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  • Lab Space Forum

    COVID-19 has impacted the demand for lab space in the North Carolina, but the state is continuing to see growth because its quality of life and lower costs, especially as compared to Boston and the West Coast. The positive assessment was one conclusion offered by panelists participating in NCBIO’s member forum on lab space, held digitally on July 16. Thanks to CSC LeasingEvans General Contractors, Humboldt and Lee & Associates for sponsoring this Forum.  And thanks to the panel.

    BMF Members Hear about Steps to Help Workers Return after Staying at Home During COVID-19 Pandemic

    Jeff Gagnon and Kay Barrett of Cushman & Wakefield talked with NCBIO Biotech Manufacturers Forum members about steps to take in helping employees return to work along with information about challenges they face in working from home.  

    Life Science Caucus Hears about COVID Research and Company Expansion

    The Legislative Life Science Caucus got another virtual update in June concerning new developments in the State’s life science sector. Dr. Timothy Sheahan, of the UNC-CH Gillings School of Public Health, briefed legislators on the School’s ongoing program of coronavirus research. Alex Graham, Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing Operations, with ThermoFisher Scientific, said the contract manufacturing company is working on 200 projects related to COVID-19.  He reviewed the company’s various operations across the State, including operations in Weaverville, High Point, Research Triangle Park, and Greenville.  

    NCBIO Holds Virtual Medical Device Forum

    Medical Devices: Product Strategy and Implications was the focus of NCBIO's first virtual forum. Members heard about  the technologies and commercialization activities at local biomedical engineering programs and from companies commercializing new technologies. Thanks to ShareVault and Smith Anderson for sponsoring the event.

    Legislative Session, Life Science Caucus and More

    The General Assembly has returned for the 2020 session to focus on budget items.  The Life Science Caucus held a virtual meeting in May to hear about efforts by NC life science companies on COVID-19.  Click to see June Newsletter to get complete information.


    NCBIO is monitoring a variety of issues and assisting members during the COVID-19 crisis.  For resources and information, click, or contact NCBIO.

    Life Science Caucus Tours Pfizer Sanford Facility

    Members of the Life Science Caucus traveled to Sanford to visit the Pfizer vaccine and gene therapy facilities.  Co-Chair Representative Robert Reives (D-Chatham & Durham), who represents part of the area, noted the importance of continuing the growth in the industry, saying “results of our work is more than talking about policy, it’s about jobs and families.”

    Co-Chairman Senator Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus) talked about the importance of reducing the franchise tax, so that companies can continue to grow and thrive.  Dr. Robert Popovian of Pfizer discussed rebates, fees, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and other impacts on drug pricing.  



    Melissa Bishop-Murphy (Pfizer), Sam Taylor (NCBIO), Rep. Terence Everitt, Rep. Joe Sam Queen, Rep. John Sauls, Rep. Robert Reives, Sen. Paul Newton, Tony Mulcahy (Pfizer) and Allison Grannis (Pfizer)

    Leadership Development Focus of BMF Meeting

    Three NCBIO Biotech Manufacturers Forum (BMF) members shared leadership development strategies their sites use in growing and developing leaders.  

    Vinay Khanna (Merck), Darren Alfono (Novozymes), and Jonathan Kegerise (Seqirus)

    IP Lifeblood of Bioscience Industry

    Intellectual Property protection, drug pricing and artificial intelligence are key topics for people working in the life science intellectual property space according to the panel discussion for the NCBIO Life Science Luncheon and Forum on February 19. 

    Moderated by Julie Meigs, J.D., Ph.D., Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson, and panelists

    • Shawn Glidden, J.D., Vice President Legal Affairs & Secretary, Liquidia Technologies
    • Gary Pace, J.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Cell Microsystems
    • Mike Penn, J.D., Principal Counsel, Intellectual Property & Litigation, Amgen
    • Tim Wilson, J.D., Director, Patents, SAS

    Thank you to our sponsors: Aon; Hughes Pittman & Gupton; Jenkins, Wilson, Taylor & Hunt; and Womble Bond Dickinson. 

    Legislative Life Science Caucus Visits Johnston County

    The Life Science Caucus toured the Johnston County Workforce Development Center and the Grifols’s plasma fractionation facility in Clayton on Monday, February 3. Caucus Co-Chair Representative Donna (R-Johnston) McDowell White who represents Johnston County hosted the event and spoke about the amazing partnership that’s be forged by community college, Grifols and Johnston County’s second major biomanufacturer, Novo Nordisk.  Caucus co-chairs Senator Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus), Senator Mike Woodard (D-Durham) and Representative Robert Reives (D-Chatham) reiterated White’s remarks. 

    ​Life Science Caucus Members: Sen. Mike Woodard, Rep. Robert Reives, Rep. Lisa Barnes, Sen. Paul Newton, and Rep. Donna McDowell White with Grifols Site Manager Doug Burns.

    Trends in Biomanufacturing

    Single use systems, continuous manufacturing, use of data, and modular construction units were among the topics discussed at the Biomanufacturers Forum meeting.  Thanks to Rich Motruk (Kymanox), Stephen Perry (Kymanox), Keith Fritsky (Gore PharmBio Products, and Raj Vora (DPR Construction) for making the presentations to the group.

    Changing Landscapes for Clinical Trials

    Analytics, virtual clinical trials, more diversity in participants, adaptive designs and other topics were discussed during the NCBIO Luncheon and Forum on “Clinical Trials: Changing Landscapes and Potential Pitfalls. Panelist Matt Becker of SAS talked about the use of “real world data” and simulations to optimize patient selection and recruitment.  

    Christina Cocciardo of PPD defined some of the challenges with adaptive designs and novel approaches to clinical trials, noting there is a reluctance to depart from traditional designs. “Optimizing Diversity in Clinical Trials” was the focus of the presentation by Allison Kalloo of Clinical Ambassador Health.  Karen Makhuli of G1Therapeutics served as moderator for the panel discussion.  For more information about the event, contact Amber Niebauer.

    Thanks to ChubbPwC and Wyrick Robbins for sponsoring the event.  If your organization would like to sponsor and NCBIO event in 2020, contact Laura Gunter.

    NCBIO Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary as Part of the Annual Meeting

    Tributes from partnering organizations, staff cutting a cake, and a slide show highlighting NCBIO work were all part of the 25th anniversary celebration.

    Innovation, Access, Microbiome, Market Trends and More at NCBIO Annual Meeting.

    Dr. Martin Murphy, Founding Chief Executive Officer, CEO Roundtable on Cancer and Project Data Sphere was the opening keynote for the NCBIO Annual Meeting.  Dr. Murphy discussed innovations in personalized medicine and the impact on cancer treatment.  The meeting also featured panels on Access and Availability and ​Ag and Human Microbiome along with presentations on Capital Formation and Market Trends by Peter Meath and Lauren Ruane, the Co-Heads of Healthcare Banking at JP Morgan.

    Thank you to our sponsors:

    Platinum: BIOBioventusCook Medical, and VWR
    Gold: BDOFUJIFILM Diosynth BiotechnologiesGrifolsLaSalleGroup/Mentor Technical Group, and Novo Nordisk
    Silver: AdvaMedCharter Medical, Office DepotThe Conafay Group, UCB
    Bronze: Business Wire, G1TherapeuticsGSKIQVIA BiotechLiquidiaMispro Biotech ServicesNikonNovozymesThermoFisher, and  UniFirst/UniClean

    NCBIO Annual Meeting Dinner

    Partnering 101: Tales from the Trenches was the topic for NCBIO's Annual Meeting Dinner. Neil Jones of Lindy Biosciences was the moderator.  Panel Participants were Derek Norman of Bayer and Tom Adams or Pairwise discussing their company collaboration, and Lauren Drowley of UCB and Charles Gersbach of Element Genomics talking about UCB's purchase of Element Genomics.  Thanks to BIO, Frankel Staffing Partners and VWR, part of avantor, for sponsoring the event.

    Growing Pains in Lab Space Market

    Lab space for start-up companies moving to the next stage of development is limited in a maturing market according to panelists at the July 16 NCBIO Luncheon and Forum.  Bill Bullock, Sr. VP, Economic Development & Statewide Operations, North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBiotech), moderated the lively discussion with the four panelists who shared a range of views about the lab space market. Panelists were:

    • Matthew Cooke, Principal, Corporate Advisory Services Division, Davie Moore
    • Ed Field, President, BioLabs North Carolina
    • Andy Schwab, Ph.D., President, First Flight Venture Center
    • Neill Sherron, Director of Leasing Longfellow Real Estate Partners

    Thanks to Davis Moore, Longfellow Real Estate Partners, and VWR for sponsoring the event.



    Lawmakers Hear about North Carolina’s Role in Genomic Medicine

    NCBIO and BIO hosted a one-hour session at the General Assembly this month to brief lawmakers on Genomic Medicine, including North Carolina’s leadership position in bringing new genomic medicines to market. The program included information regarding:

    • Health conditions that can be addressed through genomic medicine
    • Why North Carolina is a leader in genomic medicine research and manufacturing
    • The economic impact and opportunities that genomic medicine companies bring to North Carolina  
    • The value that genomic medicine brings to a patient and their family
    • Access and affordability

    Speakers were Sara Imhof (NCBiotech), Dr. Jude Samulski (AskBIO)Jay Griffin (Parent), Rep. David Lewis (Legislative Host), and Sam Taylor (NCBIO). More

    Plant and Animal Production Topics for Caucus Meetings

    The General Assembly’s Life Science Caucus met jointly in June with Assembly’s Agriculture and Rural Caucus.  The two groups used the opportunity to learn of new life science technologies promising to bring better crops and improved livestock management to farmers.  Guest presenters included representatives of NCBIO members Pairwise and Premex.

    Tom Adams, CEO of Pairwise, told lawmakers his company decided to locate in North Carolina because of the diversity of agriculture in the State and the researchers at the universities. He discussed the company’s efforts to change where berries and fruits can be grown and research on how to extend shelf life an create other improvements in fruits and vegetables.

    Anne Ballou, Lead Scientist at Premex’s North Carolina research center, reviewed the company’s research on animal health, especially the need to understand the microbiomes of livestock digestive tracts.  Among other things, Premex hopes to exploit microbiomes’ capacity to stimulate the immune system and improve animal health.  

    Workplace Safety and Human Performance Focus of Safety Summit

    Todd Conklin challenged participants at the NCBIO Biotech Manufacturers Safety Summit to change some of their traditional views about safety in the workplace.  Conklin, author of Simple Revolutionary Acts: Ideas to Revitalize Yourself and Your Workplace, said that the traditional viewpoint is that “Workers are the problem to be fixed.”  He countered that “Workers are not the problem. They are the problem solvers.” He talked about the importance of encouraging workers understand their environments noting that “Safety is not the absence of accidents rather safety is the presence of defenses.”  Conklin reinforced the importance of “shifting thinking from who failed to what failed.”

    Peter Self, Associate Director, Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability, at Biogen opened the day’s activities noting the importance of integrating human performance principles into Biogen’s operations, which helps drive continuous improvement.  Biogen was a sponsor of the event and also served as the host site for the Summit. 

    Tom Wilson, the sole survivor of a plane crash in Canada that killed seven other people, talked about the importance of courage. Wilson is author of a book about his experience, Moments of Impact.  He talked about the importance of individuals taking a risk and having the courage to speak up when they recognize a safety issue. He noted that if he or others had spoken up about the weather problems the day of the plane flight, the crash could have been avoided.  He outlined 10 areas for hazard and safety identification.

    Jennifer Bailey with Alabama Power Company & Southern Company outlined steps her organization has taken to help change behavior, encouraging reporting of incidents and using positive reinforcement to break down barriers to safety, which in-turn have significantly reduced significant injury and fatality rates.

    Roger Paules and Ray Best of Duke Energy discussed steps the organization takes to help companies with emergency and disaster situations.

    Thanks to BiogenDuke Energy and the NCBIO Biotech Manufacturers Forum (BMF) members for sponsoring this event. 


    Drug Development and Innovation Discussed at Legislative Life Science Caucus Meeting

    “More than 7000 new medicine are in development around the world,” Sharon Brigner, PhRMA Deputy Vice President, State Policy, told the Legislative Life Science Caucus May 22.  “Medicines are transforming the treatment of devastating diseases. On average 70% of the drugs are potential first-in-class therapies, meaning they use a completely new approach to fighting a disease.”  More

    Diagnostics in the Age of Precision Medicine

    Patent protection, coverage and reimbursement, use of diagnostics for new cell and gene therapies - just a few of the topics covered at the May NCBIO Life Sciences Lunch and Forum.  NCBIO President Sam Taylor served as moderator.  Thanks to Rick West of Baebies, Geraldine McDowell of LabCorp and Nick Lazaridis of AccuGenomics for a great panel discussion.

    Thanks to Jenkins, Wilson, Taylor & Hunt, and VWR for sponsoring the forum.

    2019 NCBIO Legislative Reception

    NCBIO members talked with legislators about the growth in the industry and its economic impact on the State at the annual event.  The new Legislative Life Science Caucus Co-Chairs attended the session.  Co-Chair Sen. Paul Newton (R-Cabarrus & Union) talked with NCBIO members from his district.  Co-Chairs Rep. Donna McDowell White (R-Johnston), Sen. Mike Woodard (D-Durham, Granville & Person) and Rep. Robert Reives (Chatham & Durham) gathered for a group photo.


    Biotech Manufacturers Forum Focuses on Workforce Needs

    The growth in North Carolina's biomanufacturing sector and the need for more employees and training was the topic for the March BMF meeting.  John Balchunas of the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing of Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) talked about assessments under way by the organization.  Bill Bullock and Laura Rowley with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center discussed growth by the industry and the ​Window on the Workplace Survey being conducted by the Center and NCBIO.


    ​Emerging Therapies: Reshaping How We Treat Disease - Winter NCBIO Luncheon and Life Science Forum

    The opportunities, the challenges and the financing of gene therapies and other innovative cell technologies were topics at the recent NCBIO Life Science Forum.  Four panelists outlined plans by their companies in developing treatments for patients.

    Michael Dombeck (Precision Biosciences), Tom Jede (bluebirdbio), Susan Nichols (Falcon Therapeutics), Al Pritchard (Kaio Therapy) and Cartier Esham (BIO)

    Michael Dombeck, Vice President of Business Development, Precision BioSciences, outlined qualities of the ARCUS therapeutic-grade gene editing platform developed by his company. bluebirdbio selected North Carolina over other locations for its manufacturing site primarily because of the talent here stated Tom Jede, Site Head and Senior Director, Vector Manufacturing. Susan Nichols, Chief Executive Officer, Falcon Therapeutics, discussed the Trilogy cells, a new class of cells, that can seek out tumor cells and destroy them. Kaio Therapy is developing an Immune Activating Hyperthermia Treatment that CEO Al Pritchard says “awakens your body’s immune system to fight your specific cancer.”  

    Thanks to Aperio Clinical OutcomesBIOHughes Pittman & Gupton, and Smith Anderson for sponsoring the event.

    Brian Johnston (BIO), Faye Woolf (Aperio Clinical Outcomes), Chris Capel (Smith Anderson) and Tom Fagley (Hughes Pittman & Gupton, LLP)


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