COLUMBIA, SC (August 18, 2017) – The University of South Carolina and Greenville Health System (GHS)—the state’s largest not-for-profit healthcare system—are expanding their partnership to include a focus on commercialization of innovative research and technologies that could improve the health of residents in South Carolina and beyond.
Under the agreement approved by USC’s Board of Trustees on Aug. 18, USC’s Office of Economic Engagement will help identify opportunities for clinicians and others at GHS’ Health Sciences Center and the USC School of Medicine Greenville to connect with industry partners, bridging the gap between cutting-edge health research and the development of new patient treatment applications. Future opportunities include commercialization of a wide range of new drug therapies, medical devices and diagnostic tools.
“Through this expanded partnership, USC will help GHS clinicians take innovative healthcare inventions and move them more quickly from concept to marketplace where they can actually benefit patients. This collaboration with GHS will benefit from our past success with growing startups such as IMCS and Tcube Solutions through our IdeaLabs and USC/Columbia Technology Incubator programs,” says Office of Engagement Executive Director Bill Kirkland. “This shared focus on research and technology further enhances the university’s relationship with GHS and strengthens the existing collaboration with the USC School of Medicine Greenville. We’re excited to expand our work with GHS to improve the health and well-being of South Carolinians.”
USC’s Office of Economic Engagement will also work with GHS to identify grant funding opportunities for clinicians interested in creating startups and help grow innovation incubators and corporate alliances aimed at developing translatable healthcare solutions and treatments.
GHS’ Institute for Translational Oncology Research (ITOR) and its partnership with startup company KIYATEC is a prime example of an innovation incubator that will ultimately benefit patients. Located within the ITOR innovation zone at GHS, KIYATEC’s mission is to accurately predict patient response to cancer drugs using living tumor cells in 3D culture and to use those predictions to improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and increase success in drug development and clinical trials.
“Access to live tumor samples, coupled with a close working relationship and physical proximity to GHS physicians, has enabled us to accelerate our research, creating the opportunity to bring personalized treatments to cancer patients more quickly,” said Matt Gevaert, PhD, CEO of KIYATEC. “This unique collaboration has also enabled us to create jobs and attract millions of dollars in federal funding to support our research – all of which are good for Greenville. Innovation is not zero sum. We are excited about more innovation incubators being created in Greenville and look forward to partnering with GHS and others to transform care in our region and beyond.”
Just like with cancer, the GHS Health Sciences Center is looking to make significant strides in the treatment of diabetes – a disease that affects more than 29 million Americans and can lead to a number of health problems if not treated properly. As such, GHS will be looking to academic partners like USC to help develop innovative treatments to combat this chronic disease.
“GHS and USC each bring industry knowledge and experience to the table that is invaluable in developing solutions to health care’s biggest challenges,” said GHS Health Sciences Center Vice President David Sudduth. “This partnership has the potential to transform health care on a global level, and we look forward to working with USC to further improve the health of our communities.”
About the Office of Economic Engagement
USC’s Office of Economic Engagement is dedicated to building academic and industry partnerships, facilitating the commercialization of cutting-edge research, connecting new and existing businesses with university talent and resources, and fostering entrepreneurship and small business development. Since its founding in 2013, the Office has forged partnerships with IBM, Siemens and Boeing, among others.
About Greenville Health System
Greenville Health System (GHS) — an academic health system that is the largest not-for-profit healthcare delivery system in South Carolina — is committed to medical excellence through research, patient care and education. GHS offers patients an innovative network of clinical integration, expertise and technologies through its eight medical campuses, tertiary medical center, research and education facilities, community hospitals, physician practices and numerous specialty services throughout the Upstate. The 1,358-bed system is home to 15 medical residency and fellowship programs. GHS is also home to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, a joint effort of USC and GHS. Visit ghs.org for more information.
About the Greenville Health System Health Sciences Center
The GHS Health Sciences Center, LLC, provides oversight and management of the health system’s teaching, workforce development, research and entrepreneurial activities in partnership with the organization’s primary academic partners: Clemson University, Furman University and the University of South Carolina. The goal of the HSC is to ensure the region’s healthcare workforce and socioeconomic needs are met, while also working to improve health outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and enhance the patient experience. Visit hsc.ghs.org to learn more.