Why Charlottesville’s Burgeoning Biotech Industry Hub Is Getting Noticed

As the BioHealth Capital Region and the entire World works together finding ways to stay engaged, the CvilleBioHub in Charlottesville offered a live webinar on March 31st on “The State of the Region: Growing Biotech Industry”. Originally planned as an in-person presentation, this event hosted by Cville’s Nikki Hastings, Martin Chapman and Susan Klees along with UVA LVG Seed Fund & New Ventures, Bob Creeden, and GO Virginia Region 9 council chair, Jim Cheng, offered insights and local biotech industry updates from emerging/growing companies in the region local to Charlottesville. 

Cville Executive Director, Nikki Hastings, presented their Economic impact: CvilleBioHub Overview & Industry Impact slide deck which introduced the BioHub to everyone joining the webinar. Founded in 2016 with the goals to bring the Charlottesville biotech community together their mission “To strengthen the Charlottesville-area biotechnology industry through ENGAGEMENT, RESOURCING, and ADVOCACY.” With the growth and success of the BioHub, a goal of doubling the local industry by 2030 is on the horizon. The presentation continued with a spotlight on the 67 companies in the BioHub, equaling nearly 2,000 jobs and $54M in grant support.

Companies in the Charlottesville hub had a good year in 2019 and that momentum is continuing.  In August 2019 Cavion was acquired for Up To $312.5M by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, an industry leader in sleep medicine with a growing hematology/oncology portfolio. Several other companies had substantial capital raises including ZielBio’s $25.1M Series A, and Diffusion Pharmaceuticals which closed a $6.45M round. 

UVA LVG Seed Fund & New Ventures, Bob Creeden joined the discussion to share his views on the BioHub and Region. Coming from the biotech region around Boston, he sees the building of a community across multiple related industries, companies, successes, collaborations, and funding.

Susan Klees of the BioHub and Newberry Consulting presented next to highlight companies in the industry subsectors of Device and Instrumentation, Therapeutics, Health Tech and Software, Agriculture and Food Tech, and Biomanufacturing. Even in these uncertain times, there is a confidence in the work happening in the region. Nikki wrapped up the presentation with final thoughts on what the BioHub views as their strongest assets. With access to financing, a diverse workforce, human capital, leadership, and infrastructure.

Before taking questions, GO Virginia Region 9 council chair, Jim Cheng, joined the conversation to thank the presenters and reinforce how important the biotech industry is to Virginia. He also shared that state leadership has been working to diversify industries across Virginia and recognizes biotech as a strength during the COVID-19 health crisis.

The hour-long webinar wrapped up with a short Q&A, call to action on how to support COVID-19 response, and upcoming virtual events in April.Click here to view The CvilleBioHub Region: A Report on the Local Biotechnology Industry, Metrics and Economic Impact.

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