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Steve Johnson

  • sam patrick posted an article
    SCRA makes third investment in Zylo Therapeutics see more

    South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA’s) investment affiliate, SC Launch, Inc. has made its third investment into Zylö Therapeutics, Inc. This $300,000 investment will help the company continue providing therapeutic topical solutions.

    Zylö Therapeutics became an SCRA Member Company in 2018 and received a $21,500 Project Development Fund Grant. They also received a $41,000 SBIR/STTR Matching Grant in 2020. Zylö also became an SC Launch, Inc. Portfolio Company in 2019 when they received their first investment of $200,000. They also received a $182,500 investment as part of SC Launch, Inc.’s pandemic funding round to startups providing COVID-19 solutions.

    Zylö developed a sustained-release drug delivery system that uses patented xerogel-derived particles, called Z-pods™, to topically deliver Nitric Oxide and other notoriously hard-to-deliver therapeutic agents. The technology enables a product concept called the Patchless Patch™, an innovative, competitive response to a lidocaine patch.

    SCRA Investment Manager Steve Johnson said, “Technology applied to health care challenges is a powerful tool and the Zylö Z-pod® delivery system is creating value not only in health care but in a wide range of applications, from medicine to agriculture. These solutions have the potential to benefit us all.”

    Founder and CEO Scott Pancoast said, “We knew we discovered something special with our breakthrough delivery technology. The highly engineered silica-derived Z-pods enable us to improve performance of a wide range of payloads. Our success is changing the way treatments can be delivered via the skin, providing sustained release with fewer systemic side effects. The teams at SCRA and SC Launch, Inc. continue to be trusted partners, and we’re glad they are on this journey with us.”

    Scott Pancoast was a recent guest in our CEO Podcast Series. Listen to learn more about Zylö’s progress with silica particles, Nitric Oxide, and other developments for medical treatment solutions.

    “The list of health care conditions to be treated by Zylö’s developments continues to grow. They are pursuing solutions to help patients with lupus, hair loss, joint pain, and even burns, just to name a few. Their commitment to innovative treatment discoveries have set them on a path of continued growth and success. We’d excited to have them in our portfolio of companies,” said Bob Quinn, SCRA Executive Director.

     

    About SC Launch Inc.

    Established in 2006, SC Launch, Inc. is the investment affiliate of the South Carolina Research Authority. The independent nonprofit corporation provides loans and investments to selected South Carolina-based companies participating in the SC Launch program.

    About SCRA

    Chartered in 1983 by the State of South Carolina as a public, nonprofit corporation, South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy through the impact of its four programs. SC Academic Innovations provides funding and support to advance translational research and accelerate the growth of university-based startups. SC Facilities offers high-quality laboratory and administrative workspaces for technology-based startups and academic institutions. SC Industry Solutions facilitates and funds partnerships between and among startups, industry, and academia. SC Launch mentors and funds technology-based startups that may also receive investments from SCRA’s investment affiliate, SC Launch, Inc.

  • sam patrick posted an article
    South Carolina company a leader in organ transportation see more

    Compliments of Upstate Business Journal

    You might not realize it, but there’s a company right here in the Upstate that’s on the cutting edge of organ transplant technology.

    Duncan-based Global Transplant Solutions is quite literally named for what they do. They provide the solutions in which organs are transported to medical facilities all over the world for transplant procedures.

    In the past four years, Global Transplant Solutions has blazed an innovative trail. They’re supplying a complete portfolio of organ preservation solutions to the Canadian transplant market, they’ve received FDA clearance for two products in the United States market, and there are four more GTS solutions awaiting FDA approval.

    The company has been able to do this in a relatively short amount of time thanks in part to the South Carolina Research Authority. The SCRA is a public, nonprofit corporation that supports South Carolina’s innovation economy.

    Since 2017, Global Transplant Solutions has received $350,000 in investments from the SCRA-affiliated corporation, SC Launch, Inc., which provides loans and investments to select, South Carolina-based companies across three areas: Life Science, Information Technology, and Advanced Materials & Manufacturing.

    “With the assistance of SCRA and many other places, we went forward, raised private money, started the company and pursued FDA approval of our first product, which we got in 2016,” says John Bruens, the CEO of Global Transplant Solutions. “We’ll eventually have seven FDA-cleared products, exclusively geared towards the organ transplant market, and we are the only company on the planet to have anything like that.”

    Steve Johnson, investment manager at SC Launch, says their investment in GTS started small but they saw great potential in the company.

    “We gave them a very small grant of $15,000 in April of 2017 when we discovered them,” Johnson says. “They were in the world where there is always much, much higher demand than there is supply. So once you have a patient that is in dire need of an organ, it is everything everybody can do to get an organ donor found and then get that organs safely transported to where it’s going to be done. And Global Transplant has the solutions, literally. They make the solutions that the organs are put in during the shipment process so that they will be fully functional when they’re implanted into the patient.”

    Johnson says the SCRA and SC Launch are thrilled with the results they’ve seen so far.

    “Our relationship is one of communication,” he says. “It’s one of trust and it’s one where we are very closely following their financial situation.  It’s been a very fulfilling relationship; that $15,000 grant to help them get started led to a pretty major investment in them and then, a second investment.”

    In fact, SC Launch, Inc. recently stepped in again and helped GTS when COVID threw them a curveball.

    “In April 2020, the biggest transplant centers like the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic basically said, ‘We’re not accepting any more of your solutions from FedEx or UPS,’” Johnson says. “’We want them to be shipped directly in a truck from your facility in the Upstate of South Carolina and delivered directly to our door.’ Well, that was a whole other twist of logistics for them because they’d never done that. They came to us and said, ‘We’ve got to get trucks. We’ve got to hire people. We’ve got to hand-deliver these solutions.”

    “There was a concern amongst our customers that standard shipping groups were exposing, through no fault of their own, groups to potential infection,” John Bruens adds. “And the one thing you cannot do when you’re in the organ transplant is accidentally infect somebody. Our solutions are very sensitive; they’re temperature sensitive, they’re not made to be out on tarmacs getting hot. So we needed to figure out how to continue to deliver to these places that absolutely needed our product.”

    “Our relationship is one of communication,” he says. “It’s one of trust and it’s one where we are very closely following their financial situation.” – Steve Johnson
    Thanks to a loan from the SCRA and SC Launch, the company was able to do just that.

    “This company wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for SCRA and their support,” Bruens says. “We’re always looking for ways to be better, and SC Launch and SCRA helps with that.

    “Global Transplant Solutions is a gem of a company,” Johnson adds. “We’re very proud to be associated with them, we’re very proud to have invested in them, and we’re very proud of the work they’re doing.”

    According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), more than 35,000 organ transplants a year are performed in the U.S.  As this article was being completed, GTS announced that the FDA had given clearance to another of their solutions, Servator® P, which is used for safe human lung transportation.

     September 12, 2021
  • sam patrick posted an article
    Prisma Health Center aims to identify, prevent cancer... see more

    As someone familiar with the devastation of a loved one’s cancer diagnosis, Steve Johnson has long been an advocate for knowing his own risks for developing the disease. So when a genetic test revealed he carried a BRCA1 gene mutation, a high indicator for breast cancer, he suggested his three daughters get tested as well. But when two of the three tested positive for the gene, and subsequent tests revealed one had developed breast cancer at a barely detectable point, knowledge of the family’s risk factors became truly life-saving.

    An innovative new initiative at the Prisma Health Cancer Institute aims to help people like the Johnsons identify and manage their risk factors for cancer, examining links between lifestyle, genetics and cancer formation, with the goal of eventually preventing cancer at its earliest molecular development.

     

    Read the complete story here...