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erin fordBiotech sector continues to grow in the Upstate – An update from Erin Ford

Upstate SC Alliance bioscience task force member, Selah Genomics CEO, Michael Bolick inks major deal to sell his company to a UK based company.  Earlier this year the Upstate SC Alliance played international matchmaker for Selah Genomics connecting them with Barcelona-Spain based Ferrer InCode. The Selah management team will be retained, and an additional sales force will be hired in the Upstate.



UK Company Buys Selah Genomics for $75M

Upstate Business Journal | April 15, 2014 | by Jennifer Oladipo

Selah Genomics, provider of advanced molecular and genomic diagnostic services, inked a deal this week that makes it one of the major exits in the Upstate’s biotech industry. UK-based point-of-care diagnostics firm EKF Diagnostics will acquire Selah for $40 million initially through the issue of new EKF shares and an additional deferred consideration of up to $35 million, valuing Selah at about $75 million.

Chairman and CEO Michael Bolick said the company had not planned to sell, but it was the right move and brings the advantage of growing with a publicly traded and better capitalize parent company. “We were excited about running on our steam for a while, but had the responsibility to look at [the offer’s] potential for investors and to listen.”

Selah’s management team will be retained as is and will report to the EKF group. The relationship with EKF will allow Selah to hire a national sales force to sell PrecisionPath technology, which assesses biomarkers in tumors. Bolick said the company will be hiring primarily out of the Upstate.
“The nice thing about life science is that we have a hard need for scientists, but also hire folks from technical schools to run machines,” Bolick said. He said the biotechnology training program at Greenville Technical College is “really impressive” and will be a source for building the technical staff that can fulfill tasks such as building hundreds of sample selection kits Selah uses to provide its services.

The plan is for the Selah Genomics brand to remain intact, Bolick said. That brand has gained a significant amount of cachet since the company was founded in January 2013. It was one of the first companies in the nation to move into next-generation sequencing, bringing important clinical trials to Greenville. By November 2013, the Greenville Health System Institute for Translational Oncology Research started using Selah’s PrecisionPath technology to molecularly profile tissue from individual cancer patients.
Bolick said the company has seen significant revenue growth related to direct metabolism testing. A person’s ability to metabolize a drug depends on genes, and metabolism testing allows health care practitioners to know which patients respond to which drugs. “That book of business has grown for us significantly and we expect that to continue to grow,” said Bolick.

The company also recently completed an agreement with Barcelona, Spain-based pharmaceutical company Ferrer Company focusing on corporate wellness programs using tests to more accurately identify individuals incorrectly assessed as having a low risk of heart disease when genetic markers show they are in fact high-risk.

Bolick said South Carolina’s bioscience companies are now starting to see the benefit of investments made in growing the industry over the last several years as several companies are being pursued for acquisition. A decade ago there were no concerted resources for supporting such companies, but since then organizations such as the Upstate Carolina Angel Network and SC Launch have helped spur growth.

“We were one of the first companies that SC Launch invested in, in serial [rounds], and now we’re making the return,” Bolick said. Early and especially mid-stage support from homegrown investors leads to the big exits, he said. “That’s what you see in places like Silicon Valley or Austin, Texas. It started with people investing; companies grow, exist, then they stay and start new companies. It’s a cycle.”

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Greenville Health System enters partnership with 4 hospitals

By Ashley Barker
Published April 14, 2014

Greenville Health System, the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, Palmetto Health in Columbia, Self Regional Healthcare in Greenwood and McLeod Health in Florence have joined in a cost-cutting partnership. The collaboration enables joint purchasing and sharing basic administrative and clinical support systems.

The Initiant Health Collaborative is a limited liability company owned by the founding members that will allow them to remain independent.

“Health care is changing, and health care providers are being called to work together in new ways to reduce costs while continuing to deliver high-quality care,” said GHS CEO Mike Riordan. “Through this collaborative, we have an opportunity to do more than any of us can on our own.”

Other health systems around the country with similar collaboratives include BJC Collaborative in Missouri and Stratus in Georgia, a GHS statement said.

MUSC’s board of trustees voted Friday to join the partnership, which will allow other nonprofit hospitals that are not in collaborative agreements to participate.

“The Affordable Care Act is really putting pressure on hospitals to cut costs. This is in direct response to deal with those costs,” said Dr. Patrick Cawley, executive director and CEO of the MUSC Medical Center.

The five systems will remain competitive as the collaborative is governed by a board of managers consisting of two voting members and one nonvoting member from each system. The board will meet six times a year, and all major issues will require unanimous votes.

The board will also make appointments to committees on supply chain and capital spending, contracted services, information technology and population health support. A meeting will be held for senior management in May or June, and the first board meeting is set June 5 in Columbia.

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The NAM has produced a video to show young people across America that there is a future in manufacturing.

You know through your work that manufacturing is making a comeback, and we want the next generation to get excited about the opportunities ahead. #WeAreMFG.

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brookings global cities initiative


The Global Cities Initiative is utilizing data and research to identify – and map – the top U.S. metropolitan areas’ trading relationships.

The new interactive Global Trade and Engagement Indicators for U.S. Metros Map will help metropolitan leaders see what and how their regions trade with the rest of the world. This is the first aggregate of Global Cities Initiative regional profiles with advanced manufacturing, goods trade, exports, skills demand and metro growth statistics.

Global Trade & Engagement Indicators for US Metros

Metro North America, the first-ever analysis of production and trade among North America’s cities and metropolitan areas, reveals that advanced manufacturing sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, machinery, pharmaceuticals and precision instruments, are extending their supply chains across the United States, Mexico and Canada. In fact, 69 percent of trade in advanced industries is linked to metro hubs across these three countries.

Read the Metro North America report

Learn more about the Global Cities Initiative

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KIYATEC, a private company prioritizing the accurate ex vivo prediction of patient response to drug treatment, has appointed Robert J. Silverman as Chairman of its Board of Directors. Silverman is an experienced executive in the diagnostics and pharmaceutical industries and has served on the KIYATEC board since 2012.

KIYATEC Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert J. Silverman as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company. Mr. Silverman has served on the company’s Board of Directors since 2012.

Mr. Silverman has considerable executive-level experience in the diagnostics and pharmaceutical industries. He currently serves as an Operational Partner to Gilde Healthcare, a transatlantic venture investor in fast growing healthcare technology and healthcare services companies with over $600 million under management. Mr. Silverman currently works with several other companies in a Board and Advisory capacity.

Mr. Silverman is the former CEO of mtm laboratories AG, an in-vitro diagnostics company which developed and commercialized a portfolio of products using its patent protected biomarkers for early detection and diagnosis of cervical cancer. He was instrumental in building this company into a global, fully integrated business, with a strong foundation of significant clinical utility and commercial momentum. Mr. Silverman successfully negotiated the purchase of mtm by Roche Diagnostics in August 2011 for a total deal value of $270 Million and then facilitated the integration of mtm into Roche.

Prior to mtm laboratories, Mr. Silverman was the Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Commercial Operations for Viacell, a company focused on developing stem cell therapies and cord blood banking. Before this, he spent 6 years with Cytyc Corporation. During his tenure at Cytyc, he served as the Vice President of Marketing and the Vice President of International, and was integral in launching and establishing the core technology (the ThinPrep Pap Test) into the standard of care for cervical cancer screening. Previous positions include Vice-President of Marketing for Pasteur Merieux Connaught, Director of New Product Development for Abbott Laboratories Pharmaceutical Products Division and Management Consultant with Bain and Company.

He earned his Master’s degree in Marketing and Finance from Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from the University of Michigan.

“On behalf of KIYATEC, I am delighted to welcome Bob as Chairman,” said Matt Gevaert, CEO. “His wealth of experience as both an executive and director in the diagnostics industry will be instrumental in successfully taking our company to the next level. We have benefitted greatly from his exemplary service to date, and I see this as KIYATEC getting more of a great thing.”

About KIYATEC Inc.
KIYATEC prioritizes accurate ex vivo prediction of patient response to drug treatment, with a focus on data correlation to human clinical outcomes. The company creates and utilizes live phenotypic 3D cell-based models for drug response profiling and applies them to generate information relevant to preclinical testing, clinical trials and clinical diagnostics applications. By accurately predicting patient drug response without ever exposing actual patients to drugs, KIYATEC will create informed drug selection that minimizes clinical trials’ failures and maximizes cancer patient outcomes in the clinic. For more information, please visit or follow KIYATEC on Twitter (@KIYATEC).

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Patients with rare genetic disorder benefit from local research

Greenwood, SC (April 3, 2014) – Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has reported the treatment of a newborn with a drug known as EDI200, a recombinant protein designed to treat Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia, also known as Ectodermal Dysplasia, Anhidrotic (EDA) The discovery of this breakthrough drug traces back directly to 19 years of pioneer research by GGC’s Associate Director of the JC Self Research Institute’s Center for Molecular Studies, Anand Srivastava, PhD.

EDA is a rare genetic condition caused by an altered gene on the X chromosome, so it primarily affects males. It causes sparse hair, abnormal or missing teeth and an inability to sweat due to a lack of sweat glands. Serious consequences related to the inability to sweat can lead to life-threatening or brain-damaging hyperthermia. As a researcher at Washington University, Dr. Srivastava identified the causative gene for EDA. He came to GGC in 1995 and continued his work on this disorder. In later studies, he and colleagues identified the mouse version of the EDA gene and determined that the EDA protein product, ectodysplasin-A1, could permanently correct the EDA symptoms in mice. This work also provided the first direct evidence that this protein could be useful in creating treatments for EDA in humans. Through later studies in mice, cattle and canines, the drug EDI200 was developed by Edimer Pharmaceuticals, and clinical trials began in 2012. Since the initial gene discovery, mutations of the EDA gene have been identified in patients from all over the world. The patient in St. Louis is the third newborn to be treated with the drug.

“This drug is showing great promise as a therapy and potential cure for patients with X-linked EDA,” said Srivastava. “We are so excited that our work here at GGC has been instrumental in the understanding of this disease that has lead to this breakthrough.”

GGC Director Dr. Steve Skinner reiterated the significance of the collaborative efforts that lead to this new treatment, “This is a great success story of a disease gene discovery leading to diagnosis and treatment and exemplifies the importance of partnerships between research laboratories, clinicians and industry to achieve treatment realities for many genetic disorders.”

About Greenwood Genetic Center

The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC), founded in 1974, is a nonprofit organization advancing the field of medical genetics and caring for families impacted by genetic disease and birth defects.  At its home campus in Greenwood, South Carolina, a talented team of physicians and scientists provides clinical genetic services, diagnostic laboratory testing, educational programs and resources, and research in the field of medical genetics.  GGC’s faculty and staff are committed to the goal of developing preventive and curative therapies for the individuals and families they serve.  GGC extends its reach as a resource to all residents of South Carolina with satellite offices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence and Greenville. For more information about GGC please visit

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$5 million investment expected to create 100 new jobs

Suminoe Textile of America Corporation, a supplier of textile products for the North American automotive market, is expanding its needle punch carpet facility in Cherokee County that makes automotive carpeting. The $5 million investment is expected to create 100 new jobs.

Suminoe is the wholly owned subsidiary of Suminoe Textile Ltd., which originated in Japan more than 125 years ago. Suminoe Textile of America Corporation began operations in the United States at its Gaffney facility in 2003.

South Carolina’s automotive sector employs more than 46,000 in the state at 250 companies in 38 of the state’s 46 counties, according to South Carolina Department of Commerce data.

Over the past decade, Suminoe has grown from an initial 10 employees to more than 400 currently employed at its Gaffney facility. As part of the expansion, Suminoe will be hiring machine operators, forklift drivers, inspection operators as well as management positions. Those interested in career opportunities with the company may apply by emailing Suminoe’s human resources division.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits for the project.


“Suminoe is excited to continue growth at our United States facility in Cherokee County. They welcomed us with open arms ten years ago and we appreciate the continued support of Cherokee County and the South Carolina Department of Commerce.” -Kathie Ledford, HR manager for Suminoe Textile of America Corporation

“Suminoe is a national leader in the textile industry, and their decision to invest $5 million into Cherokee County and create 100 new jobs here is not only good news for the Gaffney community, but for the entire state of South Carolina.” -Gov. Nikki Haley

“The automotive sector continues to drive business location and expansion decisions in South Carolina, including companies in the textile industry. Thanks to companies like Suminoe, South Carolina’s rich history in textiles is growing.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“It’s always exciting to see a company grow in South Carolina.  Suminoe celebrated their tenth anniversary last year in Cherokee County.  This expansion validates Cherokee County has a business-friendly climate and is poised for success. We wish Suminoe continued success in the future.” -State Senator Harvey Peeler

“We appreciate Suminoe’s decision to expand in Cherokee County.  This announcement is a testament to the workforce of Cherokee County and is a signal to all that we are open for business. We are grateful for the vote of confidence by Suminoe’s management team” - State Representative Dennis Moss

“Suminoe has been a critical part of county’s success for some ten years now.  This is the second expansion since they arrived here and every one of these new jobs will have a positive impact on Cherokee County.” -Cherokee County Council Chairman Tim Spencer


  • Suminoe Textile of America Corporation is expanding its Cherokee County facility.
  • The Gaffney facility makes carpeting for the automotive industry.
  • The $5 million investment is expected to create 100 new jobs.
  • Subsidiary of Suminoe Textile Ltd., a Japanese company established more than 125 years ago.
  • South Carolina’s automotive industry employs more than 46,000 in the state at 250 companies in38 of the state’s 46 counties.

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Precorp Inc. Logo
Specialty manufacturer to invest $14.8 million, add at least 29 new jobs

Precorp Inc., a provider of innovative machining solutions to the automotive and aerospace industries, today announced that it will expand operations by building a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Greer, South Carolina. The $14.8 million investment is expected to add at least 29 new jobs over the next few years.

Precorp Inc. is a member of the Machining Solutions Group of Sandvik, a high-technology engineering group with nearly 47,000 employees worldwide and business conducted in more than 130 countries. Sandvik’s primary business areas focus on tools and tooling systems for mining, construction and numerous other industries. The company is also a leader in working with advanced stainless steels, special alloys, titanium and metallic and ceramic resistance materials.

The new plant, which joins Precorp operations in Germany, Michigan and Utah, will be located at 1510 S. Batesville Road in Greer. The custom-built, 60,000 square foot facility will nearly triple its current space and will allow the company to expand services to existing customers and greatly expand its business development initiatives. Construction on the new Greer location is underway, and Precorp expects to relocate operations there by early 2015.

The company plans to release hiring information in the coming weeks. Positions to be filled include: CNC-controlled cutter operators and mechanical drafters, among other positions. Interested candidates should apply in person at Remedy Staffing offices in Greer or Easley, or at Adecco Staffing offices in Greenville.


“South Carolina’s success in attracting key members of the aerospace and automotive industries led to the continuing growth of our existing operations in Greer, and ultimately to our decision to build a new state-of-the-art facility here in Greenville County. While we considered other locations, South Carolina’s leadership in supporting advanced manufacturing and the excellent workforce we have found here clinched our decision to expand here. We appreciate the support of the Greenville Area Development Corporation, the South Carolina Department of Commerce, and all who helped to make this announcement possible.”
-Rich Garrick, president of Precorp Inc.

“It is a great day in South Carolina every time an existing business decides to expand within our borders. We applaud Precorp and their decision to invest $14.8 million and create at least 29 new jobs in Greer.
-Gov. Nikki Haley

“Precorp’s expansion in Greenville County is a true testament to our workforce and speaks to South Carolina’s reputation as a leader in manufacturing. Precorp is a world-class company that could have located anywhere in the world, but they chose to be in South Carolina, where the advanced manufacturing industry is booming and our workforce is stronger than ever.”
-Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“We’re pleased that Precorp Inc. has chosen to expand its operations here in Greenville County, and to continue to enjoy the talent pool and business climate that this community offers. Their decision to develop a new high-tech manufacturing facility in Greer is a continued affirmation of this region’s success in expanding our automotive and aerospace clusters.”
-Dr. Bob Taylor, board member of the Greenville Area Development Corporation and chairman of Greenville County Council

“Congratulations to Precorp, Inc. on this terrific announcement. High-tech manufacturing is the backbone of our economy. The growth and commitment of great companies like Precorp ensures a healthy, well-balanced Greer community and a first-class quality of life.”
-Wryley Bettis, chairman of the Greer Development Corporation


  • Precorp Inc. announces it will expand operations by building a new manufacturing facility in Greer, South Carolina.
  • The $14.8 million investment is expected to add at least 29 new jobs.
  • The new location is under construction at 1510 S. Batesville Road in Greer.
  • The new 60,000-square-foot facility will triple Precorp’s space in the region.
  • Interested candidates may apply in person at Remedy Staffing offices in Greer or Easley, or atAdecco Staffing offices in Greenville.

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$14.8 million investment expected to create 32 new jobs


Copac Global Packaging, a leading provider of packaging services to domestic and global customers, today announced the completion of its expansion at its Spartanburg County facility. The $14.8 million expansion is expected to create 32 new jobs.

Copac has constructed an additional 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space at its facility to increase productivity and add capacity. The larger facility also will allow the company to consolidate operations that are currently performed in separate buildings into a single, more efficient workflow.

Job opportunities with the company will be posted at

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved a $100,000 set aside grant for site development and real property improvements related to the project.


“We are pleased to have completed construction on the building expansion. Our business has been growing rapidly for the past several years. This new space will allow us to install new equipment and reconfigure workflows to operate more efficiently to better serve our customers.” -Jerry Lux, Copac CEO

“It’s always great news when an existing business decides to continue growing and succeeding in our state. We congratulate Copac on their decision to invest $14.8 million and create 32 new jobs in Spartanburg County.” -Gov. Nikki Haley

“Copac joins the more than 194 businesses that have chosen to expand in South Carolina since 2011. With our strong workforce and unmatched Southern hospitality, it is no wonder that so many companies find South Carolina just right for business.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“Copac Global Packaging is a long-time corporate citizen of Spartanburg and we are thrilled to assist an existing industry as they continue to grow and invest in their facility and employees. As a state-of-the-art packaging company, we appreciate Copac making this investment in Spartanburg and we look forward to working with them on any future growth plans they may have.” -David Britt, chairman of the Economic Recruitment and Development Committee of Spartanburg County and member of the Economic Futures Group Board


  • Copac is expanding its Spartanburg County operations - $14.8 million investment and 32 new jobs.
  • The expansion project includes a 50,000 square foot addition to the company’s existing manufacturing facility.
  • Copac’s additional space allows the company to consolidate operations into a single, more efficient workflow.
  • South Carolina Commerce has announced 194 business expansions since 2011.
  • Job opportunities will be posted at

About Copac Global Packaging Inc.

Founded in 1970, Copac Global Packaging is a leading provider of packaging services to domestic and global customers in specific niche markets, focusing on high-end folding cartons, labels, inserts, and hang tags. Based in Spartanburg, SC, the company has additional operations in the Caribbean, Central America, and Asia. More information is available at

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$20 million investment expected to create 30 new jobs

CRR Carbon Resources Recovery SC LLC, a manufacturer of recycled tire materials, is planning to locate its first North American facility in Anderson County. The company’s $20 million investment is expected to create approximately 30 new jobs over the next two years.

CRR Carbon Resources uses an innovative manufacturing system to recycle shredded tire materials into renewable energy products. The company’s specialized green process supports environmental sustainability goals, eliminates the disposing of tires in such places as landfills, incinerators and boilers and provides a full recovery of recyclable materials.

CRR is working with a New England JV partner which has been a leader in developing clean energy projects for the last 35 years with the ability to design, finance, develop, construct, operate and manage large scale energy projects.

The company expects construction to be complete by the end of 2015 at which time CRR will work with Anderson County to hire and train local personnel to staff the new plant.

The Coordinating Council of Economic Development approved job development credits for the project.

Since 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $1 billion in capital investment and created more than 2,300 jobs in the recycling-related sector.


“We are excited to bring sustainable, renewable energy to South Carolina and continue our mission to provide a green process that eliminates waste and continues to help achieve the United States’ sustainability goals. We’d like to thank S.C. Commerce and Anderson County for their continued commitment throughout this process.” –James P. Sweeney, president of BVA Energy

“It speaks volumes to the strength of our state’s business environment and skilled workforce when a company like CRR decides to locate its first North American plant here. We applaud CRR’s decision to invest $20 million in our state and create 30 new jobs in Anderson County.” – Gov. Nikki Haley

“Being dubbed ‘Tire Nation,’ it makes sense that we would not only produce the most tires in the nation, but have companies that turn end-of-life tires back into renewable, sustainable energy. It is a circle of life and we are glad to be the beginning and end factors of such thanks to companies like CRR.” –Secretary Bobby Hitt

“I am extremely pleased that Carbon Resources Recovery has decided to locate in Anderson County. I am also glad that this company is locating in Council District 2; this announcement will be a huge shot in the arm for this area.” -Ms. Gracie Floyd, Anderson County councilwoman


  • CRR Carbon Resources Recovery SC LLC intends to locate its new facility in Anderson County.
  • The company will invest $20 million and create approximately 30 new jobs over the first two years.
  • CRR’s mission is to eliminate the disposal of tires in such places as landfills, incinerators and boilers and providing full recovery of the materials.
  • The company construction to be complete by the end of 2015 at which time CRR will work with Anderson County to hire and train local personnel to staff the new plant.
  • Since 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $1 billion in capital investment and created more than 2,300 new jobs in the recycling-related sector.

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