Life Science Sector Growing Area of Interest for Lawmakers
Members of the Legislative Life Science Caucus talked with NCBIO members at a Luncheon and Forum August 28th. The group consistently mentioned the sector’s two-fold benefit to North Carolina – good jobs and better health. The Caucus is composed of members from both political parties, as well as from the General Assembly’s two chambers, the House and Senate.
Senate Co-Chair Tamara Barringer (R-Wake) said interest in the life science sector and the Caucus had resonated with members as a result of the tours to companies in different parts of the State. She noted the bi-partisan collaboration of the Caucus and the participation from lawmakers in the urban and rural areas.
Senator Mike Woodard (D-Durham) suggested that the Caucus may look at developing a Life Science bill each session as the Legislative Agriculture Caucus has done each year in drafting a Farm Bill.
Representative Nelson Dollar (R-Wake) called for more funding for the SBIR matching grant program. Rep. Dollar was instrumental in getting the $1M SBIR funds restored during the 2018 session. “Many legislators didn’t initially understand the impact of SBIR funds, but now know the impact is far beyond the urban areas with companies in rural areas also securing grants.”
Former House Caucus Co-Chair, Ed Hanes, talked about the importance of the universities and community colleges in strengthening the State’s workforce. He also emphasized K-12 education, “We need put teachers and all kids in a position to achieve. If we let teachers, teach, we can get the workforce going.”
All the panel members emphasized the importance of strengthening workforce training. Sen. Barringer noted that the life science companies “brought good paying jobs to the State when industries such as textiles left the State.”
The lawmakers also discussed addressing wastewater issues to ensure that companies keep coming to the State.
Lab Space in North Carolina - NCBIO Luncheon and Forum
Companies looking to move into or obtain new lab space need to expect it will take six months or longer to move into the space. Panels said uplifting the space, permitting and other issues require time in obtaining lab space. Doug Edgeton, CEO of the NC Biotechnology Center, moderate the panel with Matthew Cooke (Davis Moore Capital), Justin Parker (Wexford Science & Technology), Neill Sherron (Longfellow Real Estate Partners) and Andy Schwab (First Flight Venture Center). The speakers noted that the Research Triangle area has become a very competitive market. NCBIO thanks Davis Moore Capital, Longfellow Real Estate Partners and Wexford Science & Technology for sponsoring the event.
SBIR Road Tour
NCBIO was a luncheon sponsor for the SBIR Road Tour Day in North Carolina June 22. Sam Taylor talked with participants about the reinstatement of SBIR Matching Grant funding in the state budget. Attendees hear from a number of federal agencies that provide SBIR/STTR grants. NCBIO member Eva Garland of Eva Garland Consulting was moderator of a panel of SBIR award winners.
Checking “Business Fitness” – Topic of BMF Meeting
FDA enforcement actions are on the rise, Conrad Heilman and Rob Fromuth of Business Fitness, Inc. told the NCBIO Biotech Manufacturers members at the June meeting. Heilman and Fromuth discussed the importance of being proactive instead of reactive – “getting a business check-up and taking action now to avoid serious consequences down the road.”
2018 NCBIO Annual Legislative Reception
Nearly 200 legislators, staff and NCBIO members attended the 2018 Legislative Reception June 12th at the NC History Museum. Below are photos of members and legislators.
The Digital Health Intersection
Digital health devices may help treat chronic pain and enable patients to do more self care. The use of devices for data collection generated lot of discussion among participants. Panelists for the event were Erica Jackson, Moderator (K&L Gates), Adam Roth (Galvani Bioelectronics), Mircea Despa (BD Technologies), and Don Turner, Digital Health Impact & Transformation (DHIT).
Thanks to EFL Associates, Marsh & McLennan Agency and PwC for sponsoring the event.
Life Science Caucus Tours NC Research Campus
The Legislative Life Science Caucus members heard about nutrition and physiology research under way at the North Carolina Research Campus, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Presenters from Appalachian State University, told lawmakers the “Collaborative Approach to Human Performance Research” that it is undertaking with support from North Carolina State University’s “Plants for Human Health” initiative and Dole Food Company.
While touring the Research Campus’ facilities, lawmakers also heard from representatives the UNC-CH Nutrition Research Institute, NCCU Nutrition Research Program, the David H. Murdoch Research Institute, the NC State Food Processing and Innovation Center and a private company at the Campus, Endeve Laboratories.
During a luncheon, Life Science Co-Chair Senator Tamara Barringer (R-Wake) said the Caucus is visiting a variety of life science sites to find about “the wonderful things happening in life sciences across the State.” Co-Chair Representative Susan Martin (R-Wilson) added, “North Carolina is a leader in this industry, and we want to stay there so we will be emphasizing that in making policy and funding decisions.”
Biomanufacturing in North Carolina topic for April edition of Business North Carolina
NCBIO President Sam Taylor was moderator of a discussion roundtable about biomanufacturing in North Carolina. Participating in the discussion were Sergi Roura, President, Facilities North America, Grifols Shared Services, NA; Ted Lithgow, COO, Humacyte; Christine Vannais, Senior Director of Manufacturing, FUJIFILM Diosynth; Brandon Berga, AVP Plant Management, Merck; Bob Keynon, VP of North American Manufacturing, Biogen; Rep. Nelson Dollar, (R-Wake); Sam Taylor, President, NCBIO; Bob Smith, Senior Vice President, Global Gene Therapy Business, Pfizer; Bill Bullock, Senior Vice President, NC Biotechnology Center.
NCBIO with Legislative Life Science Caucus in Tour at Winston-Salem
Members of the Legislative Life Science Caucus toured Cook Medical and the Wake Forest University Innovation Quarter to find out more about the development of medical devices and innovation activities. The legislative group has been traveling to different areas of North Carolina to get a first-hand look at the state’s life science industry.
NCBIO Life Science Forum on Privacy and Data Security
NCBIO thanks Sean Blake of BioCryst for moderating discussion on privacy and data security with panelists: Brandon Champion, Syneos Health; Ted Medthun, FufjilmDiosynth; and Paulette Mara and Adrienne Ehrhardt, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. Thanks to Donnelley Financial Solutions and Michael Best & Friedrich LLP for sponsoring the Lives Science Forum for members.
The panel members reviewed privacy and security laws, made suggestions on steps companies can take to strengthen security and encouraged them to focus on the most important areas to protect.