Southeast Florida Roundup
Boca Biolistics is working with companies seeking COVID-19 treatments
‘Knee Deep in COVID-19’
Boca Biolistics normally makes its living supplying specimens of plasma and other material to researchers, toiling in the obscure chain of businesses and organizations responsible for carrying out clinical trials for well-known pharma companies. In the COVID-19 pandemic, with its services more in demand than even during the Zika scare in 2016-17, Boca Biolistics has found itself in the national media.
Founded in 2007, the 19-employee Pompano Beach company — Boca in the name sounded better — has been working with client companies seeking FDA emergency authorizations for diagnostics and treatments. It’s been handling trials for some, supplying COVID-19 antibody plasma from its global contacts to others, and serving as a backstop to check samples for labs unable to keep up with COVID-19 testing. “We are knee deep in COVID-19,” says chief development officer Val Adia. “We work minimum 12-hour workdays seven days a week.”
- South Florida got hit hardest first by the pandemic, but its residents stuck to their usual driving levels longer than the rest of the state, according to research from Florida Atlantic University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Louisiana State University and the University of Hawaii. Researchers studied same-day traffic volumes from March 2018 to March 2019. Traffic volumes fell 47.5% in the state in line with restaurant, bar and school closures and the governor’s state of emergency declaration. But it declined in South Florida later than the rest of the state. Traffic dropped everywhere once schools closed. “Our analysis demonstrates that overall traffic volumes decreased significantly over the period with the greatest declines occurring later in the study period, suggesting that many factors, including the start of spring break and decisions by local governments and employers contributed to the changes in travel behavior,” says John Renne, director of FAU’s Department of Urban and Regional Planning.
- Local residents Jack and Barbara Nicklaus and their foundation for children’s health raised $344,000 as of mid-July for pediatric care. Their foundation matched every $100 donation for Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
- Through the first half of the year, the Quantum Foundation gave $2.8 million, including COVID-19 relief, to Palm Beach County organizations providing food, shelter, virus testing, protective equipment and other aid.
- Two Sebastian City Council members, Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris, were charged with misdemeanor perjury and violating the state Sunshine Law for a meeting in which the city manager, city attorney and city clerk were fired. Vice Mayor Charles Mauti pleaded no contest.
- The state closed Roosevelt Bridge over the St. Lucie River and Dixie Highway after a crack appeared in the span. Part of the bridge has been reopened, with repairs expected to be completed in a few months.
- Seacoast Banking promoted executive vice president, COO and CFO Charles “Chuck” Shaffer to president and COO and slated him to become CEO in December, replacing Dennis Hudson III, the company’s chairman and CEO, who will become executive chairman. Hudson’s grandfather chartered the bank in 1926. Controller Tracey Dexter was promoted to executive vice president and CFO. Treasurer Jennings “Jay” Walker became executive vice president, treasurer and director of corporate strategy.
- Developer Time Equities began leasing CasaMara in West Palm Beach as it readies the first 100 units for occupancy in the fall. Units range from studios to three bedrooms and start at $1,725 a month.
- Moss Construction appointed co-founder and 30-year company veteran Scott Moss CEO. He succeeds his father Bob Moss, the company’s chairman and founder. The company is on Engineering News-Record’s list of the nation’s 75 largest general contractors.
- Zom Living and Watermark Retirement Communities began building senior living apartments at 401 Datura St. in West Palm Beach. TheWatermark at West Palm Beach will have 154 units across from the Brightline train station.
- Martin County landowner King Ranch/Consolidated Citrus hired Colliers International Florida to market a 1,700-acre Martin County industrial site off I-95 for sale or a joint venture. It’s entitled for more than 5 million square feet of commercial and industrial uses and 1 million square feet of office, hotel and some retail.
- A joint venture between Stiles and PGIM Real Estate completed the 43-story Alluvion Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale’s tallest apartment complex. It has a 5,000-sq.-ft. fitness center, a dog park and grooming area, a co-working lounge with private offices, conference rooms and a 24-hour concierge.
- Cleveland Clinic Florida CEO Dr. Wael Barsoum resigned to become president and chief transformation officer at HopCo, an owner of orthopedic practices, specialty hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers.
- Wire and cable maker Accel International will build a 150,000-sq.-ft. plant in Port St. Lucie’s Tradition Center for Commerce employing 125 and paying $47,000 on average.
- Orchid Island Juice, maker of Natalie’s Juice, will expand its warehouse and administrative offices, more than doubling its square footage in St. Lucie County.
- Florida Atlantic University appointed Justin Perry dean of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College. He formerly was dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas School of Education, where he was also a professor of counseling and educational psychology.
Read more in Florida Trend's September issue.
Select from the following options: