South Korea-based biotech company AnC Bio is getting ready to set up shop in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.
"The new opportunity is very unique because in this area there is no Biotech companies at all previously," said Ike Lee CEO of AnC Bio Vermont.
Also new is the partnership it's pursuing for the Newport property. Lee hopes to share the future multi-million dollar research and development facility with professionals from the University of Vermont's College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen. "First of all, we will collaborate with the scientists, the professors and the medical doctors and the nurses first," Lee said.
John Evans is UVM's Senior Advisor for Business Engagement. He said a formal deal has not been reached, but admits there's significant potential. "It's research that is here that could be carried there and they would help us think about ways to commercialize it. It's things that they are doing where they need further testing with expertise that we have," he said.
Evans points to advancements in renal dialysis technology as a possible area for collaboration. It's technology AnC Bio is involved with that could be tested and tweaked at Fletcher Allen. "Those need to be tested in the patient population. We'll be able to work with them to do the clinical trials to see how they work, how can we help them modify them so they meet the needs of those patients," Evans said.
UVM's Evans said the relationship may also be able to help train the hundreds of future employees the tech company says it will need once it is up and running. "This is a new and unique chance for us to help build a company in a part of the state that needs new and better jobs," he said.
It's a potential partnership in a part of the state, Lee said, is ready for change. "It is really exciting and a completely new experience for us," he said.
Scientists from UVM and AnC Bio are due to meet in the next 90 days to try and formalize areas where they can work together.
UVM said AnC Bio could also offer internships to students. Construction on the facility is slated to begin this fall and will take three years.