Volume 12 - October 2013
Pharma Medica Establishes US Operations in St. Louis
A Canadian contract research organization has chosen the St. Louis region as the location for its first U.S facility. Toronto-based Pharma Medica Research conducts research and development as well as clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies. The company plans to expand their drug trial operations by rehabilitating a building in St. Charles that previously housed another clinical research organization. Pharma Medica’s expansion will create 320 jobs in the region.
"The favorable business climate, quality workforce, and the close proximity to major pharmaceutical companies in the area were key factors in making the move to Missouri," said Mohammed Bouhajib of Pharma Medica Research Inc. "With a new research center in St. Charles, we will be able to accommodate more clients and compete in the global market."
"This substantial investment will further strengthen Missouri's position as a leader in bioscience," Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said. "By creating hundreds of high-paying jobs to this area, Pharma Medica Research joins other bioscience companies expanding their footprint in the Show-Me State including Monsanto, Pioneer Hi-Bred, and Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica."
Women Entrepreneurs of St. Louis
Women Entrepreneurs of St. Louis (WEST) is an organization aimed at creating events that pull together bright and accomplished females in St. Louis to exchange ideas, share resources, and build strong networks. On November 1st, they will host their first GROWTH Symposium, a full day focusing on three core areas essential to business growth: Branding, Funding, and Technology. Click here to learn more and to register.
Saint Louis University Designated by NIH as Elite Vaccine Development Unit
Saint Louis University's Center for Vaccine Development is among an elite group of nine Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units (VTEUs) selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to bid on up to nearly $1 billion in projects aimed at protecting people from infectious diseases, including emerging threats.
SLU received a contract award with an estimated value of up to $135 million in task orders annually over the course of the seven-year ordering period. The university does not know how much of the total $951 million the university will receive, but expects it to be the largest research contract or grant in SLU’s history.
"In awarding the contract, NIH officials are showing their continuing confidence in SLU as leaders in vaccine development research -- in laboratory science and in clinical trial research," said Robert Belshe, M.D., director of the Center for Vaccine Development and the Adorjan Professor of Internal Medicine at SLU. "It allows us to continue to bring to our community new vaccines that are in development -- many of which will become the vaccines of the future."
Graematter Launches Regulatory Intelligence Software
In today’s world, regulatory approval processes are becoming exceedingly complex. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a massive amount of information over the past 10 years scattered over more than a 100 databases. Graematter, a St. Louis startup, hopes to provide an edge to regulatory professionals. On September 30th, Graematter announced the launch of their regulatory intelligence and monitoring software, SOFIE, focused initially on the FDA. It examines a wide variety of items in the regulatory environment including inspections, sanctions, recalls, and review times while providing more efficient search functions.
Graematter founder Melissa Walker said SOFIE, if used to its capacity, could help turn St. Louis into a regulatory hub, where dozens of bioscience companies could easily use Graematter’s resources to further the use of big data in the medical product and pharmaceutical information industries.
In May, Graematter closed on an $835,000 seed funding round that included the BioGenerator along with the Helix Fund, Missouri Technology Corporation, St. Louis Arch Angels, and Washington University Skandalaris Student Venture Fund. The company has six employees and expects to hire more than a dozen before the end of the year.
Click here to listen to Walker on the KMOX NewsRadio, Charlie Brennan Show.
Mobius Therapeutics Secures $5 Million Series B
Cultivation Capital, a St. Louis-based venture capital firm, has added another bioscience company to its portfolio with a $1 million investment into Mobius Therapeutics as part of a $5 million Series B funding round. Mobius develops and sells the commercial drug Mitosol, utilizing a surgical kit to inject mitomycin-c, an agent essential to glaucoma surgery. Mobius will use the money to accelerate sales by doubling its sales force.
Mobius is led by founder Ed Timm, who moved to St. Louis from Atlanta to take advantage of the density of medical device and drug discovery companies.
News About the Biosciences in St. Louis
- Monsanto Buys Weather Big Data Company Climate Corporation For Around $1.1B [TechCrunch]
- Akermin wins $3 million carbon capture agreement with DOE [Electric Light & Power]
- MOgene Green Chemicals Awarded $1.5 Million from US Department of Energy [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
- FIRST Robotics Championship to remain in St. Louis [St. Louis Business Journal]
- Sage Labs Partners with Cofactor Genomics on RNA Sequencing Services [GenomeWeb]
- Gallus Acquires Laureate [ContractPharma]
- Sigma-Aldrich Corporation Expands Manufacturing Facilities In St. Louis, Missouri [Area Development]
- Startups have raised $1 billion after InvestMidwest forums [St. Louis Business Journal]
- Startups flood Science Center with tidal wave of innovative ideas [St. Louis Beacon]
- For Carrington, the future of plant science is digital and data-based [St. Louis Beacon]
- CORTEX BJC HealthCare building to open as soon as Nov. 1 [St. Louis Business Journal]
- Arch Grants video highlights success, entrepreneurs [St. Louis Business Journal]
The BioGenerator Accelerator Labs (BAL) is a pre-incubator facility that provides free access to shared wet lab space, capital equipment, and offices. This resource leverages operating costs across multiple companies, maximizes the efficiency of early-stage operations, and provides a collaborative environment for bioscience startups. The facility opened in fall 2010 and has housed over 25 early-stage companies or pre-company entrepreneurial teams. The BAL is currently undergoing an expansion, nearly tripling in size, to keep up with demand from an increasing number of startups in St. Louis. Click here to see additional pictures of the expansion.
Congratulations to Sparo Labs and Nanopore Diagnostics, the winners of this year’s BioSTL Awards at StartUp Connection! Sparo Labs has created a pocket-sized medical device that monitors lung functions and Nanopore Diagnostics has developed a blood test to confirm suspected cases of lung cancer without the need for invasive procedures and extensive follow-up exams. Awards were presented in front of an audience of over 1,000 gathered to showcase St. Louis’ entrepreneurial momentum.