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SoBran to open in Triad research park

JUNE 23, 2016 - GREENSBORO, NC - Virginia-based SoBran Bioscience has opened a new preclinical contract research facility at Gateway University Research Park.

SoBran Bioscience has opened a new contract research facility on the north campus of Gateway University Research Park in Greensboro.

Fairfax, Va.-based SoBran conducts pre-clinical research for a variety of customers, including academic researchers and pharmaceutical companies, and picked North Carolina for the new facility due to its growing biotech sector and

business-friendly environment, said Simon Selwood, director of business development for SoBran Bioscience.

The Greensboro facility will focus on research conducted with small and large animals, with access to pasture land at N.C. A&T State University’s research farm a key perk, Selwood said.

“The studies can be as short as a week long, or up to two years,” Selwood said. “With the pasture access we have with A&T, it could be even longer. As far as the complexity, that can range depending on what the customer wants.”

Pre-clinical research is an early step for pharmaceuticals and medical devices in the U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval process.

SoBran began looking at the Triad after hearing praise for the research conducted at N.C A&T and was impressed by the assistance available from the N.C. Biotech Center in identifying customers and recruiting workers, Selwood said. The company was looking to expand its pre-clinical research facilities after success with a similar facility at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

“Baltimore was so much more successful than anybody thought it would be, that we started looking around for a complimentary facility somewhere else,” he said.

Selwood expects the Gateway facility to employ up to eight people as business grows, with SoBran already looking at the potential to expand at Gateway to accommodate future growth.

“In all honesty, if we’re not expanding that facility within a year’s time, I will be so surprised,” Selwood said.

Coupled with the opening of the new Greensboro facility, SoBran has partnered with the N.C. Biotech Center to launch the Innovation for Impact Award.

Researchers at universities and growing companies will answer the question: “How will your research heal, fuel or feed the world in the future?”

A grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and a pre-clinical research study valued at $10,000. Four finalists will receive cash prizes of $500 each. Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 1 at www.innovationforimpact.com, with the winners to be announced at the N.C. Biotech Center’s Triad Bionight in the fall.

“Being a good corporate partner to the community is just as important to us,” Selwood said.

SOURCE: Owen Covington, The Business Journal of the Triad, June 23, 2016. Photo Credit: SoBran Bioscience.