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Committee Meeting is a Learning Experience

Photo courtesy of PharmAgra Labs

A briefing at Brevard life science company PharmAgra Labs was a highlight of the Oct. 7 quarterly meeting of the Advisory Committee for Biotechnology in Western North Carolina.

PharmAgra co-founder Peter Newsome, Ph.D., told the committee about the origins and purpose of PharmAgra and its spinout “children,” Ardeal Pharma and the non-profit Ardeal Research Institute. 

He noted that PharmAgra Labs conducts contract research and development in organic and medicinal chemistry. The company also prepares drug substances for use in clinical trials as well as low-volume manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Ardeal Pharma is developing a natural substance commonly found in broccoli, stabilized sulforaphane, for use in therapeutic and cosmetic products. Ardeal Research Institute develops drug discovery capabilities of the natural resources in Western North Carolina.

Dr. Newsome described the three entities as a solid platform from which economic development opportunities for Western North Carolina can be leveraged, and reinforced a commitment he and his colleagues have made to further that objective.

Brevard College President the Rev. Dr. David Joyce welcomed the advisory committee to the campus and outlined his priorities for the future of the college.

The meeting was chaired by Tony Calamai, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of physics and astronomy at Appalachian State University.

Mark Burrows of Transylvania County Planning and Economic Development, a past chair of the committee, discussed the importance of the life sciences sector to his community.

The committee also received updates from NCBiotech headquarters in Research Triangle Park from Board Vice Chair John F.A.V. Cecil and Senior Vice President Michael Wilkins.

The NCBiotech Western Office also presented its quarterly report on work undertaken across the 25-county region.

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