Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lt. Gov. Applauds Launch of Bioscience Commercialization Center

/PRNewswire/ -- Lt. Governor Casey Cagle today (June 14) joined Georgia Bio, the Georgia Research Alliance, the Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Innovation Crescent business community in announcing the launch of the Georgia Bioscience Commercialization Center (GBCC), which will act as a start-up catalyst and resource center for bioscience entrepreneurs in Georgia.

"The Georgia Bioscience Commercialization Center is a first of its kind initiative in Georgia, drawing on the expertise of proven CEOs and senior executives to assist entrepreneurs in growing their potential business and producing jobs," Lt. Gov. Cagle said. "It will serve as an engine for economic growth supporting development of high-paying, 21st century jobs that will stay in Georgia and enhance our state's leadership in bioscience. This innovative mentoring program, as well as the tax credit for investing in early stage entrepreneurial endeavors we just passed this session, means entrepreneurs have a real chance for success in Georgia."

Seed funding for the GBCC was provided by Georgia Bio (GaBio) and the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA). The GBCC will be headquartered in the GaBio offices at 1180 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 4150, Atlanta, Ga, 30308.

UCB, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company based in Brussels with U.S. headquarters in Smyrna, served as backdrop for the GBCC launch. UCB President Greg Duncan, a member of the GaBio Board of Directors, said, "The GBCC will help Georgia build that critical mass of companies that is essential in sustaining industry growth and making Georgia an attractive destination for international companies such as UCB."

Laurence Downey, M.D., former President and CEO of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, and Robert Derricotte, President of Medical Marketing Insights LLC, led development of the GBCC and will serve as the primary contacts for the commercialization center.

Dr. Downey, a member of the GaBio Board, said, "The key element of the center's operation is the faculty of experienced bioscience executives who will offer guidance to start-up firms, free-of-charge. These experts are volunteering their time to advance the growth of Georgia's bioscience industry by assisting start-up companies that want to locate in Georgia and by helping scientists at our universities translate their discoveries into new bioscience products. The GBCC is a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs."

The GBCC website (www.GeorgiaBCC.com) also will contain useful "how-to" information, plus links to service providers, event notices, technology transfer opportunities and other resources.

Bryan White, Chairman and Co-founder of apothe-Linx, Inc., is one of the first entrepreneurs to engage the GBCC faculty. "I would not have been able to get my company off the ground without the help of the GBCC experts," White said. "I was amazed at the breadth of the faculty's experience. The GBCC fills an immediate need in Georgia to help entrepreneurs deal with the complexities of starting a company and of advancing their product development."

In addition to GaBio and GRA, other GBCC partners are the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Metro Atlanta Chamber and other members of the Innovation Crescent Regional Partnership, which includes the Athens-Clarke County Economic Development Foundation; Atlanta Development Authority; Barrow County Chamber of Commerce; Cobb County Office of Economic Development; DeKalb Private Hospital Authority; Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce; Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce; and the Oconee County Development Authority.

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