Wet Lab LaunchPad™ Grand Opening Held; First Tenants Announced
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The first new tenants of the much anticipated Piedmont Triad Research Park (PTRP) Wet Lab LaunchPad project were announced today (Dec. 17) during a grand opening event at 3 p.m.
Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp (CLC), a company headquartered in California, and Tengion, a leader in the field of regenerative medicine, will be the first to occupy space in the newly built lab space located in the Richard H. Dean Biomedical Research Building.
CLC is a company engaged in the business of developing, manufacturing and commercializing in vitro diagnostic reagents for quantitative testing of analytes, which are used in hospital and private laboratories worldwide. It was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Brea, Calif.
At PTRP, CLC’s new operation will be engaged in applied research for developing new diagnostic applications for chemistry analyzers. The first project will be to gather data for an FDA 510k submission on a new assay used in the qualitative and quantitative assessment of syphilis on automated chemistry analyzers. Today there are over 10 million syphilis tests done in the U.S. by manual latex agglutination methods that are too laborious for high volume laboratories. The company’s goal is to make testing for these labs easier, faster and more accurate.
Tengion is a leader in the field of regenerative medicine and is developing neo-organs and tissues derived from a patient's own (autologous) cells. The company's lead product, the Tengion Neo-Bladder™, is currently in Phase II clinical trials in the United States in pediatric patients with spina bifida and adult patients with spinal cord injuries.
The company's patented integrated technology platform – which was developed over the past two decades by scientists at Children's Hospital of Boston (the Harvard pediatric teaching hospital), MIT, and Tengion – represents a breakthrough in regenerative medicine. The technology actually harnesses the body's ability to regenerate tissues and organs, and it has the potential to allow adults and children with organ failure to have functioning organs created from their own tissues.
Tengion's scientific founder, Dr. Anthony Atala, is a recognized leader in the field of regenerative medicine. He is currently director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in North Carolina and Chair of the Tengion Scientific Advisory Board.
The grand opening agenda included facility tours and remarks from special guests, including Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines and Norris Tolson, president of the N.C. Biotechnology Center. Most important, the event recognized and celebrated the 31 partners and the community initiative that came together to make the project a reality.
"The Wet Lab Launchpad will provide early stage start-ups needed space at affordable rates,” said Doug Edgeton, president of PTRP. “This will allow those companies to participate in the many benefits of being in an urban setting and in a defined development such as the PTRP. We are excited about the opportunity this setting represents for those companies and our greater community."
Bill Dean, of PTRP, added, “We’re able to provide the appropriate environment to help these companies grow – to get to their next stage of development – so they can expand into other space in the research park.”
Work on the Wet Lab LaunchPad concept began in 2005. At the request of Gwyn Riddick, regional director of the Piedmont Triad office of the N.C. Biotechnology Center, Randal Pool, who is managing principal of Stantec Consulting, headed up the Wet Lab “Concept Team” and began to recruit builders and suppliers to help upfit the proposed space. Kirkland Inc. of High Point agreed to provide general contracting management, in consultation with Tom Ingram of Wake Forest University Health Sciences, project manager at the research park.
Dean, Pool and Ingram continued to raise funds for the project, with a major contribution coming from Wake Forest University Health Sciences. In a community-wide effort, the City of Winston-Salem also played an important role in providing leadership and necessary funding to complete the project. About two dozen other companies have also contributed funding or services to the project.
Members of this “Delivery Team” include:
Armstrong Resource Flooring
Carolina Business Interiors
City of Winston-Salem
Environmental Air Systems
Hahn Mason, Inc.
Johnson Controls, Inc.
Johnsons Modern Electric
L. Fishman, Inc.
R. L. Vanstory
Snead Paint Company
Storr Office Environments
Sunland Fire Protection Inc.
The Phoenix Agency
Wake Forest University Health Sciences
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About Piedmont Triad Research Park (www.ptrp.com)
Piedmont Triad Research Park (PTRP) is a place where innovation lives. PTRP is a highly interactive, master-planned urban-based park located in downtown Winston-Salem, N.C., that provides office and laboratory facilities to biomedical and information technology tenants. Currently the PTRP community encompasses six buildings, providing over 554,000 square feet of wet lab, office, meeting and residential space, and is home to 15 life science, 11 information technology and eight business services tenants. Collectively these 36 tenants employ 832 university and corporate personnel. PTRP expansion, led by Wake Forest University Health Sciences, is under way to create a total 5.7 million gross square feet of mixed-use research park space, reclaiming 230 acres of the city's downtown area over the next 20-30 years.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine and its other related enterprises including the Piedmont Triad Research Park. The Medical School is ranked 4th in the Southeastern United States in revenues from its licensed intellectual property.
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