|CharlestonPharma signs on with Innovation Center
The South Carolina
Research Authority (SCRA) announced Dec. 8 its newest tenant company,
CharlestonPharma, LLC. The company will lease space in the SCRA MUSC
Innovation Center in Charleston.
Co-founded by an MUSC researcher and two biotechnology executives, the
company is working to develop safer, more effective cancer therapies.
Their first-in-class process uses fully human monoclonal antibodies
that target nucleolin, a receptor protein that is over-expressed on the
cell surface of many different types of cancers and leukemias. This
protein is not, or is only minimally, expressed on the cell surface of
corresponding normal tissues of the body. If confirmed in human
clinical studies, this finding offers the much-sought opportunity for
selective, tumor-specific therapy with an excellent safety profile.
Leading the company as chief executive officer is Brad Goodwin, a
biotechnology executive who served as CEO and director at Novace and as
vice president of finance at Genentech. Goodwin has served on many
boards of directors for biotechnology companies, and was chairman of
the monoclonal antibody companies PDL BioPharma and Facet Biotech.
Robert Capizzi, M.D., serves as president and chief medical officer for
the company. He has more than 35 years of oncology experience in
research, academic and industry environments. Capizzi's leadership
extends well beyond the laboratory and clinic into the international
professional oncology community.
Daniel Fernandes, Ph.D., D.Sc., is the company's chief scientific
officer. He is a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at
MUSC and associate director of translational research at the Hollings
Cancer Center. Fernandes' research has focused on the mechanisms of
action and resistance of anticancer drugs and on the development new
anticancer agents. His research has led to the development of two FDA
Collectively, these three executives have a cumulative drug development
experience of more than 100 years with numerous investigational new
drug applications, non-disclosure agreements and many major
pharmaceutical deals to their credit.
"CharlestonPharma was founded to bring better cancer therapeutic
solutions to patients and healthcare providers," said Goodwin. "The
Innovation Center's ready-to-use wet lab space and close proximity to
MUSC gives our company access to a move-in ready research facility that
will significantly accelerate our product development activities."
The SCRA MUSC Innovation Center officially opened in December 2009.
CharlestonPharma is the fifth tenant to begin work at the facility.
Other tenant companies include:
- Immunologix, which
has created a technology allowing replication of human antibodies from
cells recovered from discarded immune tissue.
- Microbial Fuel
Cell Technologies, which is commercializing the use of microbial fuel
cells as emerging waste reduction and alternative energy technology
Testing Services, which investigates pharmaceutical compounds in models
associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
The center is the
first of three high-tech facilities that SCRA has built in conjunction
with its university and civic partners in South Carolina to grow the
Knowledge Economy. With these centers, SCRA is fulfilling legislative
requirements identified in the Innovation Centers Act, which focused on
the commercialization of new knowledge-based discoveries. Since SCRA is
self-supporting, the facilities are funded through SCRA's retained
earnings and balance sheet, and no state taxpayer monies are being used
to provide the facilities.
Biotechnology Corporation, which is focusing on the development of
inhibitors of Pim protein kinases, which are key regulators of prostate
cancer and certain leukemias.
Reprinted from http://www.lowcountrybizsc.com
Friday, Dec. 17, 2010