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Biomaterials Maker to Open Plant in Tucker

Wednesday, December 12, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Angela King
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Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

A biomaterials maker plans to invest more than $20 million in a manufacturing plant in metro Atlanta.

Netherlands-based Purac will make resorbable polymers for the medical and pharmaceutical industry at the 60,000-square-foot plant in Tucker. The project is expected to create up to 50 jobs, according to a source. The plant will open in early 2014.

Purac makes lactic acid-based bioplastics. The company is part of Netherlands-based CSM NV, a global player in bakery supplies and food ingredients. Purac has five production units worldwide and employs more than 1,000.

The cost of doing business and available real estate makes Georgia an attractive destination for pharma-related manufacturing. Warehousing and distribution costs are nearly13 percent lower in Atlanta than in Boston or San Francisco.

Manufacturing costs in Georgia, meanwhile, are nearly 17 percent lower than the coasts.

The Metro Atlanta Chamber has seen a 20 percent increase in life sciences prospects eyeing Atlanta for expansions and relocations. The Peach State landed29 percent more life sciences economic development projects in fiscal 2012 compared with the prior year, according to the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Emory gets $3.2M grant. Emory University was awarded a $3.2 million grant to develop sexual health intervention for high-risk teens.

Emory University School of Medicine’s Jane Fonda Center will partner with the Rollins School of Public Health and Grady Health System’s Teen Services Clinic to design, implement and evaluate a clinic-based intervention to improve the use of “dual protection” in young African-American females.

The five-year grant is a collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Dual protection means taking steps to prevent both unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, Dr. Melissa Kottke, assistant professor in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory, said in a statement. Encouraging teens to make a decision for dual protection and supporting them in being consistent in its use is essential, Kottke said.

Provenge clinical trial. Georgia Health Sciences University is recruiting patients for a clinical trial that aims to improve survival rates of the FDA-approved prostate cancer drug Provenge.

Provenge is manufactured by Seattle-based Dendreon Corp. The company opened a 155,000-square-foot plant in Union City in August 2011 to make Provenge.

The trial, led by GHSU Cancer Center Director Samir Khleif, is the first in the country to investigate prostate cancer treatment combining Provenge with two other cancer-fighting drugs, CT-011 and cyclophosphamide, according to a GHSU statement.

Provenge, an immunotherapy treatment, has been found to extend life expectancy of certain men with advanced prostate cancer by nearly 20 percent.

Provenge works by training the body’s immune system to find and attack prostate cancer cells. Khleif’s trial hopes to boost Provenge’s effectiveness by combining it with two other drugs: CT-011, a type of antibody that reverses immune suppression caused by cancer, and cyclophosphamide, which in a low dose enhances the effect of Provenge and CT-011.

Both have been safely used alone or in combination with other cancer therapies, but never for prostate cancer. Preclinical animal studies in Khleif’s lab found that the combination of Provenge with these two other drugs led to a significant increase in survival and complete tumor regression in more than 50 percent of mice. Based on these results, Dendreon and Khleif are collaborating on this first human trial.

ATL gets corporate HQ. Health-care information technology company Streamline Health Solutions Inc. is moving its corporate headquarters from the Cincinnati area to Atlanta.

The medical software firm said it will create nearly 25 jobs in Atlanta in the next year.

In April, Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported that Streamline planned to expand in Atlanta.

Streamline (Nasdaq: STRM) develops enterprise content management and business analytics software for health-care providers.

Much of the company’s senior management team, including CEO Robert Watson, is based in Atlanta.

Watson is the former CEO of DocuSys Inc., an Atlanta anesthesia information systems provider that was acquired by Merge Healthcare Inc. in 2010. Streamline signed a nearly 10,000-square-foot lease at Promenade in Midtown.


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