Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Dec. 4 announced a Virginia Bioscience Initiative, kicking off the effort with a public and private sector roundtable discussion on the commercialization of university bioscience research at the State Capitol. Half of all research performed at Virginia universities is in the biosciences.
A study released Nov. 18 by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, says the average cost to research and develop a new medicine has doubled over the past decade to $2.6 billion. The analysis was developed from information provided by 10 pharmaceutical companies on 106 randomly selected drugs that were first tested in human subjects anywhere in the world from 1995 to 2007.
Des Moines, Iowa–based Eurofins Scientific announces the opening of a microbiology laboratory in Garden Grove, Calif., early this month, the fourth microbiology lab development this year in North America for the global food testing firm, which acquired SF Analytical Laboratories in New Berlin, Wis., in November. The Garden Grove site will be co-located with CAL Science, an environmental laboratory acquired by the Eurofins Group earlier this year. "The addition of the Garden Grove laboratory aligns with Eurofins' strategy to provide clients with the necessary testing for importing and exporting their products close to vital US commercial ports including those in Southern California," said the company.
BookThatDoc, which launched in Orlando with fewer than 10 employees in Oct. 2013, announced Dec. 8 it would expand its operation by 43 jobs over the next three years. The company, based at the Church Street Exchange in downtown Orlando, said it plans to add jobs in IT, software development and customer service to expand its scheduling services to medical professionals from Jacksonville to Tampa and then statewide.
In a separate announcement one week prior, Prime Therapeutics Specialty Pharmacy said it would add 100 more jobs by the end of 2015 in Orlando, after nearly doubling its staff in the past two years to more than 250, with the expectation of employing more than 300 by the end of March. "Orlando is an ideal location for Prime's specialty pharmacy," said Duane Barnes, chief operating officer for Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime). "Since opening, we have far exceeded the commitments we made to the county, city and state. Not only does Orlando offer a great pool of health care talent, but it has a strong workforce at all levels."
Kaiima Bio-Agritech, an Israel-based genetics and breeding technology company, announced in late November it had established a wholly owned subsidiary in St. Louis to lead its North American activities, and had appointed former Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto and Donald Danforth Plant Science Center leader Sharon Berberich to head those operations.
“We chose St. Louis as the base of our US operations because of the region's unique ecosystem that combines an entrepreneurial environment with strong plant science research and commercial activity,” she said We are specifically excited to work with BioSTL, an organization committed to nurturing business relationships in the region, with a new initiative that focuses on St. Louis-Israel collaborations.”
PPD founder Fred Eshelman has announced a $100-million donation to UNC-Chapel Hill, the largest single gift ever received by the university. He had already donated $38 million to the school, which in 2008 renamed its School of Pharmacy for him. The commitment will be used to create a center within the school named the Eshelman Institute for Innovation. The institute's goals are to fuel innovation, create jobs and spur economic development in the state and provide faculty with new resources to engage in timely, opportunistic research, education and practice.
Shire Pharmaceuticals announced Nov. 19 it would relocate over 500 positions to Massachusetts from its Chesterbrook, Pa., site and establish Lexington, Mass., as the company’s US operational headquarters. “The transition is a continuation of the Company’s ‘One Shire’ efficiency program,” said the company, “and will streamline business globally through two principal locations — Massachusetts and Switzerland — with support from a limited number of regional and country-based offices around the world.” Due to increased efficiencies, Shire expects to realize approximately $25 million in annual savings beginning in 2016.
Medical facilities developed in Indianapolis, Florida, New Jersey and Tennessee by Duke Realty have been honored as finalists in four out of nine categories of Healthcare Real Estate Insights™ magazine’s annual national awards program. They include Baptist Memorial Rehabilitation Hospital in Germantown, Tenn.; Fifth Third Bank Building (Eskenazi Health, pictured) in Duke’s hometown of Indianapolis; James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital Primary Care Annex in Tampa, Fla.; and Palisades Ambulatory Care Center in North Bergen, N.J.
Kevin M. Smith, president and CEO of the Colorado Institute for Drug, Device and Diagnostic Development (CID4) since 2010, will retire from his position as CEO on December 31, 2014. A search committee has been formed.
“With the ongoing changes in the healthcare and life science sectors, CID4 is revisiting how it can best support our industry,” said Steve Orndorff, PhD, chairman of the CID4 board and president and CEO of MicroBiome Therapeutics. “CID4 is well positioned for its future and we believe the new executive director position will strengthen our alignment with the State of Colorado in our mutual quest to create new jobs and business opportunities within the dynamic life science sector of advanced industries.”
Prior to helping found CID4 in 2009, Smith was president of Gambro, Inc., the US holding company for Gambro AB, the Sweden-based medical device and healthcare services company. He started his career with Arthur Young in New York and was a partner with Ernst & Young, leading the development of their Colorado life science practice at the time he left to join Gambro.
“CID4’s success is grounded in the excellent technologies that are being developed in Colorado,” said Smith. “We have invested approximately $3 million into nine early-stage companies. Those firms have gone on to create 85 new jobs and raise an additional $30 million to support the commercialization of their patient-focused technologies. I am proud to have played a role in this process.”
Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation Reza Moridi announced in November the establishment of the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine (OIRM), a new organization that will bring together world-class teams to conduct cutting-edge research and apply newly discovered treatments to a wide variety of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, blindness, heart and lung diseases. The institute is a partnership between the Ontario Stem Cell Initiative (OSCI) and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), and will receive $3 million from the province. The OSCI is a network of more than 145 stem cell and regenerative medicine programs across Ontario. The current global market for tissue engineering and cell therapy combined was $10 billion in 2011 and projected to reach $19.4 billion by the end of 2015. To date, Ontario has committed over $150 million in funding to 139 stem cell and regenerative medicine projects.