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  • 13 Dec 2018 1:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This year saw a renewed focus on the bioscience sector in Alabama – an industry that stretches to nearly every corner of the state. It was identified by local and state economic development groups as an area where the state is poised to grow.

    At the Economic Development Association of Alabama Winter Conference in February, Peggy Sammon, Chairman for BioAlabama, said the industry organization was ready to take the lead role in making that growth happen. To kick off their efforts, the group issued an impact study.

    Read Full Article Here

  • 20 Nov 2018 2:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The word “biotech” might evoke images of lab coats and petri dishes and, while that is certainly part of the story, BIO Alabama wants to make sure it isn’t the entire story.

    A new video with amped-up music and images that cut across a wide swath of the important industry aims to frame biotech differently in the state.

    Read Full Article Here


  • 1 Nov 2018 3:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center has formed a partnership with the Lung Cancer Alliance to reach underserved people who are most at-risk for lung cancer. 

    A three-year, $1.6 million grant from the Bristol-Meyers Squibb Foundation will establish the Alabama Lung Cancer Awareness, Screening and Education program, which aims to address the racial and socioeconomic disparities in lung cancer, which are predominant in Alabama and the South.

    The ALCASE program will combine the Lung Cancer Alliance’s expertise in lung cancer screening and will expand the cancer center's Deep South Network Community Health Advisor model to decrease lung cancer diagnoses. The purpose of the overall program will be to increase participation and increase screenings by providing community-based support to local health care facilities

    Read Full Article Here

  • 22 Aug 2018 1:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

    Southeast BIO is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the 2018 SEBIO Awards. These annual awards honor healthcare and life sciences organizations in the Southeast US whose achievements are bringing the region into focus as a hub of medical and technological innovation.

    This year we will recognize companies from five categories, each representing a corporate or financial milestone. We will also recognize an individual with our customary Lifetime Achievement Award, reserved for passionate leaders who have made significant contributions to the life sciences industry in the Southeast.

    The catergories are: 

    • INITIAL FUNDING: Initial equity financing of less than $1 million
    • VENTURE FUNDING: Equity financing of greater than $1 million
    • STRATEGIC INVESTMENT: Strategic investment in award company by a peer
    • STRATEGIC ACQUISITION: Material acquisition of an award company or by an award company
    • INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING: Initial securities offering to the public

    Recipients will be invited to accept their awards and briefly discuss their successes on the main stage at the Southeast Bio Investor & Partnering Forum on November 13 & 14 in Atlanta, GA. Winners will also be featured in the conference materials and website.

    Join us in celebrating those who have created lasting value for our region by nominating them - or yourself! - for this special recognition. Eligible companies are those who have achieved the category milestone since November 1, 2017 and who have headquarters or substantial operations in the Southeast US.


    The deadline for nominations is Monday, September 17 at noon ET. Please submit nominations to Evan McClure MD or by clicking here. For additional information, contact David L. Day, Executive Director of SEBIO here.


    About SEBIO
    Southeast BIO (SEBIO) is a regional non-profit organization that fosters the growth of the life sciences industry in the Southeastern United States through efforts that promote entrepreneurship and bring together the key players active in the development of the industry. SEBIO's geographic footprint includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. We focus on key industries within the life sciences, including: bio/pharma, medical devices and technology, agricultural biotechnology, animal health, bioinformatics, and biomaterials.

    Continue to the original article

  • 15 Aug 2018 9:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The Bio Brouhaha is back, and better than ever. Again we will meet other members of Birmingham's life sciences community over refreshments in an informal setting. On August 23, from 5:30-7:30 PM, as part of the Brouhaha "THESE ARE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD" series, we will convene at Innovation Depot, home to numerous highly dynamic life science startups. 

    They include companies offering medical diagnostics, fermented foods, cell lines, medical devices, regenerative medicine, and proteomics (just to name a few). Many thanks to Innovation Depot, Bradley Arant, and BIO Alabama for their support!  We look forward to seeing you there.

  • 14 Aug 2018 9:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    DEADLINE EXTENDED - LAST OPPORTUNITY!

    Introduce your company to targeted investors, VCs, and potential partners at the 2018 Southeast BIO Investor & Partnering Forum.

    The Forum provides opportunities for both early and mid- to late-stage companies that are looking for investment and business partners. Learn more about applying.

    The deadline for completed applications is 
    Tuesday, August 28, 2018.

    As a presenter you'll gain:

    • Visibility among potential investors and industry partners
    • A private advisory session with experienced business professional for early-stage companies
    • The opportunity to present to an audience of 350+ attendees
    • Complimentary registration for company representatives
    • Access to SEBIO Connect for scheduling one-on-one meetings
    • Inclusion in conference materials before, during, and after the event
    • Inclusion in the conference mobile app and website
    • Media exposure

    Start your application today!  Don't have time to complete it now?  Log in anytime
    up until the deadline to finish it.


    The application deadline has been extended through Tuesday, August 28, 2018.

    Venture funds that regularly attend SEBIO include:

    GRA 
    Venture Fund | Harbert Venture Partners | Hatteras Venture Partners | HealthQuest Ventures | H.I.G. Capital | J&J Development Corporation | Lilly Ventures | Lumira Capital | Merck | MPM Capital | New Enterprise Associates | Osage University Partners | Pappas Capital | Pappas Ventures | Southeast Investor Group | SR One | and many more!

    Bookmark the conference webpage to stay up-to-date on the Forum including announcements on the program, details on exclusive networking, and to ensure 
    your spot by registering now.


    Read The Original Article Here


  • 11 Jun 2018 7:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Over the final two decades of the 20th century and into the 21st, Alabama’s biotechnology sector developed steadily. It rose from the foundation established by the emergence of Birmingham — particularly the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the nonprofit Southern Research — as a leading national center for medical and scientific research.

    By the mid-1980s, UAB and local business leaders were moving to facilitate the commercialization of research and actively support the business climate for startups in biotech and other technology-related fields. That led to the creation in 1986 of the Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries (OADI).

    As an “incubator” for tech-based industries, OADI was successful from the beginning. In 2006, it was merged with small-business incubator The Entrepreneurial Center, and the following year — renamed Innovation Depot — moved into a renovated former Sears flagship in downtown Birmingham, where it has become one of the nation’s leading startup programs. Since 2010 alone, Innovation Depot has housed well over 100 companies, accounting for a combined economic impact of nearly $1.5 billion.

    Meanwhile, other biotech ventures across Alabama were finding success in their own right. Among the highlights:

    BioCryst Pharmaceuticals. Founded in 1986, BioCryst began as a tenant at OADI, developing antiviral drugs. The company went public in 1994, and by 2008 was recognized as one of the fastest-growing tech-based companies in America.

    Brookwood Pharmaceuticals. A spinoff of Southern Research — co-founder Art Tipton would become CEO of Southern Research in 2013 — Brookwood built its business on supplying biodegradable polymers. The company was acquired by Minnesota-based SurModics in 2007.

    HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. Opened in Huntsville in 2008, the nonprofit HudsonAlpha engages scientists, educators, clinicians and entrepreneurs in collaborating to apply genomic sciences to improving human health and well-being around the world.

    Evonik. In 2014, the German-based Evonik — one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies — chose Birmingham as the site of its first global “Innovation Center.” In an interesting twist on Alabama’s biotech history, the company in 2011 had acquired SurModics, the firm that bought Birmingham’s Brookwood Pharmaceuticals four years earlier. In March 2018, Evonik capped off $50 million in investments over its four years in Birmingham by making its Birmingham facility the site of its global Competence Center for Medical Devices.

    Baxter. A Fortune 500 healthcare company based in Illinois, Baxter acquired Swedish-based medical equipment maker Gambro in 2012. Two years later, Baxter announced a $300 million investment in expansion of the existing Gambro facility in Opelika, adding 200 jobs to the southeast Alabama community.

    Oxford Pharmaceuticals. In 2016, British-based Oxford opened a new $29 million, 200-employee manufacturing and distribution facility in Jefferson County.

    In part, the ongoing — and, of late, accelerating — evolution of Alabama’s biotech sector is an outgrowth of the change in the state’s economic development strategy that also began in the mid-1980s. Especially as it related to biotech and life sciences, a more collaborative and forward-looking approach took hold. Today, the results of that are becoming apparent.

    “By working together across the state,” says Carter Wells, vice president for economic development at HudsonAlpha, “Alabama continues to grow as the biotech hub of the Southeast. Our company is proud to play a significant role in the state’s success.”

    Even so, obstacles remain for Alabama to achieve its full potential in biotech. One is access to capital, not only to fuel the startup culture, but also to encourage companies founded in Alabama to remain in the state. Another is being intentional about workforce development, ensuring the availability of education, training, jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities necessary to develop a true “ecosystem” for the kind of growth that gave rise to tech hubs like Silicon Valley.

    Part of that comes from the presence of an entity like HudsonAlpha. As Wells notes, the institute’s “unique model” enables it not only to attract biosciences companies, but also to “train the next generation of scientists and grow Alabama’s biotech workforce.”

    Another part of that effort is Bronze Valley. Launched in 2018, the Birmingham-based nonprofit is focused on workforce development and access to capital, as well as commercialization of science- and technology-based discoveries made at established research centers around Alabama. Most particularly, the organization is working to create an education-to-opportunity pipeline for ethnic minorities and women, who currently are underrepresented in technology careers, as entrepreneurs and in other fields where innovators will lead the way in creating the jobs of the future.

    “It’s about creating and perpetuating a culture of innovation,” says John O. Hudson III, chairman of the board for Bronze Valley and senior vice president for marketing and business development for Alabama Power. “We have the momentum and the ingredients, and now we’re putting the collaborative infrastructure in place to support transformational growth.”

    This is the last in a series of three articles on the history of biotech in Alabama. Mark Kelly is a Birmingham writer who is a senior market specialist for Alabama Power.

    Read The Original Article Here

  • 8 May 2018 3:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Alabama’s multifaceted biosciences industry generates $7.3 billion in economic activity annually while supporting 780 companies and nearly 48,000 direct and indirect jobs across the state, according to a new analysis by researchers at the University of Alabama.

    The comprehensive study underscores the contributions and growth potential of the statewide life sciences sector, a robust combination of research institutions, medical labs, innovative startups, international pharmaceutical manufacturers, and more.

    “We have exceptional strengths in biosciences, including world-class research organizations and a roster of cutting-edge companies, so it’s a natural growth area for the state,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

    “We’re committed to helping accelerate the development of the life sciences sector, and we want the state to become home to more of these high-paying jobs and the talented individuals to fill them,” he added.

    Evonik operates a Global Competence Center for medical devices in Birmingham, where it produces biomaterials. (Image: Evonik)

    Noted Parkinson's researcher Andrew West (Associate Professor, Neurology) working in Neurology laboratory at UAB.

    HudsonAlpha's work focuses on genomics to discover more effective medical treatments and early diagnoses. (Image: HudsonAlpha)

    Researchers work in a Southern Research drug development lab. (Image: Southern Research)

    MASSIVE IMPACT

    The analysis, conducted for the BioAlabama industry trade group, shows that Alabama’s 780 life sciences companies directly employ 17,871 workers, each earning an average annual salary of $67,664. Total expenditures of those companies exceed $3.8 billion a year.

    Other key findings in the University of Alabama (UA) report:

    The bioscience industry’s 47,980 direct and indirect jobs in Alabama support a total yearly payroll of $2.3 billion.

    The industry contributes $3.9 billion annually to Alabama’s gross domestic product (GDP), nearly 2 percent of the state’s total economic output.

    The industry’s earnings impact generates $161.4 million in tax revenue annually, including $74.7 million in state income taxes and $86.7 million in state and local sales taxes.

    In addition, the UA researchers examined the economic contributions of bio-industries such as agricultural feedstock and chemicals, and bioscience-related distribution.

    They found that these activities magnified the impact of the core life sciences sector in Alabama, elevating overall economic output to $11 billion a year with more than 70,000 jobs and annual tax revenue topping $233 million.

    “This analysis confirms the far-reaching impact of Alabama’s bioscience industries throughout the state, and demonstrates why we continue to pursue strategies that allow the sector to continue to grow and create even more high-caliber jobs across the state,” said Blair King, president-elect of BioAlabama and manager of economic development and existing industry at Alabama Power Co.

    DIVERSE ACTIVITIES

    The foundations of Alabama’s bioscience research rest on the work conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Southern Research, the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, and the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell Cancer Institute.

    Their specialties of these organizations include drug discovery and development, genomics, and personalized medicine. They also frequently engage in collaborations such as the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance, a partnership between UAB and Southern Research that has developed a pipeline of potential therapeutics for diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

    Alabama is also home to multinational companies involved in pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing. In March, Germany’s Evonik, for example, announced plans to expand production of biomaterials and launch a Global Competence Center for Medical Devices at its Birmingham facility.

    “Evonik’s investments in the Birmingham site reflect its commitment to the medical device and drug delivery business as well as the city of Birmingham and its history of world-class medical research and technology,” said Kel Boisvert, Birmingham site manager for Evonik.

    Other manufacturers operating in the state include Kowa Pharmaceuticals (Montgomery), Nektar Therapeutics (Huntsville), Baxter and Pharmavite (both Opelika), and Oxford Pharmaceuticals, Avanti Polar Lipids and Biohorizons (all Birmingham).

    At the same time, a number of innovative startup companies have sprung up in Alabama, with many of them based at HudsonAlpha and Birmingham’s Innovation Depot, the Southeast’s largest technology business incubator.

    Promising startups include Birmingham’s Blondin Bioscience, Huntsville’s GeneCapture, Mobile’s Swift Biotech and Auburn’s Vitruvias Therapeutics.

    “We are fortunate to have started our business in Alabama because we have benefitted from the highly collaborative entrepreneurial spirit throughout the state, including Alabama Launchpad and the various Small Business Development Centers, and especially our connection with HudsonAlpha and the University of Alabama in Huntsville,” said BioAlabama President Peggy Sammon, CEO and co-founder of GeneCapture.

    “We have been able to find highly skilled molecular biologists, chemical engineers, optical engineers and lab specialists,” she added. “Our membership in BioAlabama has connected us with other scientists and business professionals who have significantly helped us advance our business plan.”

    Alabama’s research universities are key players in the bioscience ecosystem and contribute to the industry’s economic impact. The network includes Auburn University, USA, Tuskegee University, Alabama State University Alabama A&M University, and the three University of Alabama System campuses.

    GROWTH POTENTIAL

    The analysis is the first to comprehensively examine the economic impact of the state’s bioscience sector. It was prepared by Senior Research Economist Sam Addy, Ph.D., and his team at the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Business, with assistance from BioAlabama.

    Addy noted in the report that investing in life sciences should remain a pillar of the state’s overall economic development strategy.

    “Alabama should continue to keep biosciences as a focus in its economic development strategy since these industries provide high-wage jobs and are highly productive,” he writes.

    WHAT OTHERS SAY

    “Since launching its cancer program in 1946, Southern Research has discovered seven FDA-approved oncology drugs and made many significant discoveries that have helped patients with cancer and other diseases,” said Art Tipton, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Birmingham non-profit. “This highlights the vital importance of the groundbreaking bioscience work that continues to be done in labs in Alabama.”

    “I see UAB as not only the hub for healthcare innovation in Birmingham, but definitely throughout the state and the region,” said Kathy Nugent, Ph.D., executive director of UAB’s Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “That means producing as many companies as possible. It’s harder to produce biotech companies, because it takes time to develop new drug therapies. What we’re trying to do is think about it strategically and give our faculty the resources they need to be entrepreneurial to turn their research into new life sciences ventures.”

    “HudsonAlpha has gone from just a handful of startups and faculty to more than 35 life sciences companies and 15 faculty investigators in just 10 years,” said Carter Wells, vice president for economic development at HudsonAlpha. “It goes to show that Jim Hudson and Lonnie McMillian’s model works, and we’re proud to be a part of the biotech hub in North Alabama.”

    Read the original article here.

  • 7 May 2018 5:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    BioAlabama is looking to formalize a life sciences network throughout the state to enhance economic development in an important industry that stretches to nearly every corner of Alabama.

    The state’s industry organization is aligned with the national Biotechnology Innovation Organization, or BIO, the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotech centers and related organizations.

    Peggy Sammon, CEO of GeneCapture Inc. in Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, is on the BioAlabama board of directors. She outlined plans for BioAlabama to take the lead in helping grow biotech in the state at the Economic Development Association of Alabama Winter Conference earlier this week.

    A key element of that plan is to formalize a relationship between the state’s nine major bioscience assets in the state – UAB, HudsonAlpha, Southern Research, Tuskegee University, Auburn University, Alabama A&M, the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the University of South Alabama.

    “In every one of those locations, there is some groundbreaking research happening – whether it’s in human health or genetics or plant science,” Sammon said. “There is also a surprising amount of collaboration between these organizations and institutions, so it’s a good time in Alabama to see the bio-focus happening.”

    BioAlabama fosters economic development in Alabama’s life sciences from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

    In addition to the nearly $1 billion in research dollars coming into these institutions each year, Sammon said investors are putting money behind a number of entrepreneurs starting bioscience companies in the state, and programs like Alabama Launchpad are putting dollars into the industry.

    “The research dollars that pour into the state are a very big part of what’s happening here,” she said. “They are the catalyst that gets a lot of new products to come out of the state.”

    Sammon said Alabama can do more to support the industry and help it grow. She said states like Georgia and Massachusetts have programs and private sector support that Alabama could learn from.

    But, Sammon said, Alabama is already focusing on one important area for the industry to grow.

    “The companies that are coming to Alabama or growing in Alabama are looking for a highly skilled workforce,” she said. “If we look across the state, there are good science and biology programs in a lot of the major universities, of course, but also in a lot of the community colleges, so there is a good drive to bring a workforce into this part of the ecosystem.”

    Local and state economic development groups have identified bioscience as an area where the state is poised to grow.

    “Alabama’s bioscience industry is a vital economic engine for our state, creating high-paying jobs and generating important innovations that improve the quality of life for people here at home and all around the world,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “We’re focused on fostering growth in the bioscience sector and collaborating with the state’s research leaders to make that happen.”

    Sammon said BioAlabama is ready to take a lead role in making that growth happen.

    “In the last couple of years, because there has been so much growth in Alabama – in all of the research centers and in commercial development – this is a time where we’re starting to see the ecosystem is actually having a bigger component in BioAlabama,” she said.

    Read the original article.

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Connecting the Bioscience Ecosystem in Alabama

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