Skip to main content

Triad, Biotech Center Execs Laud Growth

Biotech Center CEO Norris Tolson meets with Triad business leaders at Ameritox campus in Greensboro. (Greensboro Partnership photo)

Continuing life-science growth in the Piedmont Triad region was celebrated this week in a series of meetings and discussions involving North Carolina Biotechnology Center executives and some of the business, academic and civic leaders helping to spur the region’s upswing.

Biotechnology Center President and CEO Norris Tolson held a roundtable discussion on Triad and statewide life-science business growth in a conference room at one of the region’s newest bioscience companies, Ameritox Laboratories, in Greensboro.

The Life Science Entrepreneurs Roundtable was a Regional Exchange Group event led by the Greensboro Partnership.

Tolson was joined in the meeting and a facility tour by Senior Vice President for Statewide Operations & Economic Development Michael Wilkins, along with Steven Casey, vice president for Statewide Operations, and Nancy Johnston, executive director of the Biotech Center’s Piedmont Triad Office.

Speed, Experience Helped Bring Ameritox to Greensboro

Ameritox Chief Operating Officer Jay Zimmerman told the audience that Triad leaders’ speed and experience were key in his Baltimore company’s decision to locate its new lab at the Greensboro site. The Biotechnology Center was involved in the company’s recruitment, which is expected to provide more than 225 jobs to the community.

Last month the company’s new Greensboro facility and another in Midland, Texas won an important accreditation from the College of American Pathologists.

After the Greensboro event, the Biotech Center executives met with scientists at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, then traveled to High Point to visit clinical-stage pharmaceutical company TransTech Pharma, pharmaceutical services company PharmaCore and the High Point Clinical Trials Center, a clinical research facility specializing in early-phase drug development.

Connectivity, R&D Contributing to Regional Life-Science Growth

“This visit was about connectivity with regional leaders in bio and nano technology, with discussions about our strengths for North Carolina,” said Johnston. “It’s clear we’re growing core sectors such as regenerative medicine, agbiotech and nanotechnology through academic R&D excellence and economic and community development.”

The Triad’s importance in nanotechnology will be highlighted later this month when Greensboro hosts the 16th annual Commercialization of Micro-Nano Systems international conference, known as COMS 2011.

The state’s Center of Innovation for NanoBiotechnology, founded with grant funding from the Biotechnology Center, recruited the conference to North Carolina, in part to coincide with the opening of the $65 million Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.

The Joint School is a unique graduate-level research and educational collaboration of two University of North Carolina-system schools:  the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University. The campus is in Greensboro’s Gateway University Research Park, not far from the site where the COMS gathering will be held.