and its critical role in research and innovation,” Cawley said. “He has a history of leading and promoting successful collaboration among a university, practice plan and health system. In addition, he is a profound advocate for patient and family centeredness and has a demonstrated track record of leading clinical growth, financial success and top performance in quality and safety. We look forward to the many contributions he can make to our health system,” he added.
Prior to accepting his new role, Zaas served as president of Duke Raleigh Hospital since 2014. His previous leadership positions at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, include: chief medical officer, Duke Faculty Practice Diagnostic Clinic; medical director, Duke University Hospital; vice chair, Department of Medicine, Duke University; and medical director for Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation, Duke University Hospital. He has played a central role in advancing multiple key strategic initiatives for Duke Health, including care redesign, clinical integration and improving access for patients.
Zaas holds a B.A. in biology from Yale University, an M.D. from Northwestern University Medical School, and an MBA from Duke University. He completed his internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital and fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at Duke University. Zaas’s academic interests have involved both translational and clinical research focused on improving outcomes from lung transplantation including the role of infectious complications after transplant.
About MUSC Health
As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.
Founded in 1824, MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3.2 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.
Nephron, Ritedose to the rescue with respiratory drugs see more
Two South Carolina companies that make drugs used to treat respiratory illnesses and symptoms, like those experienced by people infected with the coronavirus, have upped their production amid increased demand.
Nephron Pharmaceuticals in West Columbia and Ritedose Corp. make generic versions of almost all the respiratory drugs used in the United States, including albuterol sulfate and ipratropium bromide, according to the CEOs of the two companies.
Business at Nephron spiked last week, CEO Lou Kennedy said, with orders up 48 percent. The CEO of Ritedose, Jody Chastain, said his company has received a slight increase in demand. Click to read full story, courtesy of The Post and Courier...
SC Life Sciences has a new portal for coronavirus information, courtesy of SCBIO see more
Your SCBIO team is monitoring the most up-to-date safety, infection control and health protocols recommended by global experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), South Carolina DHEC and others. We've organized the information, updated daily, on the new Coronavirus page here.
The team is also deploying new ways to keep South Carolina's life sciences industry connected and informed. New weekly webinars start Friday at 10am, sharing resources and relevant news right from the mouths of life sciences leaders in our state and nationally.
Check out the full spectrum of news here, and send us your ideas and updates on how you and your organization are faring, and making a difference, in this critical battle. We care.
Subject matter leaders from across Palmetto State to cover what businesses need to know see more
March 9, 2020 – SCBIO will host a full day program March 17 -- Life Sciences Boot Camp: Insights on SC’s Fastest-Growing Industry – to inform and update businesses and professionals from across the state on opportunities, trends and issues facing South Carolina’s fastest-growing industry segment.
To be held at the SC Hospital Association’s Yates Conference Center in Columbia, the program will run from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. and will feature a light breakfast followed by presentations from over 15 noted life sciences industry leaders. Confirmed topics and speakers include:
- Best Practices in Life Sciences Recruiting & Retention – addressing how the state’s life sciences leaders are attracting, training and retaining top talent will be Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals; Shawn Regan, CEO of Rhythmlink; Andrew Lee, Founder of IMCS, and Matt Vaadi, CEO of ERG
- Partnering Effectively with Higher Education & Research Universities – ways to tap into the wealth of resources, knowledge and experience prevalent in the state’s higher education and research universities will be explained by a panel comprised of Anthony Herrera, Executive Director of Furman University Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Angela Lockman, Director of Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives for Clemson University; Chad Hardaway, Assoc. Director of the University of South Carolina Office of Economic Engagement; Carol Moore, President of Columbia College; and Michael Rusnak, Executive Director, MUSC Foundation for Research Development
- Accessing Capital to Grow Your Life Sciences Organization – the secrets to finding capital to grow and expand your organization, from start-up to growth company, will be unveiled by John Osborne, Principal with Good Growth Capital; Jill Sorensen, Executive Director of SC Launch; and Tyler Tatum of 3Phase SC
- Attracting & Retaining Life Sciences Organizations – three economic development experts will share how the Palmetto State is going about growing the life sciences industry here, and what plans are to make it even more attractive tomorrow. Speaking will be Stephanie Few, Partner with Womble Bond Dickinson; Jeremy Migliara, Shareholder with Elliott Davis; and Will Clarke, Manager with Elliott Davis
- Protecting Your Life Sciences Organization from Cybercrime – will be addressed by cybersecurity expert Delano Collins, Vice President of Cybersecurity with Corsica Technologies. He’ll address how planning defense in depth -- from network and systems security to industry compliance and employee training -- can set organizations up for security and success.
SCBIO Investor Organizations receive one registration at no charge, and additional attendees from Investor organizations as well as SCBIO registered Members pay only $50 for the program. The general public and Non-Members can attend for just $100. Fees include the full program, plus a light breakfast and lunch. To register or for more details, visit the Events page at www.SCBIO.org/. Interested students and media members are invited to attend, with advance registration, at no cost.
SCBIO is South Carolina’s investor-driven public/private economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in the state. The industry has an $11.4 billion annual economic impact in the Palmetto State, with more than 675 firms directly involved and 43,000 professionals employed in the research, development and commercialization of innovative healthcare, medical device, industrial, environmental and agricultural biotech and products. The state-wide nonprofit has offices in Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston, and represents companies in the advanced medicines, medical devices, equipment, diagnostics, IT, and healthcare outcome industries. Life sciences is recognized as the fastest-growing segment of South Carolina’s knowledge economy.
Spartanburg Regional's Gibbs Cancer Center to open expanded facility see more
With a seven-story, $72 million expansion set to open on March 16, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s Gibbs Cancer Center plans to offer patients treatment beyond traditional chemotherapy and radiation.
At a ribbon-cutting held Thursday, staff unveiled the 191,000-square-foot expansion. The center includes a new physical therapy gym, patient accessible-kitchen, retail shop featuring wigs and prosthesis-fitting services and an on-site outpatient pharmacy. The facility offers radiation, medical and surgical oncology along with cyber knife technologies, centralized lab services, genetic counseling and an integrative medicine center.
“We’re blessed in the Upstate to have a world-class cancer center here that enables patients not to have to travel far,” said Tony Kouskolekas, Pelham Medical Center’s president. “They are able to get first-quality opinions and recommendations on cancer care, and what makes us a little different is that our doctors are committed to what we call multi-disciplinary care. Historically, they have gotten together to discuss someone’s case once someone was diagnosed with cancer. Now, the design of this building will allow them to come together while patients are in the building for multidisciplinary clinics, so that patients can get opinions from multiple providers while they are here for one visit.”
Kouskolekas expects that the center will bring 80 jobs to the area in its first stages, but notes that there is plenty of room to grow as needed.
“To be involved with the planning of this and working with our cancer team has just been another great facet, Kouskolekas said. “Our campus is poised for growth: we have plenty of land and so if we need to do something, we certainly can.”
According to Dr. Michael Starnes, Gibbs Cancer Center’s radiation oncology director, 36 exam rooms have been reserved for the March 16 opening, bringing the center to 75% capacity. Starnes said the center prioritizes clinical research and holistic care alongside traditional treatment measures. The integrative medicine center will allow patients a bridge to recovery through massage and art therapy, tai chi and cooking classes recorded for outpatient survivors to follow.
The new space raises the center’s capacity from less than 10 infusion treatment beds to 40 treatment rooms.
Dr. Heather Allen, a radiology oncologist at Gibbs Cancer Center, noted that the new facility streamlines and strengthens collaborative treatment opportunities spearheaded by oncologists Drs. James Bearden and Julian Josey when they founded the Gibbs Cancer Center 40 years ago.
“They were ahead of the game. This is the model that works, but it wasn’t in place 40 years ago. It was their vision to take a new paradigm shift in cancer treatment and bring it home to the local area,” Allen said.
Prisma Health acquires two hospitals in South Carolina see more
Prisma Health-Midlands will acquire two Midlands health systems through an agreement announced Thursday. The 1.2 million-patient healthcare provider, headquartered in Greenville, has
purchased LifePoint Health’s Camden-based KershawHealth and Columbia’s Providence Health systems with plans to extend its Midlands network.
“We are delighted at the prospect of welcoming the Providence and KershawHealth teams to the Prisma Health family,” Mark O’Halla, president and chief executive officer of Prisma Health, said in a news release. “Providence and KershawHealth are known to share our commitment to improving patient experiences, clinical quality and access to care. We look forward to continuing our mutual goal of enhancing the health of our communities.”
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Through integration of KershawHealth and Providence Health, Prisma Health plans to target clinical expansion in areas including pediatric, orthopedic, women’s health and cardiovascular care, according to the release.
Providence Health will bring two hospitals, a freestanding emergency room, sleep centers, cardiac rehab facilities, outpatient therapy centers and a number of network practices into Prisma’s fold, the release said. Kershaw Health serves four cities through its Camden medical center, Elgin outpatient and urgent care center, West Wateree Medical Complex, sleep diagnostics center and therapy facility, now operated by Prisma Health.
“Ensuring that we maintain access to healthcare in South Carolina’s rural communities has been a priority of my administration, but we’ve always known that the private sector would be our most important partners in reaching that goal,” Gov. Henry McMaster said in the release. “This proposed acquisition would provide new opportunities to enhance clinical quality and improve access to affordable care for patients in the Midlands and beyond, but it also shows that Prisma Health is committed to the communities it serves, and for that, we should all be grateful.”
Source: GSA Business Report