Roanoke Times: NRV to Lure Robots to Town as Autonomous Industry Booms

BLACKSBURG, VA– The NRV begins training part of its focus on the Unmanned Systems industry with a tour of Virginia Tech’s new drone cage and the Smart Road at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute at the end of a conference hosted by the Ridge and Valley chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

Photos by Matt Gentry, Roanoke Times

Read more from regional leaders like John Provo, director of the Virginia Tech Office of Economic Development; Charlie Jewell, executive director of Onward NRV; and Michael Fleming, CEO of TORC Robotics in the full Roanoke Times article.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for a beautiful place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Landos Biopharma, Inc. Raises $10 Million in Series A Financing

Landos Biopharma, Inc. Raises

$10 Million in Series A Financing

Blacksburg-based Landos Biopharma receives $10 million in series A financing to advance development of novel therapeutics for patients with autoimmune diseases.
Participating in Gov. McAuliffe’s “Top 3 by 2023”

BLACKSBURG, VA, September 21, 2017 – Landos Biopharma, Inc. announced today it has raised $10 million in a Series A financing led by life sciences investment NYC-based management firm Perceptive Advisors, LLC, which will serve as its exclusive investor for the Series A round. Landos is an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative first-in-class, oral therapeutics for patients with autoimmune diseases.

“I congratulate Landos on receiving funding for its promising work,” says Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith, “which has the potential to bring relief for those suffering from painful autoimmune diseases.”

Landos, founded by serial entrepreneur and innovator Dr. Josep Bassaganya-Riera, is advancing a robust pharmaceutical pipeline for autoimmune diseases toward commercialization and will partner operational efforts with Boston-based Xontogeny, LLC, a life-sciences accelerator that partnered with Perceptive earlier in 2017. Xontogeny partners with companies to support management teams and provide expertise in the early stages of pharmaceutical and biotechnology development.

“We have a committed leadership team with industry experience focused on developing oral treatments that address an unmet clinical need of patients looking for safer, more effective oral therapeutics, and can disrupt the $9.2 billion per year inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) therapeutics market.  But most importantly we believe we can improve the lives of millions of patients living with these diseases,” said Bassaganya-Riera, the Landos Chairman and CEO.

Current therapies for autoimmune diseases, a $100 billion market, have limited efficacy and significant side effects. Landos’ mission is to accelerate the development of safer, more effective therapeutics for painful and debilitating autoimmune diseases including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

“I am pleased that Landos Biopharma Inc. has announced it is raising $10 million dollars for the development of a treatment for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,” said Virginia State Senator John Edwards.  “Landos is an emerging biopharma company focusing on developing oral therapies for auto immune diseases. I have visited their facility at the Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, and I am delighted at the progress they are making in this field.”

The company Chairman and CEO, Josep Bassaganya-Riera, and his company have been active members of Virginia Bio, which is a statewide group that supports the planning behind the Governor’s 2015 Virginia Bioscience Initiative.  This initiative calls for Virginia to be in the top three pharmaceutical regions by 2023.  Dr. Bassaganya-Riera is also a prominent member of the Blacksburg community and was a featured presenter at the Governor’s Forum on Bio and Big Data in Northern Virginia two years ago.

“I am very excited about the Series A financing for Landos Biopharma, Inc,” said Virginia Delegate Nick L. Rush.  “This additional capital moves them closer to market with their innovative biopharmaceuticals.  These are the types of advancements that will help diversify the New River Valley’s economy.”

The Landos technology has received non-dilutive funding from NIH SBIR/STTR, the Velocity program, and the Virginia Catalyst, with the vision of advancing life sciences throughout Virginia as a means of addressing large unmet medical needs to improve human health.

“Landos is at the cusp of the next frontier in precision medicine and healthcare innovation.  I am excited to see the future work of the Landos team on critical and unmet clinical needs for oral therapeutics for autoimmune disease patients.  Josep, Landos’ Founder, is a world-class innovator and his work in Landos could improve the quality of life for a millions number of individuals across the globe.” Said Virginia Delegate Joseph R. Yost.

For more information about Landos Biopharma, visit www.landosbiopharma.com.

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Other Resources

National Press Release

FierceBiotech

About Landos Biopharma, Inc.

Landos Biopharma, Inc. is an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of first-in-class oral therapeutics for patients with autoimmune diseases. Landos’ lead clinical asset, BT-11, is a novel, locally-acting small molecule targeting inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that is expected to enter clinical testing for Crohn’s disease in 2018.  Landos also has a robust pipeline of compounds for other autoimmune diseases.  Landos is headquartered in Blacksburg, VA.  For more information, please visit www.landosbiopharma.com or contact info@landosbiopharma.com

 

About Xontogeny, LLC

Based in Boston, MA, Xontogeny seeks to accelerate the development of life science technologies by providing entrepreneurs with the leadership, strategic guidance and

Advanced Manufacturing welder

The Port of Virginia Awards Hubbell Lighting, Inc. and Wolverine Advanced Materials $406,500 in Grant Money

Two companies in Montgomery County were awarded a total of $406,500 in grant money by The Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Program, which is made to facilitate the growth of the port by putting investment into maritime related business. Hubbell Lighting, Christiansburg, was awarded $315,000 and Wolverine Advanced Materials, Blacksburg, $91,500. The grant is available from 2014-2020 with a maximum for each grant at $500,000 each year, to an annual total of up to $5 million. Hubbell Lighting yellow and black logo Hubbell Lighting, Inc. is one of the largest lighting manufacturers in North America and services commercial, residential, and industrial markets all over the world. Hubbell invested an additional $6.015 million dollars and created 100 new jobs in the New River Valley in 2015 and is consistently a world leader in lighting innovation. New River Valley company, Wolverine red and black logo Wolverine uses the Port of Virginia to export their high-performance materials used in automotive and industrial noise reduction to key markets in China and India. In 2014, Wolverine invested $10.625 million and created 93 new jobs to expand its materials manufacturing operation. This grant program is an excellent opportunity for business in our area and helps exporting businesses continue to invest in our region. For more information about the Port of Virginia’s grant, visit the ED + Infrastructure Grant Program page.The Port of Virginia Ship linked to the Grant Program Webpage  

Governor McAuliffe Announces Spectrum Brands to Retrain Employees in Montgomery County

Company invests nearly $7.3 million in Pet, Home & Garden Division; Upgrades Equipment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: April 19, 2017

Commonwealth of Virginia Office of Governor Terry McAuliffe

RICHMOND– Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that Spectrum Brands, Inc., a global consumer products company offering an expanding portfolio of leading brands, is investing $7.28 million over the next couple years in its Montgomery County operation to purchase equipment and upgrade its production processes. Spectrum Brands will receive funding from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) to support the retraining of existing employees on the new machinery.

“Spectrum Brands has been a vital corporate partner to Montgomery County for 25 years, and it is exciting to see this international company reinvest in its operation and workforce here in the Commonwealth,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “The advanced manufacturing industry is evolving rapidly, and retraining employees to learn new skills and processes is critical to keeping jobs in Virginia. We thank Spectrum Brands for its commitment to the New River Valley and for helping us diversify and build the new Virginia economy.”

“Spectrum Brands’ decision to invest in its Montgomery County operation and to retrain more than half of its workforce on new equipment is a great testament to the region’s business climate and talented workforce,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “Existing businesses are the heart of every successful economy, which is why retraining efforts are so significant. In Virginia’s ever-changing, over $100 billion manufacturing industry, ensuring that the workforce has the skills of the 21st century is paramount. We are confident that with this investment, Spectrum Brands will continue to thrive in the Commonwealth.”

Spectrum Brands – Pet, Home & Garden Division is a leading supplier of well-recognized consumer products for pet supply markets globally, and for the home, lawn and garden, insect and weed control markets nationally. Its companion animal products include treats, clean-up and training aid products, health and grooming aids, and bedding marketed under brands such as 8-in-1®, Dingo®, Digesteeze™, Healthy-Hide®, FURminator® and Nature’s Miracle®, and in pet food in Europe, IAMS® and Eukanuba®. In aquatics, Tetra® is the premium brand name with products including fish food and water treatments, aquariums, filters, heaters and other supplies. The division’s home & garden product portfolio includes highly recognized and trusted brands such as Spectracide®, Garden Safe®, Hot Shot®, Cutter®, Repel®, Black Flag® and Liquid Fence®.

“Blacksburg has been central to the success of our aquatics brands for more than 20 years, and our manufacturing center there has grown into a major production facility for our entire division,” said John Schostek, Vice President, Global Operations – Spectrum Brands Pet, Home & Garden Division. “Our company continues to grow, and we plan to invest in the Blacksburg plant to upgrade and expand its capabilities. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program supports our commitment to provide our employees with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership will support Spectrum Brands’ job retraining through its Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). VJIP provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs or experiencing technological change to support employee training activities. As a business incentive supporting economic development, VJIP reduces the human resource costs of new and expanding companies. VJIP is state-funded, demonstrating the Commonwealth’s commitment to enhancing job opportunities for its citizens.

“Programs like VJIP benefit the company, its employees, and the community as a whole,” said Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Chair Chris Tuck. “Montgomery County is growing and our Board and staff is doing its part to help our businesses and their employees stay relevant in this ever-changing industry and local, thriving economic landscape. Reinvesting in local businesses like Spectrum Brands and enabling their employees to have the training and resources they need to be successful is one major key to the continued growth of our County’s economy.”

“Retraining for the jobs of the 21st Century is vital to our economy,” said Senator John Edwards. “I would like to congratulate Spectrum Brands as it invests in the new economy by retraining its employees through Virginia Jobs Investment Program to stay ahead of the competition. This is great news for the New River Valley.”

“Spectrum Brands has been a vital part of Blacksburg and the New River Valley for over two decades,” said Delegate Joseph Yost. “The company’s decision to invest $7.28 million and retrain their employees on new equipment is great news for Montgomery County. I want to thank Spectrum Brands for its continued trust in and commitment to the Commonwealth and enhancing job opportunities for our citizens.”

About Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc.

Spectrum Brands Holdings (NYSE: SPB), a member of the Russell 1000 Index, is a global and diversified consumer products company and a leading supplier of consumer batteries, residential locksets, residential builders’ hardware, plumbing, shaving and grooming products, personal care products, small household appliances, specialty pet supplies, lawn and garden and home pest control products, personal insect repellents and auto care products. For more information, visit www.spectrumbrands.com.

Office of the Governor

Brian Coy

(804) 225-4260

Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov

Virginia Economic Development Partnership

Suzanne Clark

(804) 545-5806

Sclark@yesvirginia.org

Spectrum Brands

Connie Caldwell

(314) 683-2460

connie.caldwell@spectrumbrands.com

About Us:

Virginia’s New River Valley is a vibrant community that’s home to two state universities, Virginia Tech and Radford University, and a diverse industry base ranging from large international corporations to small technology startups. The region is designated the Blacksburg-Christiansburg Radford Metropolitan Statistical Area and encompasses the counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and the city of Radford.

The New River Valley Economic Development Alliance is a public/private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market the New River Valley, to foster job creation, facilitate new investment and to improve the quality of life in the region.

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NRV towns ranked among best places in Virginia to raise a Family

WalletHub.com has ranked three New River Valley towns among the 50 places in Virginia to Raise a Family.


WalletHub’s data team compared communities in Virginia across 21 key indicators of family-friendliness. Their data set ranges from “median family income” to “school-system quality” to “housing affordability.”  Based on their analysis, Christiansburg (No. 15), Blacksburg (No. 33) and Radford (No. 47) all made the list.


Read more at WalletHub.


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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.


Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Blacksburg Ranked a Top 10 College Town for Mountain Bikers

January 30, 2017

Singletracks.com has ranked Virginia Tech a top 10 Best US College/University for Mountain Bikers.  Read more at https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-trails/the-10-best-colleges-and-universities-for-mountain-bikers/10/

Why Some Say Towns Like Blacksburg Could be the Next Silicon Valley

“When it comes to innovation, place matters. Not necessarily because of proximity to facilities or investors (though those are lovely to have, of course), but because creativity is almost always a group endeavor — big ideas are the product not of one big brain, but of many ideas pinging between several smart people.”

Read more from Jessica Stillman at Inc.com.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Christiansburg #26 Best Place to Start a Business in VA

Christiansburg #26 Best Place to Start a Business in VA

“With plenty of incentives for both startups and existing businesses and a state corporate income tax rate among the lowest in the nation at 6%, Virginia’s business-friendly policies appear to…”

NerdWallet analyzed 112 places in Virginia with a population of 5,000 or more. Eleven places with less than 500 businesses and 64 places that were missing data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners were excluded.

Read more at NerdWallet.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of all worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Blacksburg Ranked No. 1 Best Place to Raise Kids

More than half the population of Blacksburg, Va., is Virginia Tech students, so it may be easy to mistake this town of 41,383 as just another college town. Yet this small community, between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, also has the makings of a great place to raise children. Excellent schools draw many families to Blacksburg, which also has such amenities as a community center with sports, fitness, educational, and social activities; an indoor pool; and even a nine-hole, 54-acre municipal golf course.


Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek.


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Virginia’s New River Valley: For those searching for an inspiring place to live and do business, Virginia’s New River Valley provides both an eclectic small town atmosphere and an innovative, collaborative business community with a loyal, highly skilled, and educated workforce. Offering the best of both worlds – magnificent mountains, cutting-edge research, arts, entertainment, and education – it’s A NATURAL FIT.


Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.