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  • 5 Oct 2020 5:22 PM | Deleted user

    BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA- Top-ranked startup accelerator gener8tor announced today the participants selected for 10 of its Fall 2020 gBETA cohorts. The 50 startups are located across the country, and represent a wide variety of industries and verticals, including IIoT, Medtech, SaaS and beyond.

    The Fall 2020 gBETA cohort is the inaugural cohort for the Bronze Valley Accelerator. The Bronze Valley Accelerator focuses on supporting female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color. gBETA is a free, seven-week accelerator that works with five startups at a time for no fees and no equity.

    gBETA is a program of nationally ranked startup accelerator gener8tor. Each cohort is kept small to ensure meaningful engagement with the gener8tor team, network and other resources. Participants receive intensive and individualized coaching and access to gener8tor’s national network of mentors, customers, corporate partners and investors.

    “Bronze Valley is committed to creating and maintaining an entrepreneurial environment that is more nurturing, more supportive and more inclusive,” said Bronze Valley President & CEO Neill S. Wright. “This cohort of promising startups represents a great start for the Accelerator.”

    The program is designed to help startups gain early customer traction on their product or idea, and establish metrics that can make them competitive applicants for full-time, equity-based accelerators or seed investment.

    “Bronze Valley serves as an important element in our efforts to enhance the vitality of Alabama’s innovation ecosystem, and the selection of the first class of startups represents a major milestone for the Accelerator,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “The guidance and mentorship these entrepreneurs will receive from Bronze Valley will play a vital role in launching their companies to the next level."

    The 10 Fall programs kicked off on Thursday, Oct. 1, and the startups will work with the gener8tor team over the course of seven weeks to meet mentors, gain customer traction and pitch to investors. Due to COVID-19, the Fall 2020 programs are all being held virtually.

    These programs will culminate in gener8tor’s first gBETA Pitch Series, “gener8tor is Grateful For…,” which will highlight each of the fifty companies via Pitch Night events taking place each night the week before Thanksgiving. This series will be an opportunity to listen and learn more about the companies, network with the founders and other community members and celebrate everything we have to be thankful for during this time. To view information about the full Pitch Series, click here. Bronze Valley Accelerator’s cohort will be highlighted during Virtual Pitch Night on Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 5 p.m. CT. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

    “The gener8tor and Bronze Valley partnership connects local and national partners, mentors and investors to support underrepresented founders in our region,” said Haley Medved Kendrick, Bronze Valley Accelerator Director. “The inaugural cohort showcases the creativity, resiliency and bravery of our people, and offers a clear example of the innovation happening in our state."

    The accelerator is supported by Bronze Valley, Alabama Power and the Alabama Department of Commerce. The Bronze Valley Accelerator is held three times per year, with five Alabama-based companies accepted per cohort to ensure a high level of individualized attention. The Bronze Valley Accelerator works with companies across all industries and business models. Those interested in learning more can reach out to Bronze Valley Accelerator Director Haley Medved Kendrick at or visit

  • 5 Oct 2020 5:17 PM | Deleted user

    The two technologies function at different points of the diagnostic process and could help detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the anticipated second wave of the pandemic.

    (BOSTON) — The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University announced today that its nasopharyngeal swab and toehold switch technologies have been licensed to Alabama-based Agile Biodetection, which will use them to develop solutions for unmet diagnostic needs in the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in environmental or clinical settings. The licensing agreement was coordinated by Harvard’s Office of Technology Development (OTD) in accordance with the University’s commitment to the COVID-19 Technology Access Framework.

    The Wyss Institute’s nasopharyngeal (nasal) swabs were developed in a multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary group effort led by Wyss Institute Senior Staff Engineer Richard Novak, Ph.D., and the Wyss’ Founding Director Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., as part of the Institute’s collective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Motivated by the serious shortage of swab devices for the collection of nasopharyngeal samples early in the pandemic, the researchers created a simple and effective devicewith advantages over other designs. The Wyss swab device is fully injection-molded from a single material, and as such, can be mass manufactured in a one-step process that is faster, less expensive, and routinely used by a broad range of experienced medical device manufacturers worldwide. Conventional nasal swabs that are commonly used in infectious disease diagnostic medicine were designed 50 years ago, and are manufactured in two parts from different materials that then need to be assembled, sterilized and packaged in a multi-step process, which requires considerable time and expense. In successful tests performed by academic collaborators and teaching hospitals, the unique nasal swab design was demonstrated to effectively collect SARS-CoV-2 genetic RNA material from the nostrils of patients and to be more comfortable than existing commercial products.

    Toehold switches could come into play at the other end of the COVID-19 diagnostic process. Pioneered in the groups of Wyss Core Faculty members James Collins, Ph.D., and Peng Yin, Ph.D., they are synthetic nucleic acid-based devices that function as sensors for external stimuli (“inputs”), like RNA molecules derived from pathogenic viruses. When integrated into synthetic gene circuits, Toehold Switches can be designed to turn on a gene of interest, which can be a reporter signaling the presence of the environmental stimulus. In their OFF state, these nanotechnological devices form a hairpin-like structure that specifically associates with and actively blocks the expression of a (reporter) target gene. Once an “input” RNA binds to their “toehold” region, the hairpin structure opens up and adopts an ON state to allow the protein-synthesizing machinery access to the target gene, which results in the synthesis of the actual signaling molecule. 

    In a series of proof-of-concept studies, the Collins and Yin teams have demonstrated toehold switches to function in living cells as computational devices that can assess and report complex combinations of environmental stimuli. They also have utilized them as key components of paper-based synthetic gene circuits that can be applied as diagnostics to sense and indicate different pathogens, including Ebola and Zika viruses. The versatile capabilities of Toehold Switches offer an opportunity for inexpensively and effectively surveilling the presence of pathogens with high sensitivity and specificity in different environmental settings, including working environments during the reopening phase of the pandemic.

    Paving the way to real-world diagnostic solutions

    Agile Biodetection is a new, Birmingham, Alabama-based company focused on comprehensive pathogen detection. The company’s founders, Kanti Sunkavalli, M.D., M.B.A., Elizabeth Rayburn, Ph.D., Leverett Powell and Edward McLain, are committed to utilizing and developing novel technologies to generate rapid, efficient, automated and affordable testing solutions. 

    Agile Biodetection is approaching the COVID-19 pandemic from an alternate viewpoint to most of the conventional solutions. Instead of testing patients for the virus, they’re focusing on detecting SARS-CoV-2 in the environment, including on surfaces and touchpoints within high-traffic areas. They’re applying a high-throughput cloud-based system to disseminate the results of testing, making it faster and providing a leading indicator of the risk of infection and the prevalence of the virus in certain populations. 

    “We believe that 3-pronged testing… of individuals, surfaces, and the environment, will be necessary to provide students, consumers and employees confidence to start the path back to normalcy,” said Dr. Sunkavalli, the CEO of Agile Biodetection. 

    Harvard co-led the creation of the COVID-19 Technology Access Framework, now endorsed by 23 other research institutions, to incentivize the rapid utilization of available technologies that can facilitate the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of COVID-19 infection in the fight against the pandemic. Accordingly, the term-limited license agreement crafted by Harvard OTD grants Agile non-exclusive, royalty-free access to the Wyss nasal swab and Toehold Switch technologies for use in new SARS-CoV-2 detection approaches during the pandemic. 

    “This licensing agreement speaks to our Institute’s ability to rapidly pivot and refocus our undivided attention on important and difficult problems in real-time as they arise, as we did with COVID-19. We are fully committed to help soften the blow of the pandemic in any way we can, and to help get bring normalcy into our lives again,” said Ingber, who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Bioengineering at SEAS. 


    Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University
    Benjamin Boettner,, +1 917-913-8051


    The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University ( uses Nature’s design principles to develop bioinspired materials and devices that will transform medicine and create a more sustainable world. Wyss researchers are developing innovative new engineering solutions for healthcare, energy, architecture, robotics, and manufacturing that are translated into commercial products and therapies through collaborations with clinical investigators, corporate alliances, and formation of new startups. The Wyss Institute creates transformative technological breakthroughs by engaging in high risk research, and crosses disciplinary and institutional barriers, working as an alliance that includes Harvard’s Schools of Medicine, Engineering, Arts & Sciences and Design, and in partnership with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Dana–Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston University, Tufts University, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, University of Zurich and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development (OTD) ( promotes the public good by fostering innovation and translating new inventions made at Harvard University into useful products that are available and beneficial to society. Our integrated approach to technology development comprises sponsored research and corporate alliances, intellectual property management, and technology commercialization through venture creation and licensing. More than 70 startups have launched to commercialize Harvard technologies in the past 5 years, collectively raising more than $2.5 billion in financing. To further bridge the academic-industry development gap, Harvard OTD manages the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator and the Physical Sciences & Engineering Accelerator.

  • 4 Oct 2020 12:08 PM | Deleted user

    Welcome to the most anticipated virtual event for the #ALBioTech community. With 28 sessions and over 50 presenters, conference attendees can curate a personalized virtual experience. We're using Zoom Webinar to broadcast our session live over 4 days. Once the conference ends, sessions will be available on-demand for all registered attendees.

    Know before you go videos:

    VIDEO: Registered Attendees & Your Event Invitation 

    Know before you go video: All event registered attendees will receive an event invitation. You can search for this invitation in your inbox by entering "swoogo" in your search bar. Swoogo is the event site vendor we are using. Or look for the subject line : BIO Alabama Virtual Annual Conference | Event Invitation

    VIDEO: Registered Attendees & Your 1:1 Networking Profile

    Know before you go video: We are partnering with Linq to provide a better way to network during our virtual event. Set up your Linq profile to connect 1:1 with other conference attendees. The best part... your Linq profile stays with you so you can nurture relationship beyond the week of our conference. Many thanks to our connectivity sponsors - Discovery BioMed and VWR - for making connectivity happen. 

  • 1 Oct 2020 1:26 PM | Deleted user

    With the biotechnology industry leading the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BIO Alabama will host industry thought-leaders, entrepreneurs, and academics at the organization’s first conference in five years on Oct. 5-9. HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and a number of resident associate companies will be “center-stage” during the four day virtual conference.

    BIO Alabama – Alabama’s affiliate of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the preeminent national association for biotechnology companies – has assembled a stellar lineup from Alabama and across the country to address the industry’s most challenging issues and how our state can play pivotal roles in solutions and advancements. Among the topics on the agenda will be: Operation Warp Speed, COVID-19 related legislation, the strategic roadmap for the state’s biotechnology ecosystem, collaborative efforts to strengthen the state’s agricultural economy, diversity, equity and inclusion in the bioscience industry, and discoveries by researchers at Alabama’s leading academic centers.

    "HudsonAlpha has been a longtime partner and leader for BIO Alabama and the biotechnology ecosystem in North Alabama continues to bloom with innovative companies,” said BIO Alabama Executive Director Sonia Robinson. “Our virtual conference is a great opportunity to connect with life science thought-leaders from around our state who are strengthening our industry for the future.”

    BIO Alabama has carefully curated a speaker lineup of accomplished leaders in academic research, education and business. HudsonAlpha and Huntsville contribute greatly to the state’s work in the biosciences and are well-represented in the BIO Alabama agenda. HudsonAlpha Faculty Investigator Jeremy Schmutz will lead a panel discussion that includes Josh Clevinger, Ph.D., also of HudsonAlpha, Brian Hardin with Alabama Farmers Federation, Kyle Bridgeforth of Bridgeforth Farms and Kira Bowen, Ph.D., from Auburn University. The group will discuss their collective efforts in developing next generation crops for diversifying and strengthening Alabama’s agricultural economy. The panel will provide an early view into the way people from across the state and across industries are leveraging HudsonAlpha’s expertise in genomics research to improve crops for Alabama farmers and ultimately benefit businesses and consumers in the state.

    Carter Wells, HudsonAlpha’s Vice President for Economic Development and past Chairman of BIO Alabama, will lead a fireside chat with Andrew Burnett, Health Legislative Assistant for Senator Richard Shelby. Burnett is the point person for the state’s senior Senator for federal appropriations and policy on a variety of health-related topics, including coronavirus relief, clinical trials, diagnostic testing and the development of new medications and therapies. Also, Burnett works with biotech entrepreneurs and veterans of bioscience businesses as they grow and flourish in Alabama.

    As BIO Alabama’s Vice-Chairwoman and HudsonAlpha’s Director of Recruitment, Amy Sturdivant will help deliver the BIO Alabama’s strategic plan and vision forward. The address concludes a multi-year listening tour and focus-group exercises to develop a strategic roadmap for the industry. Sturdivant will join BIO Alabama Executive Director Sonia Robinson and Chairman Blair King in delivering the report to BIO Alabama constituents.

    “Growing and supporting entrepreneurial efforts in the biotech industry have translated to success stories and expanding jobs in the sector,” said Sturdivant. “Organizations across the state are contributing and collaborating; providing resources for capital, mentoring, workforce training, and more. The BIO Alabama strategic plan lays out lessons learned and opportunities we will seek together.”

    Alex Cate, Business Retention and Expansion Specialist for HudsonAlpha, will join panelists from the state’s premier incubators and accelerators for a candid conversation on business growth and technology commercialization. Since 2008, HudsonAlpha has grown from five resident companies to more than 45 companies on its campus today. This remarkable progress is due in large part to HudsonAlpha’s unique model for business incubation. HudsonAlpha’s mission to grow the life science industry in North Alabama will be on full display during the conference.

    Additionally, several North Alabama-based and HudsonAlpha resident companies will be featured at the conference:

    -          Acclinate Genetics’ Dr. Delmonize Smith and Tiffany Jordan-Whitlow will host panel discussions on diversity in clinical trials and research, as well as tactics for closing the equity gap in rural healthcare.

    -          Rebecca Vaught from Van Heron Labs will lead a session on entrepreneurship, the importance of supporting early-stage entrepreneurs and the key elements of developing a strong technology and innovation ecosystem.

    -          The Written Science’s Rachel Lane will host a “Ted Talk” conversation with Dr. Erik Schwiebert on the advantages of Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants that can be sources of early capital funding for biotechnology companies.

    -          In July 2020, Governor Kay Ivey established the Alabama Innovation Commission to review and develop recommendations for growing Alabama’s innovation ecosystem and tech-related industries. GeneCapture’s Peggy Sammon will join Chairman of House Ways and Means Education Committee Chair, Rep. Bill Poole (District 63, Tuscaloosa County), Minority Leader of the Alabama House of Representatives, Rep.Anthony Daniels (District 53, Madison County) and Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Greg Reed (District 5, Walker, Fayette, Winston, Tuscaloosa and Jefferson counties) in outlining the commission’s objectives and discussing how smart policy can enhance Alabama’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

    The BIO Alabama Annual Conference will take place Oct. 5-9 virtually. Registration is open at



    About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to developing and applying scientific advances to health, agriculture, learning, and commercialization. Opened in 2008, HudsonAlpha’s vision is to leverage the synergy between discovery, education, medicine, and economic development in genomic sciences to improve the human condition around the globe. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. The state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education and fosters more than 40 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit

    About BIO Alabama: BIO Alabama is the lead advocate for growth in the biosciences related industries throughout Alabama. We represent the state on a regional, national and international stage, promoting the intellectual and innovative capital that make our state a premier place to invest, start, and grow in bioscience. BIO Alabama is the state partner of the life sciences trade organization Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Our members consist of bioscience organizations, universities, research facilities, and service partners. Learn more at Connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram @bioalabama.

  • 23 Sep 2020 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    Leading Bioscience Venture Capital Firms as well as Bioscience Angel Investors to talk funding strategies and trends 

    To keep research and development moving forward, funding strategies consume founders and executive leaders of early-stage bioscience companies. It’s so important that six different sessions at the BIO Alabama Virtual Annual Conference will focus on funding. From seed to SBIR/STTR grants and venture capital to merger & acquisitions, the conference will feature topics for each stage of the funding cycle. Register today to gain access to:

    Three funding focused sessions on Tuesday, October 6: 

    At 9:00 a.m. CST - Bioscience Investors Forum: The pandemic changed many things including capital investment. Join this session, in partnership with Southeast Life Sciences, to hear from leading bioscience venture capital firms regarding trends in bioscience investment:

    At 10:00 a.m. CST - Merger & Acquisition Strategy: What Entrepreneurs need to know will feature M&A expert Michael White with Founders Advisors. Learn more about your end game strategy, when and how to start planning, and what you can expect as you move through strategy development, due diligence, and across the finish line. 

    At 11:00 a.m. CST - SBIR/STTR Grants: If grants are a part of your funding strategy, Rachel Lane, PhD, Founder of The Written Science and Erik Schwiebert, PhD, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer at Discovery BioMed, are two people to know in Alabama. Dr. Lane paired and Dr. Schwiebert will bring award winning tips and advice based on their own experience and success for you to incorporate into your next proposal.

    On Wednesday, October 7, there are 3 additional funding sessions including: 

    At 1:00 p.m. CST - hear real stories from Founders and Funders. Miller Girvin, panel moderator and CEO of Alabama Capital Network, along with Greg Schmergel, Chairman of Yuva Biosciences; Bob Shufflebarger, CEO of TriAltus Bioscience; Neill Wright, President and CEO of Bronze Valley; and Charlie Perry, Private Investor, will deliver a candid discussion all about  the road to funding. 

    At 2:00 p.m. CST - Bioscience Angel Investor Forum: Angel investors are investing in bioscience and providing necessary early-stage seed capital. But, understanding the role of angel investors and how to prepare for an angel investor is key. Hear directly from bioscience angel investors including:

    • James Childs, panel moderator, Partner, Maynard Cooper Gale

    • Tommy Satterfield, Private Investor

    • Daniel Coleman, Private Investor 

    At 3:00 p.m. CST - We will bring all the funding strategies together with a session focused on investor relations. Stephanie Carrington, Managing Director at Westwicke, will share her expert advice on building and maintaining relationships with investors during Securing your first institutional round: Inside investor relations. 

    Additional speakers, organizations, as well as sponsors, can be found on the official conference website. Up-to-date information on the agenda and thought leaders presenting can be found on the conference website. Event registration is open

  • 17 Sep 2020 2:22 PM | Deleted user

    Federal and State Leaders to Address Alabama’s Bioscience Community

    BIO Alabama, the leading advocate for Alabama’s bioeconomy, today announced that Federal and State leaders will address Alabama’s bioscience community at BIO Alabama’s virtual annual conference this fall, October 5-9. 

    On Monday, October 5 at 1:05 p.m. CST Senator Doug Jones will greet conference attendees during a fireside chat. The conversation will center around reshoring and Alabama’s biopharma manufacturers contributions to the global supply chain. Jones will also address his position on entrepreneurship and share his thoughts on how we continue to encourage and support inclusionary initiatives. 

    “Our bioscience companies have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. It’s an industry rooted in innovation,” said Senator Jones. “While large gatherings look very different, I’m thrilled that BIO Alabama is bringing our bioscience community together to start and continue important conversations around growing and diversifying our bioeconomy to solve some of the biggest health challenges we face.”

    Senator Richard Shelby’s office will also be represented by Legislative Assistant Andrew Burnett. Burnett will be joined by Carter Wells of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology for a conversation focused on coronavirus legislation, reshoring efforts, and drug pricing. We will also learn more about specific ideas and focus areas coming out of Senator Shelby’s office. This conversation is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6 at 1:00 p.m. CST.

    In addition to Federal leaders, BIO Alabama virtual annual conference attendees will hear from Representative Bill Poole, Senator Greg Reed, and Representative Anthony Daniels on a session moderated by BIO Alabama immediate past chair, Peggy Sammon. This panel discussion will focus on Alabama’s newly appointed Innovation Commission. In July, Governor Kay Ivey established the Alabama Innovation Commission with the purpose to review and develop recommendations tailored for growing Alabama's innovation economy and tech-related industries. Join this panel discussion to learn more about the Alabama Innovation Commission, how our State leaders are prioritizing innovation and tech-related industries such as bioscience, and how collaboration and smart policy can enhance Alabama's entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

    Additional speakers, organizations, as well as sponsors, can be found on the official conference website. Up-to-date information on the agenda and thought leaders presenting can be found on the conference website. Event registration is now open

  • 14 Sep 2020 6:22 PM | Deleted user

    Washington, D.C. (September 13, 2020) – Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), issued the following statement after the Trump administration moved forward with its threat to impose foreign price controls on medicines covered under Medicare:

    “With scientists and researchers at America’s biopharmaceutical companies working around the clock to fight a deadly pandemic, it is simply dumbfounding that the Trump administration would move forward with its threat to import foreign price controls and the inevitable delays to innovation that will follow. This reckless scheme will eliminate hope for vulnerable seniors and other patients waiting for new treatments by drastically reducing investment in cutting-edge scientific research and development. That is why we will use every tool available – including legal action if necessary – to fight this risky foreign price control scheme. America’s patients, families, scientists and researchers deserve nothing less.

    “BIO has worked hard to advance systemic and bipartisan reforms that address legitimate concerns about the U.S. healthcare insurance and delivery systems, including concerns about the affordability and accessibility of medicines.  And we will continue to do so, regardless of today’s announcement from the Trump administration. We remain guided by an overarching focus on putting patients’ interests first, reducing healthcare disparities, and ensuring continued investment in the next wave of biomedical breakthroughs for COVID-19 and many other life-threatening diseases.”

  • 10 Sep 2020 1:51 PM | Deleted user

    Presentations featuring Hess, Secretary Canfield, and Barker

    This fall, BIO Alabama will host its virtual annual conference October 5-9. Three conference sessions will focus on economic development and examine the core strengths of Alabama’s bioscience industry as well as explore opportunities to catalyze continuous, inclusive growth. These sessions will include the following:

    Corporate location strategy, site selection, and bioscience economic development trends presented by Made in Alabama and featuring Bob Hess. As Vice Chairman of Global Corporate Services at Newmark Knight Frank, Hess is a preeminent, sought-after service provider and respected leader in corporate location strategy and site selection. He has demonstrable and referenceable life sciences and biotechnology industry experience, inclusive of R&D, Manufacturing and Fill Finish asset types. He has conducted over 275 assignments in North America and globally, including Asia, Europe, and Mexico. Hess is scheduled to speak Wednesday, October 7 at 10:00 a.m. CST with a focus on bioscience economic development.

    State perspective on bioscience growth opportunities and trends fireside chat featuring Secretary Greg Canfield & Greg Barker. Two of Alabama’s economic development leader the vision for our State’s economic growth including sustainable growth and dynamic job creation for the bioscience industry. At the helm of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, Greg Barker brings years of experience and expertise to one of our State’s leading economic development organizations. Together, Canfield and Barker will address the importance of the bioscience industry and how private and public initiatives will help us further expand our global impact. This conference session will be held Wednesday, October 7 at 11:45 a.m. CST.s will deliver an informative discussion on Alabama’s growth opportunities and trends in bioscience. Greg Canfield has served as the Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce since July 2011. He continues to shape 

    BIO Alabama Strategic Economic Development Roadmap and recommendations for industry growth and sustainability featuring Blair King, BIO Alabama Board Chair, Panel Moderator, Economic Development Manager at Alabama Power Company; James Childs, BIO Alabama Startup & Tech Transfer Committee Co-Chair, Partner at Maynard Cooper Gale; Jonathan Cox, BIO Alabama Workforce Development Committee Chair, Senior Account Manager at Aerotek Scientific; Saksham Narang, BIO Alabama Startup & Tech Transfer Committee Co-Chair, Venture Advisor at UAB; Amy Sturdivant, BIO Alabama Business Attraction & Retention Committee Chair, Director of Business Recruitment at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. This panel discussion will take place Wednesday, October 7 at 9:00 a.m. CST. 

    Bioscience research and enterprise fuel Alabama’s economic engine. A few key facts highlight this community’s importance and impact on the state: 1) diversity of establishments and workforce as demonstrated by an evenly distributed workforce between the five industry subsectors; 2) National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding per capita with Alabama ranking third among our peer states in the Southeast; and 3) supportive and business friendly environment with access to economic development incentives designed to fuel growth, access to collaborative university and research partners, and access to incubators and accelerator programs.

    Additional speakers, organizations, as well as sponsors, can be found on the official conference website. Up-to-date information on the agenda and thought leaders presenting can be found on the conference website. Event registration is open

  • 5 Sep 2020 9:21 AM | Deleted user

    Executive Leaders from Evonik, SiO2, TriRx, and Vitruvias to speak at BIO Alabama’s Virtual Annual Conference

    BIO Alabama, the leading advocate for Alabama’s bioeconomy, today announced that Executive Leaders from our State’s biopharma manufacturers will come together for a panel discussion at BIO Alabama’s virtual annual conference this fall, October 5-9.

    Made in Alabama: How Alabama’s manufacturers play a major role in the global supply chain is a panel discussion that will be held on Monday, October 5 at 1:45 p.m. CST.

    Alabama’s biopharma and medical device/equipment manufacturers are making headlines with growth and expansion in the wake of a pandemic. During this panel discussion, conference attendees will hear from executive leaders who are putting Alabama on the map as an ideal destination for manufacturing facilities. 

    The panel discussion will include the following speakers: 

    Arthur J. Tipton, Ph.D., panel moderator, currently serves as a principal for Vulcan Gray, a consulting company advising startups primarily in the biotech sector. Previously, he served as the president and CEO of Southern Research from 2013 - 2019.  He also worked in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries for 25 years, participating in the growth aspects of three start-up companies, one that went public and two acquired by public companies. Art is an inventor on 43 issued US Patents and consequently was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2013.  He is also a Fellow of the Controlled Release Society and the American Institute of Biological and Medical Engineers.   He is a past Chair of BIO Alabama.

    John R. Daly, Site Manager Evonik Birmingham, has 25 years of experience in leadership and technical expert roles, in leading all aspects of pharmaceutical manufacturing (drug product and active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing) including EHS, Quality, Business Strategy, and P&L impact driving Revenue and EBITDA. John serves as the Site Manager for Evonik’s Birmingham Laboratories, focused on bioresorbable polymer supply for pharmaceuticals and medical devices and on parenteral (injectable) drug delivery services and manufacturing for other pharmaceutical companies. Earlier this year Evonik announced the expansion of its advanced biomaterials facility in Birmingham that will support global demand for the use of its RESOMER-brand bioresorbable polymers with implantable medical devices and parenteral drug products.

    Lawrence Ganti, President & Chief Business Officer at SiO2 Materials Science,looks after the day to day operations of SiO2. He brings more than 25 years of building commercial organizations, leading billion-dollar P&Ls, creating award winning marketing campaigns, and driving growth initiatives in the Pharmaceutical, Consumer Products, and Data Analytics space. Mr. Ganti has worked for Pepsi, J&J, McKinsey and Merck across 5 continents. He has lived in Europe, South Asia, North Asia, North America, and South America. In June, SiO2 Materials Science received a $143 million contract from the U.S. Government to accelerate capacity scale-up of packaging for COVI-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

    Roger D. Graben, Ph.D., RPh, is a founding member and current President of Vitruvias Therapeutics and a past member of the founding board of directors. His responsibilities include oversight and leadership of Product Development, Project Management, Manufacturing/Supply Chain, Regulatory Affairs, Pharmacovigilance, and Quality Assurance. Vitruvias, an Auburn-based pharmaceutical company, focuses on bringing to market generic drugs. They currently have a proposed facility to be constructed in Alabama to produce critical medicines.

    Timothy Tyson is currently Chairman and CEO of TriRx Pharmaceutical Services, LLC and Chairman at Icagen-T Inc. He also currently serves on the board of Tyme Technologies Inc. Mr. Tyson recently served as Chairman and CEO of Aptuit LLC. His corporate career spans over 35 years in the pharmaceutical industry. His expertise in leadership and management is internationally recognized. TriRx recently announced the successful acquisition of MSD Animal Health manufacturing site located in Segré-en Anjou Bleu, France including long-term supply agreement.

    Additional speakers, organizations, as well as sponsors, can be found on the official conference website. Up-to-date information on the agenda and thought leaders presenting can be found on the conference website

  • 4 Sep 2020 6:00 AM | Deleted user

    Semester long internship to focus on nonprofit business operations and marketing

    BIO Alabama welcomes three students into it’s fall internship program, a program for college students who are intrinsically curious about Alabama’s bioscience industry and are motivated to promote the intellectual and innovative capital that make our state a premier place to invest, start, and grow in bioscience.

    Meryle Brown is a senior at Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University (AAMU) majoring in business administration with a concentration in MIS.  

    “BIO Alabama is a mission driven organization committed to promoting our State’s bioscience community. While the bioscience industry is new to me, bioscience companies need business professionals, too.,” Brown said. “Interning with BIO Alabama will allow me to explore the industry and evaluate possible career tracks related to my undergraduate focus.”

    Savannah Grace Knight is a biology student at the University of Alabama in Huntsville

    “I was always a very curious kid and as the daughter of a science teacher I began dissecting frogs and using microscopes in first grade. Once I settled on a major and career path, I found myself growing more passionate about topics such as scientific literacy and women in STEM,” Knight said. “I became involved with the American Association of University Women and participated in events such as Tech Trek and helped start UAH's own branch of AAUW. An internship with BIO Alabama falls right in line with my personal passion and my desire to work in a STEM career,” Knight adds.

    Ariel Wright is a junior at Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University (AAMU) majoring in marketing. She is also a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar.  

    “This year has been a year of change, a time for new experiences to learn and grow. Furthering my education endeavors with an internship with BIO Alabama will not only allow me to advance my marketing skills but will also teach me more about the impact bioscience has in Alabama,” Wright said. “I hope to continue to build my professional network and grow my knowledge of marketing strategy and tactics.”

    Brown, Knight, and Wright will spend their fall semester supporting BIO Alabama’s virtual annual conference by assisting in the implementation of conference operations and marketing plans. Once the conference concludes in October, each intern will transition to projects associated with BIO Alabama’s strategic economic development roadmap which is focused on three areas 1) business attraction and retention; 2) workforce development; and 3) startup and tech transfer.

    “We began our internship program this past summer with four students and we’re delighted to have three students on board for our fall internship program. Workforce development is a key focus area for BIO Alabama and internships are an incredible way to engage our next generation of professionals,” said Sonia Robinson, executive director of BIO Alabama. “We aim to provide students with real projects that they can own, shape, and manage from start to completion. This not only gives them tangible deliverables for their specific internship criteria, but they become immersed in the Alabama bioscience community. Our hope is that our student interns find our community  inviting and promising as they navigate options for their first career right out of college,” Robinson adds. “Our University partners graduate top talent and we want them to stay, work, and play in Alabama.”

    BIO Alabama provides remote internship opportunities throughout the year. Interested students may email their cover letter and resume to  In addition to BIO Alabama, a number of bioscience companies across the state welcome interns. Interested students may contact BIO Alabama for more information. Bioscience companies who have available internships are encouraged to send internship opportunities to BIO Alabama for assistance in promoting those opportunities to partner colleges and universities.  

    Interns support the executive director in further connecting our bioscience ecosystem. Internships with BIO Alabama are for college credit and follow the college or university's internship guidelines including minimum hour requirements and deliverables.

Connecting the Bioscience Ecosystem in Alabama

BIO Alabama
P.O. Box 583
Arab, AL 35016

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