July 17, 2014

SC business notebook, July 17

The National Institutes of Health have awarded an $11 million grant to Clemson University to continue work on using lab-grown tissue to treat diseases ranging from heart disease to spinal cord injuries.

Local & State


Clemson gets $11 million grant for tissue research

The National Institutes of Health have awarded an $11 million grant to Clemson University to continue work on using lab-grown tissue to treat diseases ranging from heart disease to spinal cord injuries.

The grant is the second phase of an effort which began with a $9.3 million grant in 2009. Those funds help start the South Carolina Bioengineering Center of Regeneration and Formation Tissues.

Much of the center’s work is done on the Patewood campus in Greenville. Clemson researchers collaborate with fellow researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina on the regenerative medicine projects. The long-range goal is to grow vital organs in labs for transplant.


Gun manufacturer not coming to Horry County

A firearms manufacturer that said it was going to expand its manufacturing operation to Horry County apparently will not. Ohio-based Ithaca Gun Co. did not reply to a county incentive offer by a July 14 deadline, Brad Lofton, CEO of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp., said at a Wednesday morning meeting of the group’s executive committee.

Horry County Council chairman Mark Lazarus said that about four weeks ago, the company told area officials that it wanted a facility where it could house both Ithaca Gun and Dlubak Glass Co., which have the same owner. Lazarus said that Ithaca previously told the county that it was planning to locate the glass recycling operation in Marion County.

The Environmental Protection Agency issued more than 60 citations against the glass company’s plants in Pennsylvania and Arizona primarily for violating environmental standards for lead exposure. Lazarus said he believed that neither council members nor the public would have supported rezoning land designated for the gun company so that glass recycling could occur there as well.

The gun company had said it would bring 120 jobs with it. The company could not be reached for comment Wednesday.


Proterra sells 2nd generation electric buses

Battery-electric transit bus manufacturer Proterra Inc. said it has sold the first of its second-generation electric buses to Foothill Transit of West Covina, Calif.

Foothill Transit has more than 14 million customers on 36 fixed-route bus lines each year in the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. Its 315-bus fleet covers more than 300 square miles and includes express routes into downtown Los Angeles and Pasadena.

Foothill Transit agreed to purchase two more buses from Greenville-based Proterra, moving the agency closer to its goal of expanding electric bus service into other lines, company officials said. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Nation & World

GE looking to unload appliance business

General Electric is in talks with potential acquirers about selling its century-old household appliances business, said people familiar with the matter.

GE has moved to revive efforts to divest the unit, the people said, after an unsuccessful 2008 attempt. The electronics giant was waiting to wrap up its acquisition of Alstom’s energy assets before pursuing options including an outright sale of the appliances business, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. With that deal now signed, GE is talking to bidders for the white goods unit, the people said.

GE Home & Business Solutions, a division that includes appliances and lighting, generated more than $8 billion in sales last year, or 5.6 percent of the company’s total revenue. The appliances business may fetch $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion in a sale, the people said.

A spokesman for GE declined to comment.

Joey Holleman, The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News, The Greenville News and Bloomberg News contributed.

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