Fully biodegradable plastic straw developed by Danimer Scientific
Thursday, October 04, 2018 11:02 AM

Necessity being the mother of invention, it was only a matter of time before a biodegradable plastic straw—not a poor paper substitute—came on the scene. That’s what Danimer Scientific, a developer and manufacturer of biodegradable plastic products, announced today with the creation of what it calls the first fully biodegradable plastic straw using its Nodax polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) material.

“The environmental impact of straws and other single-use plastic items has become a critical issue for cities and companies across the country,” said Scott Tuten, Chief Marketing Officer at Danimer Scientific. “The challenge is that there are few durable, yet eco-friendly alternatives available. Thankfully, research has found that PHA effectively biodegrades in environments ranging from waste treatment facilities to landfills and oceans. With that stamp of approval, we are excited to be bringing truly biodegradable straw resins in the near future to businesses that are looking to replace petrochemical plastic straws in restaurants, amusement parks and more.”

Former Georgia Research Alliance CEO joining Emory University
Thursday, October 04, 2018 09:19 AM

The Georgia Research Alliance’s Michael Cassidy is joining Emory University, according to Emory President Claire E. Sterk.

Cassidy will take a new position that is designed to provide vision and leadership to promote biomedical innovation and enhance the university’s economic engagement in the Atlanta region and beyond.  

As director of the new Emory Biomedical Catalyst, Cassidy will lead efforts to enhance innovation, entrepreneurship and development of intellectual property, as well as identifying and developing areas of frontier research. He began working with Emory this week.

“Emory University’s research initiatives have benefitted society in many ways,” Sterk said in a release. “Mike Cassidy brings great experience in translating research into impact, and his work here will energize an already vibrant and collaborative faculty and student culture.”

Georgia Bio Announces Keynote and Featured Speakers for Annual Innovation Summit
Tuesday, October 02, 2018 10:54 AM

American Cancer Society CEO Gary M. Reedy to discuss organization’s new venture fund to commercialize promising new cancer therapies Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield in conversation with Chief Medical Officers from Quest and Abbvie to discuss digital health innovation in the 21stcentury

Atlanta, Georgia (October 2, 2018) – Georgia Bio announced today keynote and featured speakers for its Annual Innovation Summit, Tues., Oct. 9, 2018 at Cobb Galleria. Gary M. Reedy, CEO, American Cancer Society (ACS), will discuss the organization’s new venture fund and its plans to commercialize cancer-focused therapies, medical devices and technologies. 

Following his keynote address on “Capital Continuum from Research to Commercialization,” Reedy will be joined by Robert L. Crutchfied, managing director of the new ACS BrightEdge Ventures, and Rob King, senior vice president, Enterprise Planning and Business IntegrationACS, in a fireside chat led by Tiffany Wilson, CEO, Global Center for Medical Innovation, 2018 Summit Chair to discuss the fund’s plans to support emerging technologies and its impact on future cancer research and treatment. “It has been an honor to Chair this year’s Summit,” Wilson says. “Along with Gary, Bob and Rob, I am eager to highlight our ecosystem’s latest advancements including ACS’s approach to addressing gaps in the capital continuum for medtech and bio-innovators. We hope to demonstrate how this approach will translate into faster time-to-cures and lower cost of development and care.”

In the area of digital health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield will kick-off a luncheon keynote panel on the “Future of Digitalization in Health.” Joining him will be prominent chief medical officers Dr. Rob Scottof Abbvie and Dr. Jay Wolgemuth of Quest Diagnostics. This panel will provide an overview perspective of digital health for decision makers in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries and the scientific and clinical community.

The Summit is the largest gathering of life science leaders in the state. According to the2018 TECONOMY/Biotechnology Innovation Organization report, the state’s bioscience firms have grown their employment base by 10.6 percent since 2014 and employed just over 32,000 in 2016. The number of companies has grown by 16 percent during this same period and now number 2,431 across the state. Georgia’s research universities conducted nearly $1.1 billion in bioscience-related academic R&D in 2016; funded, in part, by a growing base of National Institutes of Health awards that reached $537 million in FY 2017.

As many as 500 CEOs, senior executives, investors, university scientists, physicians, and public policy experts are expected to attend the day-long Summit. In addition to the keynote speakers, the Summit will feature more than 50 experts in panel discussions highlighting the full range of bioscience innovation in Georgia. The day-long program will cover the span of life science sectors including biotech/pharma, medical devices, diagnostics, academic research, and healthcare IT.  

“We’re excited to host two of the U.S.’s leading experts in life sciences at this year’s Summit, Gary Reedy of ACS and Dr. Robert Redfield of the CDC,” said Georgia Bio Chair, Patricia Fritz, Vice President, U.S. Corporate Affairs at UCB Inc. “We believe the future of the life sciences is strong in Georgia, thanks to established and emerging companies that call our state home. The Summit will be a great showcase of the life sciences industry creating hundreds of jobs, the presence of new venture funds to commercialize research, and our world-class research institutions.” 

The breakout sessions throughout the day will focus on Digital Health Innovations Impact on Population Health; Increasing Minority Patient Enrollment in Clinical Trials; Advancing Immunotherapy Breakthroughs; Innovations in Advanced Manufacturing; the EB-5 Visa Program; Capital Raising, and more. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in peer-to-peer, small group interactive best practice Roundtables facilitated by industry leaders across several functional areas such as regulatory compliance and training and purchasing and procurement. 

Georgia’s bioscience industry has consistently outpaced the national growth rate and contributes significantly to the state economy. Attendees will get a chance to learn more about emerging technologies from Georgia’s universities and companies by stopping by the Innovation Stage during the exhibition breaks.  

The Summit serves as the only life sciences exposition in Georgia with an Exhibit Hall featuring the latest research, technology and services at companies, universities and other organizations.  The Summit also features a scientific poster contest where representatives from Georgia-based academia, research institutes and industry alike will showcase their research. The Anthony Shuker Scientific Poster Awards sponsored by UCB will be presented by Stacy Williams Shuker, Ph.D., Down South Innovation.  

The conference will close with a panel discussion on “The Future of Life Sciences in Georgia,” presented by Georgia Research Alliance, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia Global Health Alliance and Georgia Bio. Speakers will discuss the latest efforts to improve access to capital, grow our workforce, and develop resource and innovation centers to position Georgia as a leading state for biosciences. Immediately following remarks, the event will close with a networking reception.

For more information about the Summit, please visit www.georgiabiosummit.org.    

About Georgia Bio

Georgia Bio (www.gabio.org) is the state’s private, non-profit life sciences association. Members include pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, medical centers, universities and research institutes, government groups and other business organizations involved in the development of life sciences related products and services.


Media Registration: Registration is complimentary forcredentialed members of the news media. To request media registration, please contact Maria Thacker at [email protected]| 404-920-2042. 

Georgia Bio Appoints Maria Thacker Acting President and CEO
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 01:14 PM

Atlanta, Georgia (September 26, 2018) – Georgia Bio today announced that Maria Thacker Goethe has assumed the role of Acting President and CEO for the trade association and the Georgia BioEd Institute. She will also remain in her capacity as Executive Director for the Georgia Global Health Alliance.

Ms. Thacker Goethe has served in a variety of roles for Georgia Bio over the years including Marketing, Membership and Project Manager. Since 2013, she served as Vice President of Operations. An innovative thinker with broad-based expertise in operations, community relationship building, and marketing Ms. Thacker Goethe has been a driving force behind Georgia Bio’s programs and the development of the Georgia BioEd Institute. As the organization has grown, Ms. Thacker Goethe’s role and responsibilities have continued to increase and evolve. Her institutional knowledge of the organization and the community positions Georgia Bio for continued success. 

GeoVax Awarded $2.4 Million from U.S. Department of Defense to Advance Lassa Fever Vaccine
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 09:09 AM

Atlanta, GA - (NewMediaWire) - September 26, 2018 - via NEWMEDIAWIRE -- GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing innovative human vaccines, announced today that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded the Company a $2,442,307 cooperative agreement in supportof its novel Lassa Fever (LF) vaccine development program. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity pursuant to the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP), part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). In addition to the grant funds provided directly to GeoVax, DoD will also fund testing of the GeoVax vaccine by U.S. Army scientists under a separate subaward.

The project award, entitled “Advanced Preclinical Development and Production of Master Seed Virus of GEO-LM01, a Novel MVA-VLP Vaccine Against Lassa Fever”, will support generation of immunogenicity and efficacy data for GeoVax’s LF vaccine candidate in both rodent and nonhuman primate models, as well as manufacturing process development and cGMP production of vaccine seed stock in preparation for human clinical trials. The work will be performed in collaboration with the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the Geneva Foundation, and Advanced Bioscience Laboratories (ABL).

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