Teachers Get a Hefty Dose of Biotech at Week-Long Georgia Bio Workshop
Thursday, June 21, 2018 10:27 AM

Local Biopharma Company UCB Invests in Future Local Workforce by 
Hosting Intensive Teacher Training

Atlanta, GA (June 21, 2018)– The Georgia BioEd Institute’s Summer Biotech Immersion program, sponsored by local biopharma company UCB, provided a laboratory-intensive professional learning experience to eight high school biology/biotechnology teachers on June 4-8, 2018. If funded for summer 2019, the pilot program is intended to become an annual offering for Georgia educators from Georgia Bio, the state’s life sciences industry association. 

Georgia’s biotechnology and medical device industry have grown at a rapid pace in recent years according to a recently released reportfrom TEConomy & the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. According to the 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. Companies have also expanded their establishment count by 16 percent during this same period and now operate 2,431 across the state.” Indicators like these show the need for preparing the workforce for this high-paying STEM sector.

Cambium Enrolls First Patient in Phase I/II Study to Evaluate Platelet Lysate Biologic for Graft-vs.-Host Disease Dry Eye
Friday, June 15, 2018 12:00 AM

Cambium Medical Technologies (“Cambium”), a clinical stage company, announced today first patient enrollment for its Elate Ocular topical fibrinogen-depleted human platelet lysate biologic in a randomized, multicenter, double-masked placebo-controlled parallel Phase I/II study. The study is designed to determine safety and exploratory efficacy in patients with dry eye secondary to graft-versus-host disease. The core study involves a minimum of 60 patients at up to five U.S. eye centers. Including two sub-studies, a maximum of 108 patients may be enrolled in the overall study.

To our knowledge, our study is the first to evaluate a standardized, cGMP processed, allogeneic (donor sourced) versus autologous (patient sourced), enriched platelet-rich-plasma lysate serum drop in a U.S. IND sanctioned dry eye clinical trial,” said Terence Walts, President & CEO of Cambium. The industry already recognizes autologous and PRP serum as generally proven therapies to treat the symptoms of not only dry eye but numerous additional corneal diseases and conditions. To date, however, their use has been largely relegated to end stage, failed meds status for inherent reasons unrelated to efficacy. Cambium believes, following approvals--its Elate Ocular product has potential as a main stage, first line therapy for many corneal diseases and conditions including GvHD dry eye,” said Walts.

SLAS DISCOVERY Publishes Ground-Breakig New Article – “Clinical Trials in a Dish: A Perspective on the Coming Revolution in Drug Development”
Wednesday, June 06, 2018 10:21 AM

SLAS Discovery, a leading peer-reviewed scientific journal, today announced the publication of a ground-breaking new article by Coyne Scientific co-authors Bernard Fermini, Ph.D., Kevin P. Coyne, MBA and Shawn T. Coyne, MBA titled, “Clinical Trials in a Dish: A Perspective on the Coming Revolution in Drug Development”.  The article – which describes a novel drug safety testing paradigm that bridges the worlds of preclinical testing and clinical trials – can be accessed for free ahead-of-print on the publisher’s website at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2472555218775028.

According to Bernard Fermini, Chief Scientific Officer: “The cost of developing new drugs has reached unsustainable levels, fueled in large part by high attrition rates in clinical development. Recent studies have shown that individual drug susceptibility in a population of volunteers with unknown genetic background can be recapitulated in human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) derived from these same individuals, providing a proof of concept for in vitropreclinical trials, and enabling cell-based screening for safety and toxicity at the level of a population, similar to clinical trials.  This new platform, termed “Clinical Trials in a Dish”, or CTiD, allows researchers to define the incidence and distribution of effects of drugs (whether beneficial or adverse) across a population long before actual clinical trials, so that a pharma company can curtail development of ‘future failures’ early on while continuing development of safe compounds that might not have met traditional safety margins.” 

Halyard Health Announces Agreement to Acquire CoolSystems, Inc., Marketed as Game Ready
Wednesday, June 06, 2018 10:19 AM

Halyard Health, Inc. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire CoolSystems, Inc., marketed as Game Ready, a market-leading provider of cold therapy and compression therapy systems for a total consideration of $65 million in cash.

Game Ready develops, manufactures and markets the Game Ready® product line, used in the pain management and rehabilitation of patients recovering from orthopedic surgery or sports-related injuries. Its product line includes GRPro 2.1 cold and compression therapy system; Med4 Elite™ multi-modality therapy unit; ATX Wraps; and a variety of product accessories, all of which complement Halyard's existing Pain Management portfolio.

Game Ready's innovative brands have helped build a strong reputation within the medical community. The Company's customer base includes some of the world's leading orthopedic hospitals and athletic organizations, providing Halyard greater access to the orthopedic and sports medicine markets.  GRPro, the flagship Game Ready product, includes a portable control unit and portfolio of anatomical wraps and sleeves, which deliver controlled cold and compression therapy to all major body parts. Game Ready's new rehabilitation product, Med4Elite, performs rapid contrast therapy with compression.

National Bioscience Industry Report Shows $2T Economic Impact, Accelerated Venture Capital Investment & Job Growth
Tuesday, June 05, 2018 12:00 AM
A study released today at the BIO International Convention shows that the U.S. bioscience industry has reached $2 trillion in annual economic impact while maintaining accelerated venture capital investment and job growth numbers. Among U.S. technology sectors, the bioscience industry has held a leading position as an economic driver and job generator.
The report, Investment, Innovation and Job Creation in a Growing U.S. Bioscience Industry 2018, finds U.S. bioscience firms directly employ 1.74 million people, a figure that includes more than 273,000 high-paying jobs created since 2001. The average annual wage for a U.S. bioscience worker reached $98,961 in 2016. These earnings are more than $45,000 greater, on average, than the overall U.S. private sector wage. The report further shows that since 2014, the bioscience industry has grown by 4.4 percent with four of its five major subsectors contributing to this overall job gain.
For the first time, the biennial report includes a full assessment of the economic impact of the bioscience industry and finds its total economic impact on the U.S. economy, as measured by overall output, totaled $2 trillion in 2016. This impact is generated by the direct output of the bioscience industry combined with the indirect (supply chain) and induced (employee spending) impacts. The industry and its associated economic output support 8 million jobs throughout the entire U.S. economy through both indirect and induced effects. 
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