Greenville Health System and the University of South Carolina have announced a new partnership that aims to commercialize medical technologies as well as research into treatments for cancer, diabetes, and other conditions.
Under the partnership, which was approved by the USC Board of Trustees on Aug. 18, the university’s Office of Economic Engagement will work with GHS to identify funding opportunities for clinicians interested in launching startups, bridging the gap between GHS’s Health Sciences Center and USC’s School of Medicine, and the development of new drug therapies, medical devices, and diagnostic tools.
“USC will help GHS clinicians take innovative healthcare inventions and move them more quickly from concept to marketplace where they can actually benefit patients,” said Bill Kirkland, executive director of USC’s Office of Economic Engagement.
GHS and USC also plan to help innovation incubators and corporate alliances that are working to develop healthcare solutions and treatments. The two institutions previously collaborated to help grow startups such as IMCS and Tcube Solutions, a Columbia-based IT firm that specializes in property and casualty insurance software and services.
“GHS and USC each bring industry knowledge and experience to the table that is invaluable in developing solutions to healthcare’s biggest challenges,” said David Sudduth, vice president of GHS’s Health Sciences Center. “This partnership has the potential to transform health care on a global level.”
One example of an innovation incubator that could benefit from the newly announced partnership is GHS’ Institute for Translational Oncology Research and its collaboration with KIYATEC, a Greenville-based startup that’s using 3-D cell modeling technology to determine how tumors respond to cancer drugs.
If successful, the startup’s findings could improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, and increase success in drug development and clinical trials, according to Matt Gevaert, CEO of KIYATEC.
“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 Gevaert. “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.”