As the new year arises we pause to reflect on 2019 and the highlights of the year.
The big buzz in the North Texas life sciences community was the acquisition of Peloton Therapeutics by Merck & Co. for $2.2 Billion just weeks after Peloton filed for an IPO. Unicorns are rare and the fact that North Texas has seen two in the past four years with at least two near unicorns in that same period speaks to the increasing presence of our life sciences community on the world stage. I imagine we are not far from at least one $1B+ acquisition yearly, with a local company either acquiring or being acquired. Life sciences M&A activity in 2019 included:
- Medisource Partners acquired by Generex Biotechnology
- Aprima Medical (Dallas) acquired by eMDs Inc (Austin)
- eCore Software (Dallas) acquired by ESO (Austin)
- Peloton Therapeutics (Dallas) acquired by Merck $2.2B
- Corepoint Health (Frisco) merged with Rhapsody (Boston)
- ThermiGen (Irving) acquired by Celling Biosciences (Austin)
- VitreosHealth (Plano) acquired by HMS Holdings (Irving) $36.5M
- Vivify Health (Plano) acquired by Optum, a division of UnitedHealth Group
- Emergent Cold (Dallas) acquired by Lineage Logistics (Michigan) $900M
Of the 37 registered M&A activity of 2019 more than 24% were life sciences deal.
A few of you may be asking why Emergent Cold, a cold storage company, is included in this list of life sciences M&A activity and the answer is a new word that is already making an impact in the life sciences – biologistics.
Biologistics is defined as the management of the safe flow of high value, temperature sensitive, and time-critical biological materials as they are delivered for patient care, analyzed for diagnostic purposes, processed to higher value products or stored to meet physical and data archival needs.
In 2019 Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport made North Texas a beachhead in the industry with the announcement of the organizations move into BioLogistics by becoming CEIV certified, one of only two airports (Miami being the other) with such designation in the United States. DFW’s vision includes a robust “biotech silk road and innovation hub” that sees goods being shipped worldwide in the most expedient and safe manner with full “lab to delivery” tracking of sensitive materials. DFW is one of few airports that can pull this off on a global level due to its geographic advantage – only Chicago and Houston can offer non-stop flights to the locations spanning Australia to Mumbai. Chicago’s cold winters provides it with a significant disadvantage.
If you don’t think this is big news let me just point out that immediately on announcement international biologistics companies such as SkyCell started to up their presence in the region.
As if that isn’t proof enough, life science companies have been relocating or opening offices in the region due to its location. The largest has been McKesson relocating their headquarter to Irving but smaller players such as Lake Pharma saw the opportunity before the DFW Airport announcement and opened labs in Irving near the airport.
Lake Pharma’s decision to move their headquarter from San Francisco to North Texas was driven by its distribution ease, their ever-growing Texas client base, the cost of doing business, and the quality of life for its employees with key employees relocating to the region. They have no intent to close their locations in San Francisco and Boston but see North Texas as the hotbed of growth evidenced by the unicorns and near unicorns in North Texas and especially following the passing of an additional $3B in funding for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
CPRIT is a big win for Texas and the North Texas life sciences community. It attracts talent and companies to our great State. It is a model that other states are scrambling to replicate. It is the reason companies like OncoNano, which received much of its funding from the coasts, is here in North Texas.
2019 was a win for the North Texas life sciences community. We are excited to see where 2020 will take us. One thing is sure – we will see more acquisitions, relocations and leadership in biologistics and cancer therapies and research.
Successful entrepreneur and investor Paul Dorman named bionorthTX™ 2019 Dennis K. Stone Award Recipient
DALLAS, TEXAS, Sep 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — bionorthTX™, the trade association representing the life sciences industry in North Texas, announced that Paul Dorman, pharma entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist, is the recipient of the 2019 Dennis K. Stone Award which recognizes an individual for his/her contributions to improving quality of life.
Dorman is Chairman and CEO of DFB Pharmaceuticals, a company he cofounded in 1990 with the purchase of Dermatological Products of Texas (DPT) from Alcon Laboratories. DFB invests, develops, and operates pharmaceutical businesses that have positively impacted quality of life through the development and commercialization of life-saving drugs. With his latest venture, Nanology, LLC, Dorman and his team are looking to gain a foothold in oncology by developing a submicron drug development platform.
In 2017, recognizing the need for “exceptionally trained physicians”, Dorman founded the H. Paul Dorman Charter Scholarship Program to provide first year tuition to the entire inaugural class of MD students at the TCU / UNTHSC School of Medicine in Fort Worth.
“Dorman epitomizes the attributes we seek in recipients of the Dennis K. Stone Award through his entrepreneurship, investments, and philanthropy,” said Jorge Varela CEO of bionorthTX™. “His success and contributions over the past 30 years has contributed to the growing North Texas biotech and healthcare sectors.”
The award will be presented on Friday September 27th, 2019 at the 5th Annual iC3™ Life Science Summit in Arlington Texas (more info at https://bionorthtx.org/ic3-summit-2019/)
About the Dennis K. Stone Award
The Dennis K. Stone Award is presented annually by bionorthTX™ to an individual who has positively affected quality of life by raising awareness and funds for life science research, who has impacted innovation to bring discoveries to commercial relevance, and who has given back to their community and those in the scientific field as a supporter, mentor, leader, or educator. Past recipients are Phil Ralston, Dennis K. Stone, Lyda Hill, and Darlene Boudreaux.
bionorthTX™ believes that by fostering the life sciences industry in North Texas it will improve lives through new biotech solutions, better healthcare delivery, and through economic growth and diversity.The organization represents the collective interests of its members to bring awareness to significant regional efforts and assets in North Texas. bionorthTX™ works to build a stronger community by connecting, promoting and educating the brightest minds and best companies in order to drive business and professional growth of those who heal, feed and fuel our world.
For more information contact Jorge Varela at 871-760-8191, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
BioNorth Texas names Chief Financial Officer
Dallas, TX Release: April 30, 2019. For Immediate Release
BioNorth Texas Inc. (BioNTX) today announced that Darlene Boudreaux will be its new Chief Financial Officer. She will be working with Jorge Varela, the President and Chief Executive Officer, who joined BioNTX in October 2018. The organization represents the life sciences industry for 26 counties in North Texas including Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington. Former CFO Dave Carlson will remain on the Board of Directors of the organization.
“I’m excited to be working again with Darlene,” said Varela. “She brings not only financial expertise but deep entrepreneurial experience as founder and CEO of her own pharmaceutical company, as well as several years of coaching life science entrepreneurs as the Executive Director of TechFW, and starting the Cowtown Angels investor group in Fort Worth.”
Boudreaux is a CPA as well as an entrepreneur, experienced nonprofit executive, and angel investor. She recently retired as the Executive Director of TechFW, a technology business incubator in Fort Worth where she and Varela worked together for several years. She continues to coach TechFW clients, teach at the Neeley Business School at TCU, and is a member of Cowtown Angels.
In 2018, BioNorth Texas presented Boudreaux with the Dennis K. Stone Award, which is given annually to an individual who has positively affected quality of life by raising awareness and funds for life science research, who has impacted innovation to bring discoveries to commercial relevance, and who has given back to their community and those in the scientific field as a supporter, mentor, leader, or educator.
“We are forever grateful to Dave Carlson for his years of dedicated and excellent service as CFO of Bio North Texas.” said Board Chairman Frank Grassler. “Darlene’s experience building successful companies and her prominence in the life sciences community working with such successful companies as ZS Pharma and Encore Vision, will undoubtedly be a huge contribution to BioNTX.”
“I have been a member of BioNorth Texas for years,” Boudreaux said. “Now I have the opportunity to work with Jorge and the other members of the board of directors as we connect, grow and promote the North Texas life science industry.”
About BioNorth Texas Inc.
BioNorth Texas Inc. exists to build a healthier community and to drive economic growth in North Texas by connecting, educating, and promoting the life sciences industry for the 26-county region. BioNorth Texas represents the collective interests of member companies to bring awareness to significant regional efforts and assets in Texas. The organization provides events, education, networking, and access to capital, which has resulted in partnerships, jobs and new innovations.
Name: Jorge Varela
TupeloLife, a connected health company joins bionorthTX
TupeloLife is a connected health company enabling Care@Home Technologies. Care@Home Technologies help providers and healthcare organizations manage chronically-
“North Texas has a strong presence in healthcare and the life science industry and bionorthTX offers a great network of industry leading organizations that focus on making a difference in patient care.” said Melvin Mathew, TupeloLife CEO. “Their mission and purpose will bolster our growth and play an influential role in the commercialization of our technologies.”
“I am pleased to announce that TupeloLife has joined bionorthTX. Their presence strengthens our membership by providing access to expertise in improved patient care and monitoring. The future of medicine will be focused more on individualized patient care, and TupeloLife is pioneering exciting methods to make the future happen now” said Terry Foster, CEO of bionorthTX. “Their presence in the North Texas life science community makes us even stronger. Their international presence provides additional value.”
About bionorthTX: bionorthTX was created to accelerate the growth of the diverse and balanced life science ecosystem in North Texas. This spans the value chain of healthcare, life sciences, research, the vendor community, and talent and capital resources. Companies can connect with industry leaders, ground-breaking technologies, the investment community, nationally-ranked colleges and universities, a wealth of consultants, a varied population for clinical research and an experienced pool of scientists, technicians and resources. www. bionorthtx.org
About TupeloLife:TupeloLife is a connected healthcare company, developing Care@Home technologies designed to enable transitional and chronic care management. TupeloLife’s Care@Home technologies are an integrated and comprehensive combination of A.I., hardware, software, and services to assist healthcare providers to successfully transition and manage patients @home. https://tupelolife.com/
Novartis announces intention to seek shareholder approval for 100% spinoff of Alcon eye care devices business.
Jun 29, 2018
Novartis announces intention to seek shareholder approval for 100% spinoff of Alcon eye care devices business; initiates share buyback of up to USD 5 bn
- Alcon strategic review concludes that 100% spinoff in best interest of shareholders and consistent with the Novartis strategy of focusing as a medicines company
- Planned spinoff would create world leading eye care devices company
- The Alcon ophthalmology pharmaceuticals portfolio will remain with Novartis, further strengthening its leading ophthalmology pharmaceuticals business
- Transaction expected to be tax neutral to Novartis and subject to general market conditions, tax rulings and opinions, final Board endorsement and shareholder approval at the AGM in February 2019; completion expected in H1 2019
- Alcon CEO Mike Ball to become Chairman-designate; COO, David Endicott promoted to Alcon CEO, both appointments effective July 1, 2018
- Alcon would be incorporated in Switzerland; with Fort Worth continuing to be a key location. Listings planned on SIX Swiss Exchange and New York Stock Exchange
- Share buyback of up to USD 5 bn planned to be executed by end 2019, in line with capital allocation priorities highlighting confidence in top line growth and margin expansion
Basel, June 29, 2018 — Novartis today announced its intention to spinoff Alcon, its eye care division, into a separately-traded standalone company. The planned spinoff would enable Novartis and Alcon to focus fully on their respective growth strategies. Completion of the transaction is subject to general market conditions, tax rulings and opinions, final Board of Directors endorsement and shareholder approval at the 2019 AGM in line with Swiss corporate law.
Novartis also announced that it will initiate a share buyback of up to USD 5 billion to be executed by the end of 2019. This action is planned to be largely funded through the proceeds of the divestment to GSK of the consumer health joint venture stake, net of the AveXis acquisition payments.
Joerg Reinhardt, Chairman of Novartis, said: “Our strategic review examined all options for Alcon ranging from retention, sale, IPO to spinoff. The review concluded that a spinoff would be in the best interests of Novartis shareholders and the Board of Directors intends to seek shareholder approval for a spinoff at the 2019 AGM. This transaction would allow our shareholders to benefit from potential future successes of a more focused Novartis and a standalone Alcon, which would become a publicly traded global medtech leader based here in Switzerland.”
When Novartis acquired Alcon in 2011, the business included surgical, vision care and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. In January 2016, Novartis began the process of creating two best-in-class businesses with the transfer of Alcon’s ophthalmic pharmaceuticals to the Novartis Innovative Medicines Division. The leading ophthalmology pharmaceuticals business will continue to develop as part of Novartis, with 2017 sales of USD 4.6 billion and the potential blockbuster medicine RTH258 (brolucizumab) in development for neovascular AMD and diabetic macular edema. The Alcon Division is now fully focused on surgical and vision care, and continues to be the global leader in eye care devices.
Vas Narasimhan M.D., CEO of Novartis, said: “We continue to execute our strategy to focus Novartis as a leading medicines company. Alcon has returned to a position of strength and it is time to give the business more flexibility to pursue its own growth strategy as the world’s leading eye care devices company. We will work to ensure a smooth transition for Alcon and Novartis associates while preparing for the launch of RTH258 and building our leading ophthalmology pharmaceuticals business.”
Commenting on the share buyback, Dr. Narasimhan said: “The share buyback is fully aligned with our strategic capital allocation priorities, reflects our strict financial discipline and our confidence in future top line growth and margin expansion.”
Mike Ball will become Chairman-designate of Alcon, effective July 1, 2018, reporting to Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis. Mr. Ball will focus on preparing Alcon for the intended spin. In addition, he will start the process of recruiting a Board of Directors (BoD) for Alcon and meeting Novartis shareholders, and other potential investors, in preparation for a potential spinoff. If Alcon becomes an independent company, Mr. Ball would become Chairman of the Alcon BoD. In order to focus fully on the Alcon separation, Mr. Ball will step down from the Executive Committee of Novartis (ECN) on July 1, 2018.
David Endicott, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Alcon since July 2016, will be promoted to CEO of Alcon, also effective July 1, 2018. In light of the potential spinoff, Mr. Endicott will not become a member of the ECN. He will also report to Vas Narasimhan until the potential spinoff. Over the coming weeks, Mr. Ball will hand over operational management responsibilities to Mr. Endicott.
Mr. Endicott is a highly experienced leader in medical devices and pharmaceuticals having also previously held senior leadership positions with Allergan and Hospira. As Alcon COO he played an integral role in the turnaround of the business.
Mike Ball, CEO of Alcon, said: “This promises to be the beginning of an exciting new chapter for everyone associated with Alcon. The planned spinoff will be key to strengthening our leadership in the large, attractive and growing global eye care devices market. As Chairman-designate, I look forward to working closely with David Endicott and the entire team at Alcon to deliver continued innovation for our customers and patients, while creating shareholder value through long-term, sustainable growth.”
If the Alcon spinoff is completed, it would create a new Switzerland-based company with global scale and reach comprising more than 20,000 employees, with around USD 7 billion in 2017 sales. Fort Worth will continue to be a key location for Alcon.
Actions started earlier this year to make Alcon an operationally autonomous medical devices business will continue in preparation for a spinoff.
The successful completion of the planned spinoff is subject to general market conditions, regulatory approvals, final Board of Directors endorsement and shareholder approval. Required information and consultation of affected employees and employee representatives is planned for the second half of 2018. In the event that all approvals are secured, the planned spinoff is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019. The transaction is expected to be tax neutral to Novartis, subject to the receipt of favorable opinions and rulings. While a dividend policy for Alcon has not yet been set, Novartis intends to continue paying a strong and growing dividend in Swiss francs, building on the CHF2.80 per share paid in March 2018. The proposed distribution ratio will be disclosed in due course.
In addition to being incorporated in Switzerland, the intention would be to list shares of Alcon on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
DALLAS (April 13, 2018) – Dallas-based Polsinelli shareholder Jason A. Wietjes has been appointed to the 2018 board of directors for bionorthTX, a nonprofit, member-driven trade association serving and representing the life sciences industry in North Texas.
“We are pleased to welcome Jason to our board of directors for the coming years,” said Terry Foster, CEO of bionorthTX. “His presence elevates the stature of our board, and he will provide a depth of experience that complements and enhances our current board make-up. I truly believe we are stronger by having him.”
Composed of companies from North Texas’ largest employers to emerging startups, bionorthTX is committed to encouraging the development of a rich ecosystem that allows for the growth and success of North Texas life science companies, as well as to strengthening the economy of local communities. Through events, educational opportunities, networking and access to capital, bionorthTX bridges stakeholder relationships to catalyze partnerships and propel commercialization.
“I am eager to contribute to the board’s support and guidance of bionorthTX’s vital work connecting leaders to further the progress of the local life sciences ecosystem,” said Wietjes. “I look forward to the opportunity to utilize my background in, and passion for, biotech and biopharma to advocate on behalf of member companies to impact policy and continue the forward momentum that bionorthTX and its members have worked very hard to establish.”
As a shareholder in Polsinelli’s Intellectual Property practice group, Wietjes works with clients to strategically defend, enforce and monetize their intellectual property, with an emphasis on representing plaintiffs and defendants in complex intellectual property disputes. He represents clients in courts nationwide, including a long list of multi-million-dollar patent infringement suits involving an array of sophisticated technologies. In honor of his professional achievements, he has earned selection as a Barrister in the Honorable Barbara M.G. Lynn American Intellectual Property Inn of Court and recognition as a Texas Super Lawyers “Rising Star.”
A registered patent attorney with the USPTO, Wietjes is a member of the American, Texas and Dallas Bar Associations and the Intellectual Property Law Sections of each. He’s also a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, where he has served on the Biotechnology and Emerging Technologies committees, and is a past board member of the Dallas Chapter of Licensing Executives Society.
“Jason joining the bionorthTX board is another way for our firm to remain proactively involved in the thriving North Texas life sciences industry,” said Jon Henderson, managing partner of Polsinelli’s Dallas office and chair of the firm’s national Corporate and Transactional Practice Group. “We are proud and supportive of Jason’s work, both as an accomplished attorney and as an advocate for bioscience innovation and local economic growth.”
Highly active in the regional startup community, Wietjes also serves as a mentor at the Dallas Entrepreneur Center and Addison TreeHouse. He works with entrepreneurs, startup companies and their investors to evaluate and protect valuable intellectual property, assess risk and identify barriers to entry.
Wietjes earned his J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law and previously completed his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry at the University of Nebraska.
Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with more than 800 attorneys in 20 offices. Ranked #24 for Client Service Excellence1 and #10 for best client relationships2 among 650 U.S. law firms, Polsinelli was also named among the top 20 best-known firms in the nation3. The firm’s attorneys provide value through practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, mid-market corporate, labor and employment, and business litigation. www.polsinelli.com | Polsinelli PC | In California, Polsinelli LLP
AUSTIN, TX | June 4-7, 2018 – Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute (THBI) will host the statewide BioTexas initiative by collaborating with The Office of the Governor and Texas Economic Development Corporation (TxEDC) to bring a delegation together for the 2018 BIO International Convention in Boston, Massachusetts June 4-7, 2018.
The BIO International Convention is the largest global event for the biotechnology industry, with more than 16,000 biotechnology and pharma leaders in attendance. The convention consists of one week of intensive networking to discover new opportunities and promising partnerships, offering Texas companies the chance to expand into the global market. Representatives in attendance benefit by gaining visibility in front of influential decision makers and engaging with valuable partners. The convention also features hundreds of sessions covering biotechnology trends, policy issues, innovations and specialized product focus zones.
Group organizers– The Office of the Governor, THBI, and TxEDC – will lead the Texas delegation, including representatives from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, The Texas Department of Agriculture, and more than 20 communities representing the diverse state of Texas. As a burgeoning leader in the biotechnology space, Texas’ attendance at BIO represents the state’s commitment to continue nourishing research and innovation. The rapid growth of the biotechnology industry within Texas has brought new discoveries in pharmaceutical development, treatment innovation, and medical research. Texas is home to one of the largest clusters of life science professionals in the U.S.
The Texas delegation organizers represent three key contributors and supporters of biotechnology growth in Texas. THBI is the only statewide public policy voice of the healthcare and bioscience industry. The organization works with industry leaders, public policy officials, and Texas communities to keep economic development opportunities competitive in the state. TxEDC promotes Texas as a premier business location and serves as the main resource for creating global awareness of the state’s business advantages. The Office of the Governor’s business development division serves as the official gateway for companies considering a relocation or expansion into the State of Texas.
To learn more about joining the Texas delegation or marketing your company in the BioTexas booth, email
email@example.com or call 512-236-1001.
2018 BIO International Convention attendees:
• 10/35 Economic Development Alliance
• Athens Economic Development Corporation
• BioNorth TX
• Cancer Insights
• Cameron School of Business, University of St. Thomas
• Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)
• Capital City Innovation
• Georgetown Economic Development
• Greater Conroe Economic Development Council
• Medical Center of the Americas Foundation
• Odessa Economic Development Corporation
• Office of the Governor
• Research Valley Partnership
• Round Rock Chamber of Commerce
• Texas Department of Agriculture
• Texas Economic Development Corporation (TxEDC)
• Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute (THBI)
• The Beck Group
• Tyler Economic Development Corporation
• UT Health San Antonio
• VGXI, Inc.
The Texas Healthcare & Bioscience Institute (THBI) is the Texas Policy voice for healthcare and bioscience and the only provider of statewide resources to our members and the industry. With a focus on using advocacy as a tool to create a more favorable environment for the life sciences, THBI works with government and industry leaders to attract new participants in the life sciences to Texas and to promote effective government legislation on behalf of the industry. The Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) organization. Follow THBI on Facebook and Twitter.
Fort Worth, TX- April 10th, 2018 — Presage Solutions, a Fort Worth – based IT company dedicated to helping local startups and SMBs with their IT needs as they scale, has launched a virtual CIO (vCIO) program to assist Fort Worth businesses of all types in need of Managed Services and back-end operation support.
“The vCIO program allows us to partner with our client’s management to build the vision and strategy so that their technology solutions achieve the business goals and priorities. This way, our clients focus on operating their business and we operate and manage their IT strategy and execution,” said Jay Hamilton, CEO of Presage Solutions, Inc.
Startups and small businesses today are facing enormous pressure to build value and bring products to the market FAST. When they start to bring on customers, they need someone to support the product, service and growing business. Their choices are: support the product internally with existing engineers and resources, build the support team and infrastructure internally, or hire an outsourced support entity. “Our clients typically don’t need a full time CIO and have found that we alleviate a lot of headaches and have the experience and expertise to provide their businesses with exactly the technology mix they need to meet their goals through the use of our vCIO program. With this program we partner with their team and share in their success,” adds Hamilton.
Melanie Morris, marketing manager for Fort Worth, TX-based EOSERA, a small biotech startup, adopted Presage’s innovative vCIO program recently: “We managed all of our IT services in-house for as long as we could before realizing we needed a dedicated expert team to help better organize our business technology and prepare us for rapid growth. Presage has become an extension of our team, and we couldn’t be happier. Presage helped revamp our communications and shared calendars, and they helped build a more robust, cloud-based file sharing system. Those changes enabled us to bring incredible innovation and technology to market quickly.”
As a managed IT service provider, (MSP), Presage helps small and medium sizes businesses select, install and maintain their IT infrastructure. Services span from application development, to help desk, to implementing cloud architecture or a combination cloud and on premise for any hybrid strategy. The hybrid cloud strategy can leverage the clients on premise architecture or use Presage’s own co-located servers in their secure datacenter.
“We want to help local SMBs to be successful! If startups choose the right MSP and IT solution from the start, then whenever changes need to be made or problems arise, we are intimately familiar with the system they are working on. It is not enough to hire an IT company to hook up computers, set up a wireless system and install software updates. Small businesses need an MSP that can prepare them for the challenges of big data, the inevitability of tech problems and the opportunities of hybrid cloud storage,” says Hamilton.
Here are some recent testimonials on Presage’s IT services.
About Presage Solutions, Inc.
Presage Solutions, Inc. is a Fort Worth, TX-based managed services firm specializing in IT support for small and medium sizes business across all sectors. Presage guides small and medium sized business through the growth process with the latest cloud-based IT solutions. Presage offers network-based services, and application development and integrations, with a proven production method which joins people, process and technology to meet
We are proud to announce that our President and CEO, Kathleen Gibson, is the newest member of the bionorthTXBoard of Directors.
“It is a pleasure for Southwestern Medical Foundation to support bionorthTX as a member and as a member of the Board of Directors,” said Kathleen. “We consider it critical to the important North Texas region for community leaders to build best fertile environment for innovation in life sciences. Members of bionorthTX are devoted to driving needed progress in research and innovation to broadly benefit our region and businesses. It is an honor to help in building such a critical economic engine for our progress and way forward.”
bionorthTX was founded to accelerate the growth of the diverse and balanced life science ecosystem in North Texas, and they are developing fertile ground for innovation through key strategic actions, including:
- Hosting the Annual iC3 Life Science Summit, which just celebrated its 3rd year of providing a forum for thought leadership and collaboration across life science companies, academia, investors and more
- Elevating key organizations like Presage Solutions, Inc., which is stepping in with no-cost network security assessments and other support mechanisms for local small pharma and health care firms that need to scale their IT services
- Holding monthly networking and educational events for the community
“Through our many activities, people are able to share their knowledge, resources, and talents, and put them to work in the never-ending quest for better human health. We are indeed fortunate to have Kathleen Gibson join us now, bringing her insight and experience in this worthy pursuit.”
Frank Grassler, Chair, bionorthTX Board of Directors
“Over the course of a short three-year period, bionorthTX has catapulted into a position of leadership, advocacy, and professional engagement for the North Texas life sciences ecosystem and biomedical industry,” said Frank Grassler, Chair, bionorthTX Board of Directors. “Our many members bring dedication, energy, and talent to the network, knowing that engagement, communication, and interaction unlock barriers to research, development, and manufacturing. Through our many activities, people are able to share their knowledge, resources, and talents, and put them to work in the never-ending quest for better human health. We are indeed fortunate to have Kathleen Gibson join us now, bringing her insight and experience in this worthy pursuit.”
Presage Solutions, Inc. Enables Faster Growth, Smoother Sailing for Small Pharma and Healthcare Companies
Fort Worth, TX- January 23, 2018 — Growth prospects for small pharma businesses in 2018 are on fire. Investors are speculating that U.S. corporate tax reform will spur M&A. The average number of venture capital investments in small pharma and healthcare keep climbing. But while small pharma and healthcare firms focus their early years on gaining a market foothold, meeting compliance requirements, and attracting investment/acquisition interest, a challenge often strikes companies’ back-end operations: IT scaling.
In response, Fort Worth, TX-based Presage Solutions Inc. , which specializes in small pharma and healthcare companies in Texas, announced today limited-time (January through March 2018) network security assessments at no charge for small and medium-sized businesses in need of IT support services. These assessments yield a 400- to 500-page report detailing every on-premises computer and application along with prospective weaknesses, ramifications, and opportunities for remediation.
Businesses start with a few computers and the barest infrastructure. They add technology in patchwork fashion when needs demand it, but rarely is there an IT plan. By the time that five-person firm reaches 25 seats, bottlenecks manifest across file sharing, server resources, communications, and much more. Most small businesses lack the in-house IT expertise to remedy these issues – often with dire results unless corrective help arrives.
“Presage does not want to replace existing IT departments. We typically aide established IT groups, or serve as a contracted IT provider for small businesses, especially those in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Services span from application development (for example, Hamilton created FoQIS for nursing facilities) to help desk, to implementing hybrid cloud architectures, all across Presage’s own co-located server racks,” said Jay Hamilton, Founder & CEO of Presage Solutions, Inc.
Al Guillem and ZS Pharma have been working with Presage for over a decade. Guillem brought Hamilton and Presage Solutions in to establish or bolster the various facets of ZS Pharma’s IT infrastructure and operations. That move, combined with a promising drug for removing excess potassium from the bloodstream, enabled the growth necessary to attract more equity investment and provide ZS Pharma with an infrastructure that could support fast, high-growth scaling.
“There’s an entire infrastructure that needs to operate smoothly around biotech operations, technical and commercial,” said Al Guillem, former president of ZS Pharma. “Everything from accounting to marketing – and that infrastructure is supported by IT systems. Without Presage Solutions, especially when we were small, I don’t know that ZS Pharma could have scaled up as well or as fast as it did. Other service providers might know the IT technology, but Jay [Hamilton] and Presage knew how to apply and manage that IT technology within our environment. Even as ZS Pharma sprouted an in-house IT department, Presage stayed on to help evolve the new group. Ultimately, AstraZeneca bought ZS Pharma for $2.7 billion and Presage continues to provide service to the growing giant.
Servicing Small Groups in a Big State
Deep experience in life sciences often gives Presage a valuable edge over competing IT services firms. For example, Hamilton has extensive knowledge of industry-specific regulations such as 21 CFR Part 11, which pertains to good manufacturing practices (GLP), Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and encompasses the validation of IT systems related to product manufacturing, distribution, quality control, and quality assurance. An error in such areas has the potential negative outcome in the face of a recall or similar event. Presage’s life sciences expertise will help implement appropriate policies, procedures, and processes coupled with the technology solutions to help avoid these negative outcomes.
Beyond pharmaceuticals, Hamilton and Presage Solutions have extensive experience in navigating the healthcare market, especially for long-term care. The team understands which technologies best help in meeting HIPPA, PII, QAPI, and other healthcare market requirements – and how to implement them for maximum efficiency. Small companies lacking the staff resources to stay abreast of data mandates may be more profitable in the long-term by bringing in high-expertise managed service help.
“Our biotech startup, EOSERA, managed all of our IT services in-house for as long as we could before realizing we needed a dedicated team of experts to help us better organize our business from a technology standpoint, and better prepare us for rapid growth and expansion,” said Melanie Morris, marketing manager for Fort Worth, TX-based EOSERA. Presage Solutions has become an extension of our team, and we couldn’t be happier. Presage helped us move to a more sophisticated system for communications and shared calendars, as well as helped build a more robust (and cloud-based) file sharing system. Presage is positioned well to grow with our company and continue helping us prepare for the future.”
About Presage Solutions, Inc.
Presage Solutions, Inc. is a Fort Worth, TX-based managed services firm specializing in IT support for healthcare and life science companies. Presage guides small and medium sized business through the growth process with the latest cloud-based IT solutions. Presage offers network-based services, and application development and integrations, with a proven production method which joins people, process and technology to meet the high expectations of enterprise customers. For more information, visit http://www.presagesolutions.com/.