SCBIO believes growing the life sciences sector will significantly transform the state’s economy. see more
Compliments of the Community Journal...
It was all smiles on Sept. 30 as BMW marked the 25th anniversary of the first vehicle to roll off its Spartanburg assembly line, a singular moment that dramatically transformed the economic face of South Carolina.
A quarter-century after opening, the German manufacturer’s North American facility employs more than 11,000 workers who build 1,500 vehicles daily, a pace requiring the services of more than 40 main suppliers across the state.
The average wage among all S.C. jobs supported by the automotive industry stood at $64,120 in 2017 compared to $40,293 across all employment categories, say findings commissioned by the South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization (SCBIO).
Now three years old, SCBIO is spearheading an aggressive initiative to make South Carolina the preferred location for new or expanding companies in another highly promising industry: life sciences. Read the entire story by clicking here.
AVX stepping up to fight COVID-19 crisis see more
To meet the rapid increase in customer demand for critical medical equipment such as lung ventilators, mobile x-ray, CT systems, ultrasound, and patient monitors, AVX is preparing its plants to actively support the manufacture of all required components to produce the medical equipment needed to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus and treat those who have been infected.
AVX provides a wide range of components that are critical to medical electronics in general and specifically ventilators. AVX NTCs measure gas and patient temperature. Tantalum and ceramic capacitors as well as Schottky diodes are used throughout the power supply system that powers the pumps, motors, displays, and control logic in ventilators. TransGuards are used as transient voltage protection on interfaces, keyboards, touch screens and audio alarms.
AVX provides a wide range of components that are critical to medical electronics in general and specifically ventilators. (Credit: AVX)
“All of us, at every level, function and business, feel the significance and the intensity surrounding the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic situation, both in our personal and professional lives. Teams across the company have been meeting daily to address critical employee and customer issues. What motivates AVX every day is knowing that despite the current situation, we are rising to the challenge as our manufacturing plants continue to deliver for our customers around the globe,” the company notes.
In a recent example, AVX has committed to fast delivery of high-grade tantalum capacitors from its plant in Lanskroun, Czech Republic, directly to UK Smith Medical company in urgent need for building 10,000 ventilators for hospitals and healthcare institutions. The requirement for three TRJ series part types were processed with top urgency to deliver it in the shortest term while keeping its high-quality standard.
According to the company, the plants continue to give their best effort to deliver all parts as soon as possible, with the shortest possible lead times with a focus on functioning effectively and efficiently to minimize all delays.
Gain inspiration from today Monday Moment from SCBIO 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 Womble Bond Dickinson's Stephanie Few that we're all in this together, plus helpful webinars, news on how SC is stepping up, and more good news to kickstart your day...
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.
Husman launches new quality and compliance consultancy see more
Dr. David Husman has launched David Husman Consulting, LLC, a company that assists manufacturers with quality and compliance within the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and biotech industries. Services include quality program development, compliance auditing, remediation, and training.
Serving as president and principal consultant of the company, Dr. Husman holds a doctorate degree in biochemistry and has more than 30 years of diverse international experience in quality assurance, quality control, and regulatory affairs within the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and biotech industries. Before beginning David Husman Consulting, he was a principal consultant with Parexel Consulting. He also has served previously in leadership roles in quality assurance, quality control, and regulatory affairs.
Dr. Husman is certified in Good Manufacturing Practices and regulatory affairs. He earned his doctorate and bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He is a long-term member of various professional organizations, including the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society, Parenteral Drug Association, American Society for Quality, and the S.C. Biotechnology Innovation Organization.
David Husman Consulting began accepting clients as of February 1, 2020. For more information, visit DavidHusmanConsulting.com.
Many major life science firms have made the move to the Charleston region, and more are on the way see more
Compliments of Industry Today
December 19, 2019
Charleston leads the nation for job growth in scientific R&D firms. In the past two decades, major life science firms have made the move to the Charleston region. Charleston is home to 75+ medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, research laboratories and service companies. Life science executives across the globe are discovering that the Charleston region offers what many other larger, oversaturated markets cannot: a lifestyle that attracts and retains top talent, easy connections to life science and healthcare executives, and business-friendly regional and state support.
Read the full article HERE.
AVX Receives the South Carolina Life Sciences Pinnacle Award for Organizational Contribution at SCBIO 2019AVX received state's top life sciences award for 2019 see more
AVX Corporation, a leading manufacturer and supplier of advanced electronic components and interconnect, sensor, control, and antenna solutions, was honored with the South Carolina Life Sciences Pinnacle Award for Organizational Contribution at the 2019 SCBIO Annual Conference, which was held October 29–31 in Greenville, South Carolina. Bestowed by SCBIO Life Sciences Industry, an investor-driven economic development organization exclusively focused on building, advancing, and growing the life sciences industry in South Carolina, the distinguished award recognizes AVX’s significant contributions to the advancement of the state’s $11.4 billion life sciences industry, including its vast and ever-expanding portfolio of innovative electronic components and interconnect solutions for high-reliability medical applications.
“The life sciences industry is a significant driver of South Carolina’s growing knowledge economy,” said SCBIO President and CEO Sam Konduros, “so we’re very pleased to honor AVX as a SCBIO Mission Partner and 2019 award recipient for their exceptional contributions to the advancement of life sciences. AVX has demonstrated a sustained commitment to developing innovative, high-reliability, and high-performance components that have earned the trust of a majority of implantable life support device manufacturers worldwide.”
With more than 20 years of proven high-reliability performance in the medical industry, AVX is widely recognized as a leading global supplier of medical-grade components, including advanced tantalum and ceramic capacitors, thin film passives, filters, connectors, and multi-pin arrays — all of which are manufactured in ISO 9001 facilities using strict manufacturing control, statistical screening, and testing procedures compliant with rigorous FDA quality and safety regulations. The company’s extensive range of high-reliability medical solutions enables a wide range of both critical and non-critical medical applications, ranging from Class III implantable and life-sustaining devices including pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs), neurostimulators, neuromodulation devices, and external heart pump controls to Class I and II devices including cochlear implants, insulin pumps, drug pumps, hearing aids, heart monitors, vascular-assist devices, MRI and X-ray machines, external defibrillators, and other patient monitoring and diagnostic devices.
“We are honored to have been presented with the South Carolina Life Sciences Pinnacle Award for Organizational Contribution by such a valued mission partner as SCBIO,” said Robert Fairey, vice president of the AVX Medical Division. “AVX is dedicated to delivering top-quality, cutting-edge component technologies that meet or exceed the stringent specifications and requirements set forth by the medical industry and is actively engaged in the continued expansion of these highly specialized passive component and interconnect product portfolios.”
Fairey represented AVX at this year’s SCBIO conference, which provided a record gathering of 450 life sciences industry experts, thought leaders, and executives from 11 countries, 32 states, and nearly every county in South Carolina with valuable information exchange and networking opportunities.
For more information about AVX, please visit www.avx.com, email email@example.com, follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter, like them on Facebook, call 864-967-2150, or write to One AVX Boulevard, Fountain Inn, S.C. 29644.
AVX Corporation is a leading international manufacturer and supplier of advanced electronic components, interconnect, sensing, control, and antenna solutions with 29 manufacturing facilities in 16 countries around the world. AVX offers a broad range of devices including capacitors, resistors, filters, couplers, sensors, controls, circuit protection devices, connectors, and antennas. The company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:AVX).
Alcami's $17 million investment is expected to create 30 new jobs see more
Alcami Corporation, a leading provider of fully-integrated custom end-to-end solutions for the pharmaceutical and biologics industries, today announced plans to expand the company’s current operations in Charleston County. The $17 million investment is expected to create 30 new jobs.
Operating in North Charleston since 2001, Alcami offers a variety of solutions tailored to small and midsized pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.
Located at 4221 Faber Place Drive in North Charleston, S.C., Alcami will add approximately 6,000 square feet to the footprint of its facility, substantially augmenting the capacity of its sterile drug product development and manufacturing operations.
The company’s expansion is expected to be completed in 2021. Individuals interested in joining the Alcami team should visit https://www.alcaminow.com/alcami-careers.
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to the project.
“The build-out of our Charleston facility comes at a time of rapid growth for Alcami and represents a long-term commitment to our sterile drug product clients, our talented workforce and the greater Charleston area. Our clients expect the most advanced manufacturing technologies and capabilities, and this expansion will ensure we continue to exceed marketplace expectations by remaining on the forefront of industry needs.” -Alcami Site Director Darold Hill
“When a company like Alcami Corporation continues to invest in our state and our people, it shows the businesses around the world that South Carolina is the place to be. We look forward to seeing this great company continue to grow and thrive for years to come.” –Gov. Henry McMaster
“We’re excited to see the continued success of Alcami Corporation in Charleston County and the success of our state’s thriving manufacturing industry. We congratulate them on this newest announcement and the creation of 30 new jobs.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt
“The growth of Alcami Corporation during its 18 years in North Charleston has been truly remarkable. This company is a highly-valued corporate citizen, and with this expansion, it is renewing its steadfast and long-standing commitment to our community.” –Charleston County Council Chairman Elliott Summey
“We applaud Alcami’s accomplishments in our local economy, building upon their company’s innovation, which is backed by a proven workforce. North Charleston remains ripe for businesses to flourish, and we are always grateful for the benefits our community receives when companies succeed.” –North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey
“Congratulations to Alcami on announcing their second expansion in Charleston County in the last three years. Assisting local companies in their expansion efforts is a primary focus of our Business Concierge program. Our long-standing relationship with Alcami helped support their decision to grow their global footprint at their North Charleston facility.” –Charleston County Economic Development Executive Director Steve Dykes
Greenwood Genetic Center, MUSC affiliate to improve patient access to innovations in genetic servicesMUSC partners with Greenwood Genetic Center see more
The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have signed an affiliation agreement with the goal of providing patients across South Carolina with accessible, high-quality, coordinated and cost-effective genetic services through a collaborative approach to providing medical care. The two entities have worked together informally on clinical consultations, provider education and research for more than a decade. This affiliation seeks to formalize and expand the depth and breadth of the relationship. According to MUSC, a partnership with the state’s most advanced and innovative genetic center was an easy choice.
“I live in Greenwood, and I’ve said for years that a lot people don’t understand what an absolute gem this center is,” said Charles Schulze, chairman of the MUSC Board of Trustees. “They’ve helped almost 100,000 families across the state make incredibly important decisions, unmasked difficult-to-diagnose conditions, and have been there for these families every step of the way when faced with good news, or not so good news.”
While there are any number of reasons people may want to learn more about how their genetics may affect their or their loved ones health, all patients want the same thing: high-quality care at the lowest cost and access to the latest technologies, diagnostics and research related to their genetic stories. In the interest of better serving these needs, the initial goals of the partnership include:
- Increasing access to clinical genetic services for MUSC patients and all South Carolinians
- Optimizing the patient journey to improve wait times for appointments and consultations
- Sharing critical resources and expertise where possible to lower costs
- Pursuing workforce development, research, clinical trials and treatment collaborations.
Nearly every child in South Carolina who was diagnosed with a genetic birth defect, developmental delay or other hereditary disorder has already been referred to GGC, due to the center’s expertise with rare conditions and commitment to new technologies and diagnostics. GGC, a nonprofit institute centered on research, clinical genetic services, diagnostic laboratory testing and educational programs and resources, is focused on compassionate patient care and innovative scientific advancement.
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. For more information about GGC please visit www.ggc.org.
Nephron partnership helps patients receive anesthetics faster see more
A new partnership between Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. and National Medical Products Inc. will help provide more patients with a quick and simple delivery of anesthetic medications, according to a news release from Nephron.
National Medical Products is the developer of the single-use, subcutaneous J-Tip Needle-Free Injector. Hospitals which use the injector will now be able to use Nephron-developed technology in a Luer lock syringe, buffered and pre-filled with lidocaine, to fill it.
“This new partnership is a huge win for patients, and we are extraordinarily excited to announce it,” Lou Kennedy, CEO of West Columbia-headquartered Nephron, said in the release. “Working together with the developers of J-Tip, we are making sure that the delivery of anesthetic medications is safe, easy-to-use and virtually pain-free, because patients deserve nothing less.”
California-based National Medical Products, established in 2001, refined a jet-injection technology previously used by the military for vaccine delivery to create a self-contained injector that uses compressed carbon dioxide to provide an anesthetic effect in one to two minutes, according to the release. The injector is most commonly used before procedures such as IV insertions and blood draws.
Nephron said the companies hope the partnership will help reach more patients.
Clemson, Prisma Health to collaborate on developing new medical treatments see more
Researchers at Clemson University and Prisma Health have received funding to collaborate on the development of new medical treatment and diagnostic technologies.
Three Clemson-Prisma Health collaborations received investments from the recently created Innovation Maturation Fund, a joint effort between the Health Sciences Center (HSC) at Prisma Health and the Clemson University Division of Research. The program provides health care-focused grants designed to advance the development and commercialization of innovative medical initiatives and translational science, to improve the health care industry and to promote economic growth in the region.
The projects supported by this fund include a system to monitor triggers affecting respiratory health, injectable tissue regeneration technology and a monitoring device for patients with chronic kidney disease.
This year’s Innovation Maturation Fund awards range from $20,000 to $35,000 and were granted to:
Brian Booth, assistant professor in the department of bioengineering, and Jeffery Edenfield, medical director at the Prisma Health Institute for Translational Oncology Research (ITOR), to further develop a collagen-type medical implant that could greatly aid in breast tissue regeneration post-lumpectomy and prevent the recurrence of tumors.
Goutam Koley, professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering, and Steve Snodgrass, pediatric pulmonologist, to develop a mobile sensor system that monitors environmental triggers for respiratory health issues that are especially prevalent in patients with respiratory illnesses. The monitoring system will utilize a battery powered miniaturized sensor system with cellular data connectivity that can be carried in person to continuously monitor specific environmental parameters for an individual.
Robert Latour, McQueen-Quattlebaum Professor in the department of bioengineering, and Sudha Garimella, clinical assistant professor in the School of Health Research and medical director of the Division of Pediatric Nephrology and Hypertension at Prisma Health–Upstate, t0 continue to develop ammonia breath-test sensors that can be used by patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to measure the ammonia concentration in their exhaled breath. This technology would enable patients with CKD to monitor their physiologic status within the comfort of their own homes.
Managed by the Clemson University Research Foundation, the goal of the fund is to increase applied research collaborations between Clemson faculty, graduate students and Prisma Health clinicians and to promote ideation and design of medical technology innovations that are attractive for commercialization.
“The Innovation Maturation Fund is a special funding program that was developed in conjunction with the Clemson Division of Research and Prisma Health to target unmet needs in the health care industry,” said Chris Gesswein, executive director of the Clemson University Research Foundation. “I am excited to be able to participate in granting the first round of funds to deserving researchers through this new program. An important step towards fostering and supporting innovation in health sciences, with this program we have the unique opportunity to accelerate the commercialization of medical technologies in an effort to create a more self-sustaining model for promoting growth in health care.”
“Prisma Health is excited to partner with Clemson University to engage companies and researchers in developing the next innovative breakthroughs in healthcare,” said Cody Reynolds, technology transfer manager in the Office of Innovation at Prisma Health-Upstate. “The Innovation Maturation Fund provides early-stage technical solutions to clinical opportunities and access to clinical learning environments that will equip researchers with the tools necessary to successfully obtain public and private funding.”
Hitachi, Clemson partner on new initiative see more
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death. It accounts for 31 percent of deaths globally1 and for more than $351 billion in health expenditures, costs which are expected to increase by 100 percent by 2035.
More than ever, there is a growing need for a highly trained workforce that can play a critical role in reducing these alarming statistics. Clemson University and Hitachi Healthcare Americas are answering this call. The two have joined forces to accelerate innovation in cardiovascular imaging to help students reach their full potential.
Technical training for quality care
Early detection and diagnosis through regular appointments and the use of technology, like cardiovascular sonography, is critical to reducing cardiovascular related deaths and improving the quality of life for millions of people worldwide. And with an aging baby boomer population, cardiovascular sonographers are in high demand. The current health care market employs approximately 130,000 sonographers and is expected to experience a growth rate of 14 percent (18,000 jobs)3 between 2018 and 2028.
Providing students with real world experience, and access to state-of-the-art facilities and technology are critical priorities for preparing the talent pipeline.
Since 2011, Clemson’s Department of Public Health Sciences has offered the Cardiovascular Imaging Leadership Concentration in collaboration with the Health Sciences Center at Prisma Health. Through this program, the University has been instrumental in preparing students to enter the workforce by offering technical training in noninvasive vascular testing and adult echocardiography.
Now, through Hitachi and Clemson’s most recent collaboration, Clemson’s CVT students will have the chance to use Hitachi’s software further preparing them to enter the health care industry. Hitachi is also establishing the Hitachi Healthcare Outreach and Professional Development Fund, which will support faculty and students for programming and outreach efforts across South Carolina.
Students will have access to VidiStar PACS Online Reporting software Platform, Hitachi’s DICOM viewer, echo viewer and report modules and vascular reports. Hitachi is also providing staff to train students on use in a clinical setting.
Software for the cardiovascular sonography machines use soundwaves (ultrasound) to create a moving image of the heart. Combined with Doppler ultrasound, physicians can see areas of poor blood supply to the heart in patients with conditions, like:
coronary artery disease (CAD)
valvular heart disease
deep vein thrombosis-DVT
peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
And the non-invasive2 procedure allows medical professionals to:
Assess overall function of the heart
Determine the presence of many types of heart disease
Follow the progression of heart disease over time
Evaluate the effectiveness of medical or surgical treatment
Sonographers are also tasked with providing notes and feedback to physicians when they’re unavailable, increasing the importance of sonographers’ role on patient health and outcomes.
Hitachi Healthcare America’s value-based structured reports leverage a cloud-based image management and analytics platform, helping customers successfully deploy and adopt technology across complex and diverse organizations, apply advanced analytics and data mine to their valuable patient data.
The reporting softwares being provided by Hitachi will further strengthen the skillset of CVT graduates, ensuring they are prepared to execute the necessary reports.
This is not the first venture between Clemson and Hitachi4. Hitachi High Technologies has long partnered with the Electron Microscopy Facility providing cutting edge microscopes and supporting the Hitachi High Technologies Graduate Fellowship to further the depth and breadth of advanced research and development being done at Clemson.
Hitachi and Clemson’s most recent partnership will accelerate innovation through an in-depth understanding of issues facing healthcare through the eyes of its students. The next generation of ideas and improvements will benefit Hitachi’s product development, Clemson’s students and patients everywhere.
SCBIO Newsletter - Dr. Harris Pastides, AVX Corp., Dr. Jerry Youkey receive Top Honors at SCBIO 2019Read all the news of note from South Carolina's booming life sciences ecosystem right here! see more
Enjoy reading SCBIO's newest newsletter, featuring top stories on the life sciences ecosystem in South Carolina. This issue contains highlights from the record-setting and just-concluded SCBIO 2019 Annual Conference... SCBIO's inaugural Annual Report to download... feature articles on SC life sciences and organizations... launch of the new
Southeastern Life Sciences Alliance... articles, important dates and much more. Click here to read the full issue!
CarThera and KIYATEC Collaborate in Effort to Bring Personalized Medicine to Patients Stricken by Brain CancerSynergistic technologies with potential to transform the standard of care and improve outcomes see more
GREENVILLE, S.C. & PARIS, France – November 18, 2019 – KIYATEC, Inc. and CarThera announce today that they have entered into a clinical collaboration for the purpose of advancing innovation and improving treatments for patients diagnosed with glioblastoma, a highly aggressive form of brain cancer that afflicts more than 130,000 patients worldwide per year and is characterized by historically poor clinical outcomes. The collaboration will focus on accelerating the development and validation of their emerging technologies to improve both the selection and effectiveness of drugs commonly recommended and used to treat the disease.
“Relevant clinical advances that improve outcomes for patients with glioblastoma have been few and far between over the last two decades,” said Frederic Sottilini, CEO of CarThera. “Despite multimodal therapy, median survival remains around 15 months for these patients, virtually all of whom recur. Our goal is to optimize the selection and delivery of drug therapies to extend the lives of patients with glioblastoma.”
The two companies were brought together by one of the world’s leading neuro-oncology and glioblastoma experts, John de Groot, M.D., professor and chairman ad interim, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, who recognized the synergistic nature of their respective clinical initiatives. CarThera is currently conducting a multi-center clinical study of its novel ultrasound technology, SonoCloud-9, designed to increase the permeability of the blood brain barrier to improve the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to the brains of patients with recurrent glioblastoma. KIYATEC is conducting a multi-center clinical study of its ex vivo 3D cell culture technology to accurately predict pre-treatment, patient-specific response to recommended standard of care cancer drugs for newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma.
“As someone who cares for patients with glioblastoma, I applaud the efforts of CarThera and KIYATEC to bring evidence-based advances to the clinic for the purpose of improving outcomes for patients with glioblastoma,” said Dr. de Groot. “I envision these two technologies as being complementary with the potential to transform the way in which neuro-oncologists manage glioblastoma patients.”
Under the terms of the clinical collaboration, KIYATEC will conduct ex vivo drug response profiling on glioblastoma tissue samples from patients enrolled in CarThera’s clinical study. CarThera will benefit from having ex vivo drug response profiling for patients enrolled in its study, while KIYATEC will correlate its patient-specific, pre-treatment drug response predictions with actual clinical outcomes of patients in CarThera’s study. For both companies, this collaboration represents an opportunity to enrich their portfolios of clinical evidence with the goal of helping clinicians improve outcomes for their patients with glioblastoma.
“Both of our companies are dedicated to ensuring that glioblastoma patients receive the most appropriate drug therapy at the right time, and that the efficacy of that therapy is maximized to its fullest therapeutic potential,” said Matthew Gevaert, CEO and co-founder of KIYATEC. “We believe that this clinical collaboration has the potential to help us accelerate and deliver on the long-awaited promise of personalized medicine for these deserving patients.”
Both companies will be sending delegates to the 24th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, November 20-24 in Phoenix, Arizona.
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 Drug Development Services business works in partnership with leading biopharmaceutical companies to unlock response dynamics for its investigational drug candidates across the majority of solid tumor types. 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. To learn more about KIYATEC, visit www.kiyatec.com.
CarThera designs and develops innovative therapeutic ultrasound-based medical devices for treating brain disorders. The company is a spin-off from AP-HP, Greater Paris University Hospitals, the largest hospital group in Europe, and Sorbonne University. Since 2010, CarThera has been leveraging the inventions of Professor Alexandre Carpentier, a neurosurgeon at AP-HP who has achieved worldwide recognition for his innovative developments in treating brain disorders. CarThera developed SonoCloud, an intracranial ultrasound implant that temporarily opens the blood-brain barrier (BBB). CarThera is based at the Brain and Spine Institute (Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, ICM) in Paris, France, and has laboratories at the Bioparc Laënnec business incubator in Lyon, France. The company, led by Frederic Sottilini (CEO), works closely with the Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound (Laboratoire Thérapie et Applications Ultrasonores, LabTAU, INSERM) in Lyon. www.carthera.eu
Clemson's Martine LaBerge shapes students, future through ehr work see more
Martine LaBerge said that in her 17 years leading Clemson University’s bioengineering department, she has learned something about leadership that she passes on to colleagues who are just starting down the same path.
“I tell them it’s all about people,” she said. “You get people aligned under one roof to believe in one brand and to have a mission that is focused on something other than themselves.”
A new award has brought leadership sharply into focus for LaBerge, who has served as chair of the bioengineering department since 2002.
The Biomedical Engineering Society recently honored LaBerge with the inaugural Herbert Voigt Distinguished Service Award. The honor recognizes her extraordinary service to the society through volunteering and leadership.
It’s the latest of many milestones in a career devoted to advancing the field of bioengineering and turning Clemson’s bioengineering department into a powerhouse of education and research.
“Dr. LaBerge epitomizes the kind of leadership we seek at Clemson,” said Robert Jones, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost. “For our future success it is vital to look at what she has accomplished in bioengineering as a benchmark and instill a similar passion in the next generation. If we do this well, it will strengthen Clemson for decades to come.”
LaBerge has helped establish new collaborations with the likes of Arthrex, Prisma Health and the Medical University of South Carolina. She has had a hand in hiring all but one of the department’s 30 faculty members, and she has worked with them to develop new curricula.
LaBerge was at the helm when a 29,000-square-foot annex was added to Rhodes Engineering Research Center. And she played a central role in establishing the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus, also called CUBEInC.
The department’s faculty, with LaBerge’s support, lead two separate Centers of Biomedical Excellence, together representing $37 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health.
Clemson ranks fourth this year among the nation’s best value schools for biomedical engineering, according to bestvalueschools.com. And in a separate ranking by U.S News & World Report, Clemson ranked 21st among biomedical engineering programs at public universities nationwide.
I.V. Hall, a former master’s student under LaBerge who is now on the department’s advisory board, said she has the ability to get people to buy into a vision and deliver what it takes to make it happen.
“Her influence and her passion are the reasons the department is where it is,” said Hall, who is worldwide president for the DePuy Synthes Trauma, Craniomaxillofacial and Extremities Division. “She personifies Clemson bioengineering.”
Throughout her career, LaBerge has remained in touch with students and their needs.
The commitment to students made an impression on Margarita Portilla, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in bioengineering and is now pursuing her Ph.D. in bioengineering.
“Dr. LaBerge is very close and always interacting with her students,” Portilla said. “I was always fascinated with her. As an undergraduate, I told my friends, ‘When I grow up, I want to be like Dr. LaBerge.’”
One of LaBerge’s guiding principles is summed up in the department’s motto, “exemplifying collegiality.”
At the start of each semester, she asks faculty to reflect on how collegial they are, using a short questionnaire and meter they can use to assess themselves. She also gives students a wallet-size card with the department’s mission, vision and goals, underscored by the motto in capital orange letters.
LaBerge calls it their “credit card to graduate and be successful in life.”
She said that what she likes best about her job is mentoring faculty, networking, building Clemson’s academic reputation and working with students.
“There is no better professional than a Clemson bioengineering student,” LaBerge said. “It’s because of the way we educate them. They’re honest, and they have integrity. Our kids leave with emotional intelligence, because they see people doing it. We teach by example, and we lead by example. And I think everybody in this department is like that.”
Nicole Meilinger, a senior bioengineering major, credits LaBerge with helping open several opportunities for her.
She said that LaBerge encouraged her to apply for a three-semester rotation at CUBEInC through the Cooperative Education Program. The position put Meilinger into contact with some of the department’s industry partners and gave her the chance to conduct research.
Meilinger said her work was published, and she had the opportunity to present her findings at conferences.
LaBerge also introduced Meilinger to a class on developing and selling medical devices and recommended her for an Arthrex scholarship, which she received. Meilinger said that she has secured an internship with Arthrex and plans to start after graduating in May.
“I came into bioengineering not knowing what I wanted to do, and Dr. LaBerge has been the biggest mentor in helping me find different career paths,” Meilinger said. “She’s always helping us in ways you can’t even imagine.”
LaBerge, who is originally from Canada, arrived at Clemson as an assistant professor in 1990. She remembers having offers from other U.S. schools within a year. Two years after she arrived at Clemson, she interviewed to be an astronaut, she said.
“That was when they were working on the space station,” LaBerge said. “Canada needed a couple of astronauts. I went through the interview process.”
Ultimately, another candidate was chosen, and LaBerge said that she admired and followed his career.
What has kept her at Clemson for nearly decades are the opportunities in the department.
“Larry Dooley (retired bioengineering chair and Clemson vice president of research) was a big mentor of mine,” LaBerge said. “He always saw positive, he always saw growth, he always saw big. I’m the kind of person who does not like to sit down. I like big things to look after. So, I think Larry was very instrumental with this.”
LaBerge has held numerous leadership positions in professional organizations, including president of the Society of Biomaterials, member of the Biomedical Engineering Society Board of Directors and chair of the Council of Chairs of Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering in the U.S. and Canada.
In Clemson, her leadership positions included seven months in 2013 as acting dean of what was then the College of Engineering and Science, before the current dean, Anand Gramopadhye took the helm.
“Dr. LaBerge’s passion inspires students, faculty and staff to aspire to greater heights, learn more and achieve to the best of their abilities,” Gramopadhye said. “The Department of Bioengineering is thriving under her leadership. Further, she has exhibited leadership in key professional organizations, helping enhance Clemson’s national reputation in bioengineering. I congratulate her on the Herbert Voigt Distinguished Service Award. It is richly deserved.”