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Georgia Bio Bolsters Policy Resources Naming Joseph Santoro New VP of Business Development and External Affairs


Atlanta, Georgia (January 17, 2019) – Georgia Bio, the state’s public policy and business solutions organization representing Georgia’s life sciences sector, today announced an expansion to its team hiring Joseph Santoro as the full-time Vice President of Business Development and External Affairs. This newly created role will provide expanded leadership in developing and implementing sound public policy strategies for Georgia Bio members and strengthen the voice of life sciences in the state. “My number one priority is ensuring Georgia’s elected leaders and policy makers are aware of, and understand, the value and potential the life sciences ecosystem and industry bring to the state,” Mr. Santoro said. According to the national Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the bioscience industry employs more than 32,000 Georgians and received $537 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) Awards in 2017.

Georgia bio company names new CEO


An Athens, Ga., bio company has named a new CEO. ArunA Bio, founded by a University of Georgia professor more than 12 years ago, is developing a type of cell-free biologics called exosomes for the treatment of central nervous system and neurodegenerative disorders. Mark Sirgo takes over as chief executive from Steve Stice, co-founder and chief scientific officer of ArunA Bio. Sirgo has more than 35 years of pharmaceutical experience, including serving as president and CEO of BioDelivery Sciences International (Nasdaq: BDSI), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the central nervous system and pain. At BDSI, Sirgo raised nearly $600 million to support the development, FDA approval and commercial launch of three products utilizing the company’s proprietary drug delivery technology. Stice directs the company’s clinical and research operations. He is also UGA DW Brooks Distinguished Professor and Director of the Regenerative Bioscience Center, and he holds a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar endowed chair.

Deal: BioIQ to locate headquarters in Cobb County


Health IT company to create 500 jobs, invest more than $5 million Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that BioIQ, a health IT company, will create 500 jobs and invest more than $5 million in Cobb County through the location of its new headquarters. New jobs will include positions in technology, sales and operations. “BioIQ has significant reach across the nation and has proven itself to be a leader in health care innovation,” said Deal. “By locating its headquarters in Cobb County, BioIQ will join Georgia’s thriving technology innovation sector and enjoy the benefits of our deep talent pool. I am confident BioIQ will find quick and lasting success with the help of Georgia’s low-tax, top-ranked business climate. We are proud to welcome BioIQ to the No. 1 state for business and we look forward to the growth of this partnership in the years to come. BioIQ simplifies health testing and immunization programs for health plans, employers and government organizations, and empowers people to take action to improve their health. BioIQ’s platform provides a single-source solution to drive health plan quality, cost savings and value-based care initiatives. The platform configures and connects national laboratories, diagnostics companies, digital health solutions and other stakeholders through underlying engagement, analytics and interoperability technology.

Diversity in Clinical Trials: Preparing Physicians to Make a Difference


The U.S. has become increasingly diverse, yet that diversity is not reflected in the clinical trials that play a key role in which new medicines are approved and, ultimately, prescribed to the general public. Because of this underrepresentation, much of what we know about new medicines—including their effectiveness and potential side effects—might not apply to nearly one-third of Americans. Black or African Americans represent 13.4 percent of the U.S. population but only 5 percent of clinical trial participants. Hispanics or Latinos represent 18.1 percent of the U.S. population but only 1 percent of clinical trial participants. How can we increase minority participation? Studies show that a good place to start is with physicians who serve minority patients, especially if those physicians also are minorities. That’s why Morehouse School of Medicine has partnered with Clinical Research Pathways on its new program, Training Minority Clinical Teams: Getting New Quality Medicines to All Americans. The program recognizes that minority physicians can reduce barriers to participation in clinical trials—provided obstacles are removed from the physicians’ paths as well.

GeoVax and Enesi Pharma to Collaborate on Development of Multiple Vaccines Administered by ImplaVax(R), a Novel Needle-Free Vaccine Delivery Platform


Atlanta, GA - (NewMediaWire) - January 02, 2019 - GeoVax Labs, Inc. (OTCQB: GOVX), a biotechnology company developing human vaccines, and Enesi Pharma, an innovative pharmaceutical company developing unique injectable solid-dose drug-device vaccine products, announced today a collaboration to develop solid-dose needle-free vaccine formulations utilizing GeoVax’s novel MVA-VLP vaccine platform in combination with Enesi’s ImplaVax® device and formulation technology. The collaboration is expected to include development of thermostable solid-dose needle-free vaccines for a variety of infectious diseases and evaluation of the potential to generate improved vaccine responses with simplified administration and reduced storage and distribution costs. GeoVax’s vaccine technology is based on its patented Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA) Virus-Like Particle (VLP) platform, which generates noninfectious VLPs in the individual being vaccinated. This technology mimics a natural viral infection, triggering the body to produce a robust and durable immune response (the way that vaccines protect against diseases), typically with only a single dose required for desired protection. As a result, the GeoVax vaccines provide the opportunity to deliver a more efficient, lower cost, highly effective vaccine. Enesi’s proprietary ImplaVax® solid-dose formulation and needle-free device technology comprises three main components: a single precision-engineered solid-dose Universal Vaccine Implant (UVI) containing the vaccine construct, a separate single-use disposable unit dose cassette pre-loaded with a single solid UVI and a reusable handheld spring-powered actuator. The benefits include assured consistency with dosing, better product stability and ease of use as well as the potential to minimize vaccination pain and stress, and to eliminate needle disposal and needle stick injuries.

The right way to address prescription drug costs


With a new Democratic majority in the House pledging to address the rising cost of health care — including prescription drugs — a fundamental question arises: Will lawmakers focus on the real issues that can drain a family’s finances, or simply adopt extreme policies that fail to take on the underlying problems in our health care system? As policy professionals from different sides of the aisle, we believe there is a right way to address these issues and a wrong way. The right way will reduce out-of-pocket costs for Americans, improve access to new medicines, and allow the United States to remain the global leader in medical innovation. The wrong way leads to price controls, weakened intellectual property protections, and restricted access to medicines, not to mention stifling innovation and doing little to make drugs more affordable. Judging from the current state of the drug-pricing debate, we are concerned that policymakers will adopt the wrong approach.

Avanos Among Winners of FDA's Opioid Innovation Challenge


ALPHARETTA, Ga., Dec. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Avanos Medical, Inc. (NYSE: AVNS) is pleased to announce it has been selected as one of eight winners of the FDA's Opioid Addiction Innovation Challenge. The product selected is an enhanced nerve visualization system in development by Avanos' Acute Pain division. The FDA launched the challenge in May 2018 to spur the development of medical devices and solutions to help combat the growing epidemic of opioid misuse and abuse. Avanos was selected as one of eight winners among more than 250 submissions from medical device companies and/or developers. "The opioid epidemic is one of the most severe health crises we face today, and we are committed to being part of the solution," said Joe Woody, Avanos chief executive officer. "Our selection is an exciting recognition of our focus on innovation and demonstrates that our increased R&D investment and capability is being recognized."

Avanos Medical, Inc. Appoints David Ball as Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain & Procurement


ALPHARETTA, Ga., Dec. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Avanos Medical, Inc. today announced that David Ball has been appointed senior vice president, global supply chain & procurement. In this role, Ball will spearhead an integrated supply chain strategy to support Avanos' continued growth and transformation. Previously, Ball served as senior vice president of operations at Acelity where he led the company's global manufacturing operations and oversaw its inventory, supply chain, procurement and facilities functions. "We are very pleased to have Dave join Avanos as senior vice president of global supply chain & procurement," stated Joe Woody, chief executive officer. "His prior experience at Acelity in transforming its global service organization, optimizing cost structures and driving continuous improvement and efficiency programs will be of great value as we focus on optimization and consolidation of our global operations." While at Acelity, Ball was credited with helping to transform the company's global service organization, increasing efficiency within the company's manufacturing sites. Ball was instrumental in optimizing the company's cost structure and sustaining savings throughout the company's expansion. In addition, for over 30 years, Ball worked for GE's Healthcare, Transportation Systems and Railway Electronics businesses, as well as Harris Corp's Communications and Aerospace Systems divisions. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech.

BIO Applauds Bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill


WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) President & CEO James C. Greenwood today issued the following statement on the 2018 Farm Bill: "BIO applauds the Farm Bill Conference Committee, led by Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and representatives Michael Conaway (R-TX) and Collin Peterson (D-MN), on coming to a long-term agreement on a 2018 Farm Bill. At a time of uncertainty for our nation’s farmers, the agricultural economy, and rural America, this bipartisan Farm Bill will provide the much-needed confidence and certainty for many Americans who rely on its programs and funding. “As a result of BIO’s advocacy, the conference committee provided mandatory funding for key programs in the Farm Bill’s energy title. While BIO would have preferred the conference committee adopted the Senate-passed funding levels for the title, we applaud the conferees for understanding the importance of these programs and thank them for providing mandatory funding to allow these programs to continue. As I testified to Congress when work first began on this important legislation, the Farm Bill’s energy title programs are critical to our nation’s farmers and rural communities as they develop new renewable chemicals, bio-based products, advanced biofuels, and other products of industrial biotechnology.

AdvaMed Statement on Medical Device Tax Moratorium


Washington, D.C. – The Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) issued the following statement from President and CEO Scott Whitaker as the House Ways and Means Committee released legislation that includes an extension of the moratorium on the medical device tax for an additional 5 years: “The medical device excise tax is bad health policy and bad economic policy. No one disagrees on these points. We applaud the Committee for including a 5-year extension of the moratorium on the tax in its new extenders package, and we thank congressional medtech champions Rep. Erik Paulsen, Rep. Jackie Walorski, and Chairman Kevin Brady for spearheading this piece of the bill. “A 5-year moratorium will give companies greater confidence in planning long-term R&D—a component that is critical to maintaining the longevity of the industry and sustaining the innovation ecosystem. Future breakthroughs in patient care are undermined by the threat of the medical device tax.

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