SCRA today announced its newest tenant company, CharlestonPharma, LLC. The company will lease space in the SCRA Medical University of South Carolina Innovation Center located in Charleston, SC.
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. Importantly, 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 CEO is Brad Goodwin, an experienced biotechnology executive who served as CEO and Director at Novace and as Vice President of Finance at Genentech. Mr. Goodwin has served on multiple Boards of Directors for numerous biotechnology companies, and was Chairman of the monoclonal antibody companies PDL BioPharma and Facet Biotech.
Robert Capizzi, MD serves as President and Chief Medical Officer for the company. He has over 35 years of oncology experience in research, academic and industry environments. Dr. Capizzi’s leadership extends well beyond the laboratory and clinic into the international professional oncology community. He serves on the Boards of Directors of both the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), as a member and chair of the Food and Drug Administration’s oncology drug advisory committee (ODAC) and on various advisory boards for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Cancer Society.
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. Dr. 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 approved drugs.
Collectively, these three executives have a cumulative drug development experience of over 100 years with numerous Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs), Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and many major pharmaceutical deals to their credit.
“CharlestonPharma was founded to bring better cancer therapeutic solutions to patients and healthcare providers,” said CharlestonPharma CEO Brad 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 was officially opened in December of 2009. CharlestonPharma is the fifth tenant to begin work at the facility. Other tenant companies include:
• Immunologix, who has created a technology allowing replication of human antibodies from cells recovered from discarded immune tissue. This technology meets the current need of antibody-based therapeutics through an in-vitro system.
• Microbial Fuel Cell Technologies, who is commercializing the use of microbial fuel cells as emerging waste reduction and alternative energy technology products in the forms of Hydrogen and Ethanol.
• Neurological Testing Services, who investigates pharmaceutical compounds in models associated with neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke and epilepsy.
• Vortex Biotechnology Corporation, whose focus is on the development of inhibitors of Pim protein kinases, which are key regulators of prostate cancer and certain leukemias. Vortex designs, synthesizes and evaluates proprietary Pim inhibitors, with the goal of moving an agent into clinical testing for the treatment of cancer.
“We are delighted to welcome CharlestonPharma to the Innovation Center,” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. “They will certainly add to the expertise and innovative research that is already being done at the facility. The quality of the innovation center and close proximity to MUSC are proving to be a real draw for developing bioscience companies. CharlestonPharma will be a wonderful addition to the growing Knowledge Economy of South Carolina. ”
The SCRA MUSC Innovation 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 South Carolina state taxpayer monies are being used to provide the facilities.
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SCRA is a global leader in applied research and commercialization services with its headquarters in South Carolina. SCRA has a dual mission:
• To deliver technology solutions to complex challenges – SCRA affiliate Advanced Technology International (ATI) leads applied research collaborations that develop technologies to improve the mission effectiveness of Federal agencies and the business execution of Corporations. Learn more at www.ati.org.
• To advance the Knowledge Economy – SCRA affiliate SC Launch is an economic development program that helps early-stage companies to commercialize innovations and create jobs. Learn more at www.sclaunch.org.
In support of both missions, SCRA builds and manages research facilities that include wet labs, secure rooms for sensitive work and advanced, high-tech manufacturing shops.
CharlestonPharma is a product-focused, monoclonal antibody company targeting the over expression of nucleolin on cancer cells. Our fully human antibody approach has significant advantages over traditional humanized monoclonal antibodies. Our capital efficient development plan and singular product focus are attractive attributes for investment. For more information, please contact Brad Goodwin at 843-789-5907.