South Carolina economic development

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    SC's life sciences industry responds to the challenge of COVID-19 see more

    I just completed a radio interview with SC Business Review, focused exclusively on the all-consuming and seismic topic of the Coronavirus – which is dramatically impacting all our lives.  As I made clear to interviewer Mike Switzer, any relevance of me being interviewed as opposed to our scientists and clinicians is tied to the privilege that SCBIO has of serving as a voice and accurate storyteller for the 600+ life sciences companies and entities that proudly call the Palmetto State home.

    And there are incredibly meaningful and encouraging stories to share in the midst of this very real public health crisis – regarding SC companies and institutions that will positively impact patients across the state and nation with innovative and creative approaches they are actively, and very rapidly, undertaking.  

    Just a few exemplary SC examples include:

    • MUSC Health was the first in the nation to uniquely provide both direct, timely, and online access to Coronavirus screening via their virtual care platform coupled with a drive-through specimen collection site for patients with possible COVID-19 symptoms or exposure.  This was done in partnership with the developers (newest SCBIO Member, Trademark Properties) of the dramatically redeveloped Citadel Mall Epic Center, which is now home to MUSC Health’s West Ashley Medical Pavilion – as they worked closely to secure immediate approvals for the location of the collection site in the mall parking lot. If you or someone you know needs to be screened, log on to www.musc.care and use COVID19 as the promo code. This is FREE for all South Carolinians. 
    • Nephron Pharmaceuticals, a major national supplier of respiratory therapy medications badly needed by patients suffering from COVID-19, is aggressively ramping up their ability to increase production of 90 million sterile doses per month of targeted drug therapies with an additional 32 million doses, as they work with the FDA to have 3 new aseptic filling lines approved and brought online quickly to meet skyrocketing demands they are experiencing.  
    • Vikor Scientific has specifically dedicated 2,000 sq. ft of their brand new 22,000 sq. ft. headquarters and CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited lab facilities at WestEdge for COVID-19 testing as soon as approval is received from the FDA.  They are in fact preparing 100,000 test kits to be available for shipment to customers as soon as Wednesday of this week – and are working closely with the FDA for continued guidance on expediting the approval process.

    On the national front, there are also some encouraging stories emerging, including the most rapid launch of a possible new vaccine on record.  

    Moderna has already begun its first coronavirus vaccine trial in Washington State (the nation’s worst hot spot at present) with volunteers at Kaiser Permanente Research Institute in Seattle.  Over the next 2 months, volunteers ages 18-55 will get two doses of the trial vaccine (known as mRNA-1273).  Dr. Fauci of the national Coronavirus Task Force has confirmed that this 65-day development is the fastest ever accomplished for a new vaccine of this magnitude.  And while widespread utilization of a newly approved vaccine is still likely 12-18 months away, gratefully progress is on track to achieve that.  Also noteworthy are other vaccines and targeted therapies concurrently in the pipeline, involving companies such as Pfizer, Regeneron and Sanofi.

    Finally, on a very personal note, each of us and our extended families are being dramatically impacted by this global pandemic and are encouraged to do our parts in mitigating the spread of this fearsome and highly contagious virus.  After an extended battle with metastatic lung cancer, my dad peacefully passed away this past weekend, and regrettably his funeral will have to be limited to a private family graveside service (with a future memorial service to be scheduled once the health crisis has subsided).  In an interesting juxtaposition of life & death, my nephew’s wedding this weekend has been compressed to a small family rehearsal dinner combined with a quiet ceremony in conjunction with the dinner.  I’m certain that there will be a multitude of other similar stories from most of you regarding how we grapple and deal with this unprecedented event with no clear endpoint at present.

    While all of this will ultimately be in our “rear view mirrors” at some point in the future through the power and innovation of our industry, our researchers, and our heroic healthcare providers, life and business as we know it will have to be dramatically different in the weeks – and possibly months – ahead.  Expect a more virtual experience with SCBIO for the near future, and look to hear from us more often via electronic means ranging from e-blasts to social media efforts to increased website postings to webinars.  I am fully confident that all of our life & health sciences companies and leaders will respond valiantly, and that this will bring out the best in us – with creative and even transformative solutions and strategies that will enable us to maintain momentum in our vital missions.  And we will learn a great deal and grow through this challenging process – as our strength is truly forged in fire… 

    We will update you on various developments around COVID-19 and beyond and encourage all of you to share your stories of hope and progress as we collectively battle this formidable foe.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our SCBIO team for any reason, and we are more grateful than ever for all of you.

    Sam Konduros, CEO

    #onward!
    #GodspeedSCBIOstakeholders

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    A message from SCBIO's CEO see more

    Unprecedented steps are being taken by all of us – businesses and families alike – as we collectively combat the Coronavirus global pandemic that is hitting far too close to home.  What was once a news story unfolding in Wuhan, China, only a few months ago has now become a harsh reality right here in the Palmetto State. 

    As of today, South Carolina has well over 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and the death rate is starting to climb – and COVID-19 “hotspots” like New York and New Orleans clearly demonstrate how rapidly this situation can deteriorate if we fail to do our parts with regard to social distancing, hand washing, and adhering to the mandate to stay at home as much as possible.  The economic hardships accompanying the healthcare impacts of this horrific virus are painfully real and will hit many companies and citizens without mercy.  None of us will be untouched, and the toughest days are still ahead…

    On a truly encouraging note, collaboration, cooperation, innovation, and goodwill are being displayed by our stakeholders.  SCBIO is integrating our efforts and resources closely with numerous fellow associations, agencies and organizations on a simultaneous basis.  The SC Department of Commerce, SC Hospital Association, SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and the SC Research Authority are only a few of our respected partners that we are working virtually with on a daily basis to do whatever is possible to address vital needs.  This potentially catastrophic event is spurring amazing ideas and heroic efforts that will echo for decades to come. 

    The life sciences and healthcare industries are valiantly front and center as the beacons of hope for conquering this invisible foe.  SCBIO is grateful to have a relevant role on the COVID-19 battlefield but is most humbled to see the brilliance and resourcefulness of the companies and organizations we support and represent.  There are far too many examples to highlight, but we are so proud of large and small member companies like Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Vikor Scientific, Precision Genetics, Thorne, Abbott Labs, and Humimic that have fearlessly stepped-up, retooled, and refocused to rapidly create desperately needed solutions to arm clinicians and healthcare providers with vital tools they need to effectively carry out their mission to literally save lives – ranging from COVID-19 test kits to respiratory therapies to face shields.

    In our role as the Palmetto State’s life sciences industry lead organization, SCBIO  has aggressively pivoted our activities to adapt to the demands of the current crisis, making significant decisions to keep our focus where it needs to be – and to demonstrate prioritization of our own work program in a manner that directly relates with the realities that our state and nation are facing.  We want and need to hear from you about your efforts – and anything we can do to help.

    As meaningful as it is to gather and convene, until some point in the future, nobody needs to be talking about conferences or sponsorships – and the thought of gathering hundreds of people is almost unimaginable at present.  Based on that unavoidable truth – and our commitment to be an impactful problem-solver in this crisis – our signature SCBIO Annual Conference has been shifted from its historical time frame of October (2020) to February 16-18, 2021 in Charleston.  For SCBIO, it’s a significant and symbolic decision that we felt compelled to make now to demonstrate our conviction to remain focused on COVID-19 issues for as long as is necessary.  Likewise, our quarterly board meeting has been rescheduled from April 8th to June 18th at Furman University, with the hope that we might be able to safely convene as we approach early Summer.  Until then, all our meetings will be virtual through the blessings of technology.

    In closing, SCBIO’s current focus will continue to be:

    • Solving supply chain issues by linking life sciences solution providing companies with healthcare providers and clinicians as rapidly as possible
    • Working collaboratively with complementary agencies and organizations to solve issues that are challenging our industry, as well as healthcare professionals on the front lines treating patients in need
    • Seeking capital and offering support to companies that have novel solutions to combat COVID-19 – but need assistance to scale up
    • Conducting weekly webinars on highly relevant topics and COVID-19-related issues to various targeted audiences, ranging from FDA navigation and compliance to small business assistance to leading-edge science-based updates regarding the Coronavirus
    • Retrieving and disseminating substantive and data-based/critical information about COVID-19 and making it readily available on our website’s dedicated Coronavirus portal (www.scbio.org)
    • Markedly increasing our overall communications by providing two newsletters per month, and launching a short update every week with our new Monday Moment series – featuring crucial updates and member companies that are making a difference, with a little inspiration on the side
    • Maintaining a steady series of virtual meetings with companies and organizations across the state and beyond to continue building and advancing life sciences in South Carolina
    • Pursuing new grants and funding for high-impact workforce, innovation, and economic development strategies that can directly contribute to our mission
    • Honing our infrastructure and skill sets with the goal of becoming the most effective statewide life sciences industry organization in America
    • And, finally… Helping whoever we can, whenever we canas unforeseen opportunities continue to present themselves daily

    It is easy for an atmosphere of fear and anxiousness to hang in the air at a time like this, and each of us will experience some of that on certain days in such an alien season of life.  But we can’t give into that.  We are strong individually, but infinitely stronger together…we need God and each other more than ever, and there truly is a unique opportunity during this to learn, grow, and become better. 

    Our planet depends on Life Sciences… What a privilege for all of us to be part of that.    Let’s fight the battle courageously, together – and seize the opportunity that has been presented

    Wishing all of you health, safety, and peace – Godspeed,

    Sam Konduros

    President/CEO

    #ONWARD    #gamefaceon    #TeamSC   #SCHelps

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    BMS steps up to help newly uninsured patients see more

    PRINCETON, N.J. – April 7, 2020 – Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) today announced an expansion of its existing patient support programs to help eligible unemployed patients in the U.S. who have lost their health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The expanded program offers access to any branded Bristol Myers Squibb medicine for free, including some of its most widely prescribed products, as well as those prescribed via telehealth services. The program features:

    • Immediate access for patients who have lost their employment and health insurance;
    • A simple, single point of entry;
    • Streamlined enrollment process; and
    • Vouchers to assist with continuity of care for several self-administered BMS medicines, for eligible patients

    All Bristol Myers Squibb patient support programs, as well as, additional eligibility requirements, can be reached by calling (800) 721-8909 or by visiting BMS.com.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented financial challenges for patients and families, adding considerable new stress to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and health insurance,” said Giovanni Caforio, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer, Bristol Myers Squibb. “As more patients face difficult decisions in their daily lives, it is important to continue their treatments.”

    Bristol Myers Squibb’s Response to COVID-19
    Bristol Myers Squibb recognizes this is a challenging time for everyone. The company will continue to take all necessary actions to promote public health and carry out its mission of providing life-saving medicines to the patients who depend on us. Please visit BMS.com to learn more about our actions to date.

    About Bristol Myers Squibb
    Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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 LinksClick here.

     

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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. 

    Click to read full details now.

     

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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.”

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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.

    Contacts

    KIYATEC Inc.
    Lillia Holmes, Chief Operating Officer, 864-502-2013
    customer.service@Kiyatec.com
    www.kiyatec.com

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    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.”

    SourceGSA Business Report

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Test to Predict Pre-Treatment, Patient-Specific Responses see more

    GREENVILLE, S.C. – March 2, 2020 – KIYATEC, Inc. today announced that VA Portland Health Care System (VAPORHCS) has joined the growing roster of institutions participating in its 3D-PREDICT clinical study to validate the company’s test as a patient-specific predictor of response to cancer therapies for patients with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

    “Glioblastoma, one of the most common and deadly forms of brain cancer, is notoriously difficult to treat. Patients and clinicians do not have the luxury of time to experiment with drug therapies they don’t know will work, so we developed our investigational glioblastoma drug response profile to help clinicians optimize therapeutic decision-making for their patients over the course of their disease,” said Matthew Gevaert, CEO of KIYATEC. “We are honored to welcome VAPORHCS to the 3D-PREDICT study and salute the important commitment to cancer clinical studies demonstrated by all VA hospitals.”

    3D-PREDICT is a prospective, open-label, non-interventional study to validate KIYATEC’s glioblastoma drug response profile, which leverages the company’s ex vivo 3D cell culture technology platform to assess pre-treatment, patient-specific response to a panel of 12 drugs most commonly used to treat patients with newly diagnosed or recurrent glioblastoma.  Details on the study can be found at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03561207.

     

    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.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    Konduros appointed to SC Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee see more

    The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has named SCBIO President and CEO Sam Konduros to the Executive Committee of its Board of Directors.  Leadership terms for the Chamber’s officers and board of directors continue through September 2020.

    The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is a statewide organization that promotes pro-job and pro-business policies at the state and federal level. It brings together businesses across the state through coordinated strategies, training opportunities, and networking events to foster a unified voice, with a goal of creating the best business climate possible, and to strategically create and advance a thriving, free-market environment where South Carolina businesses can prosper.

    “We are lucky to have a strong group of business leaders guiding the State Chamber for the upcoming year,” said Steve Spinx, Board Chairman of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, in announcing Konduros and others to the Executive Committee. “With their leadership, we will continue the work to improve the state’s business climate.”

    Mr. Konduros joined SCBIO in 2017 to build, advance and grow life sciences in South Carolina, expanding its efforts to address economic development, advocacy, integrated marketing, innovation/R&D, and attracting capital.  In his career, he has served as Executive Director of the Greenville Health System Research Development Corp., Senior Project Manager for the SC Department of Commerce, EVP with Alfmeier Corporation in North America, and as President/CEO of Upstate SC Alliance. He is a member of boards including the SE Life Sciences Association and Palmetto Conservation Foundation.  He has been designated as a Knowledge Economist by SCRA and was awarded The Order of the Palmetto in 2018 – the state’s highest civilian award.  He holds a B.A. in English from Clemson and earned his J.D. at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

    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.

  • Sam Patrick posted an article
    MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion open see more

    The long-awaited MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion opened Saturday, bringing a dedicated space for women’s and children’s health care to the Lowcountry.

    In just under 12 hours, Medical University of South Carolina staff and partners transported almost 200 patients from the former MUSC Children’s Hospital on Ashley Avenue to the new building on the corner of Courtenay Drive and Calhoun Street.

    “We saw an incredible amount of teamwork and a very professional approach to the whole thing, but also just a whole lot of joy,” said Mark Scheurer, MUSC Children’s Hospital chief medical officer and project leader. “It was really fun just watching the little things happen that you talked about in the planning period when they were just hypothetical.”

    The 11-story hospital includes the state’s only level-one pediatric trauma and burn unit and the state’s largest level-four NICU.

    Starting with patients in the neonatal intensive care unit, teams simultaneously transported patients along four routes with the use of 36 ambulances, Scheurer said.

     

    The 11-story, 625,000-square-foot hospital includes a 20% increase in capacity. It has the state’s only level-one pediatric trauma and burn unit and the state’s largest level-four NICU. There also is an advanced fetal care center and a dedicated elevator for transporting mothers in labor from the hospital’s entrance directly to the fourth-floor maternity pavilion.

    “This new hospital is so important for the community because it will offer a different experience for women and children and their families because they (the team) will be able to deliver care using new technology,” said Carolyn Donohue, MUSC’s executive director of nursing for children’s and women’s health. “It also involves our patients to be able to use that technology to improve their ability to communicate with the health care team and their family during the acute care of their hospitalization.”

    This $389 million project was expected to open in October and then December. Neither opening took place delayed after setbacks from Hurricane Dorian and because the hospital didn’t pass safety and regulatory inspections.

    The hospital began its operating room and outpatient services Monday. Staff members will continue to move in any remaining supplies and equipment and to monitor operations to make sure they work as smoothly as planned.