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BioRegion Newsmakers: Sep 11, 2009


UK-Based Future Capital Partners Names Trevor Castledine New COO

Trevor Castledine has been appointed chief operating officer of the London-based Future Capital Partners. He will oversee operations, organizational development, and strategic delivery for the boutique investment firm, which invests in life sciences companies as well as the renewable energy, media, international property, and transportation sectors.

Formed in 2000, Future has invested £1 million (almost $1.7 million) in bridge financing for Ethanol Ventures, and expects to invest at least £1m in the UK company, which aims to produce at least 378 million liters (nearly 10 million gallons) of bioethanol annually from facilities in Grimsby and Teesside starting in 2010.

Castledine comes to Future from Royal Bank of Scotland, where during a six-year period he served as both managing director and head of financial products within the firm’s structured finance division, as well as managing director of portfolio transactions in RBS’ global markets unit.

Before joining RBS, Castledine was a vice president within Royal Dutch Shell’s structured finance division, and earlier held senior finance roles at BNP and Barclays Capital.

ABC Laboratories President/CEO Named to Missouri Workforce Investment Board

Byron Hill, president and CEO of Analytical Bio-Chemistry Laboratories in Columbia, Mo., is one of four people appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to the state Workforce Investment Board, which serves as an advisory council to the governor and the Division of Workforce Development on employment and training needs of Missouri businesses. Hill has been appointed to a term that ends March 3, 2012.

ABC Laboratories provides research, development and manufacturing to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical industries. He has served on the boards of the Columbia Area Chamber of Commerce and the University of Missouri Research and Advisory Board.

Appointed with Hill were Gary Duncan, president and CEO of Freeman Health System in Joplin, Mo.; Keith Gary, director of program development at Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute; and Creed Jones, vice president of human resources for EaglePicher Technologies of Joplin, Mo., which produces high-tech battery power applications in the defense, aerospace, medical and alternative energy industries.

UMB President Ramsay Wins 2009 Baltimore’s Extraordinary Technology Advocate Award

David Ramsay, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore, has been named winner of the 2009 Baltimore’s Extraordinary Technology Advocate, or BETA, award by the Greater Baltimore Technology Council, which represents the region's life-sciences and other technology industries. Ramsay will be presented with his award at GBTC’s annual TechNite celebration, to be held on Oct. 15 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Ramsay was cited for UMB’s five-fold increase in its research funding during his 15 years at the university’s helm, from just over $100 million in 1994 to nearly $500 million in fiscal year 2009. He was also cited for working with Baltimore city officials to acquire 5 acres of cleared and vacant city-owned land adjacent to the UMB's 61-acre, 62-building downtown campus, to facilitate development of the 10-acre University of Maryland BioPark. The BioPark now consists of 360,000 square feet in two-multi-tenant buildings and a 631-space parking garage, with construction of a new Forensic Medical Center for Maryland set to be completed in 2010, and planning underway for a third multi-tenant building.

Both accomplishments have “built a foundation that is generating jobs and transforming the region into a bioscience hub spinning out new discoveries and new companies,” GBTC Executive Director, Steve Kozak said in a statement.

Ramsay was educated at Oxford University, where he received his baccalaureate, masters, doctoral, and medical degrees and later joined the faculty. Prior to his appointment at the UMB, Ramsay served for more than a decade as senior vice chancellor of academic affairs at the University of California, San Francisco.

The BETA award is presented annually to an individual whose words and actions according to GBTC “have had an outstanding impact on the Greater Baltimore technology community.”

Steven Holtzman, Ohio Economic Development Pioneer in '80s, Joins Satori Pharmaceuticals Board

Steven Holtzman, CEO and co-founder of Infinity Pharmaceuticals and a pioneer Ohio economic development official a generation ago, has joined the board of directors of Satori Pharmaceuticals, a developer of therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

In the early 1980s, Holtzman conceived of and was the founding executive director of the Ohio Edison Program, which marked its 25th anniversary in February. While Ohio has anchored its state support for life sciences and other technologies on its Third Frontier program in recent years, the Edison program, with its eight technology centers and 13 technology incubators statewide, is credited as among the first state government program directed to achieving economic development through funding young technology-based ventures and university/industry collaborative research and development efforts.

Before co-founding Infinity in 2001, Holtzman served as an early leader and the chief business officer of Millennium Pharmaceuticals. And from 1986 to 1994, Holtzman was a founder and executive vice president of DNX, considered the first commercial developer of transgenic animal technology.

The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.