Northeast Florida Roundup
UF Health Cancer Center chosen PanCAN trial
Tapped for PanCAN trial
The University of Florida Health Cancer Center is the only location in the Southeast, and one of 15 nationwide, chosen to participate in the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s (PanCAN) Precision Promise clinical trial. Precision Promise is innovative in two ways, says Dr. Thomas George, director of the GI oncology program at UF Health Cancer Center: First, the study is evergreen, meaning new treatments can be added without rewriting the trial. Second, the study has what’s called an adaptive statistical design, meaning that “statisticians are reviewing the results in real time,” George says. For example, if the statisticians see that treatment A is working better than treatment B, they can start enrolling more patients into treatment A.
- Boeing plans to build a 394,000-sq.-ft. facility at Cecil Airport, bringing 400 new jobs to Jacksonville. Construction will be completed in 2023.
- Testing and launch services for the autonomous launch vehicle Ravn X will be held in Jacksonville this year. The world’s largest unmanned aircraft system, Ravn X is designed to deliver small satellites to space less expensively than a manned flight.
- Regions Financial has appointed Jim Branch its new market president for Jacksonville.
- Plant-based health products company Clearikon plans to open a distribution center in Alachua County’s San Felasco Tech City.
- Jacksonville-based cigar company Swisher will sponsor the Swisher Startup for Under represented Entrepreneurs, an eight-week program for minorities offered by the University of North Florida.
- Former Jacksonville Mayor John Delaney will serve as interim president at Flagler College in St. Augustine while the school looks for a replacement for Joseph Joyner, who will retire in May. Delaney was president of the University of North Florida for 15 years.
- The College of Central Florida Foundation has received $6 million from the estate of Mary Brent Kraus. The money will be used for the foundation’s Scholarships Taking Elementary Promising Students (STEPS) program and the Appleton Museum of Art education program.
- The city of Palm Coast has approved $1.5 million to help launch the Jacksonville University Palm Coast Campus, a 4,000- to 6,000-sq.-ft. education facility that will offer master’s degree programs in speech pathology, mental health counseling and nursing.
- The Swamp Restaurant, which closed in June 2020 after 25 years in Gainesville, will reopen in 2022 in the Innovation District, a few blocks from its original location.
- The Centers in Marion County plans to merge with Daytona Beach-based SMA Healthcare following the resignation of the Centers CEO in September 2020. If successful, the merger will be complete on July 1.
- Community Hospice & Palliative Care opened its 10th inpatient unit in December at Baptist Medical Center South in Jacksonville. The 8,600-sq.- ft., 10-bedroom facility serves patients with advanced illnesses.
- Netherlands-based information and analytics company Elsevier acquired Shadow Health in De- cember. Founded in Gainesville as a UF Innovate startup in 2011, Shadow Health develops virtual simulations in nursing and health care education.
- Signature Brands, the makers of Easter egg coloring kits, cake decorations and popcorn-filled gift tins, plans to build a 200,000-sq.-ft. warehouse on 16 acres near the Ocala airport.
- The Ocala Planning and Zoning Commission has approved plans to build 144 housing units — duplexes, tiny houses and apartments — on Silver Spring Boulevard through Saving Mercy, an affordable housing organization that helps the homeless find places to live.
- Ocala’s public arts campaign Horse Fever 20/20 raised $450,000 to benefit the Marion Cultural Alliance. For the fundraiser, 15 white, fiberglass horses were painted by local artists and displayed throughout the community.
- Jacksonville’s Downtown Review Board has approved redevelopment of the 19-story Independent Life Building, built in 1955. Plans include a 135-unit residential building with a grocery store, restaurant and rooftop bar.
- Tim Tebow, Jaguars co-captain Myles Jack and former Jaguars defensive lineman Reggie Hayward have purchased minority shares in the Jacksonville Icemen Minor League hockey team.
- The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp baseball team, an affiliate of the Miami Marlins, has been moved from a Double-A Southern League team to the highest level in Minor League Baseball — the Triple-A International League.
- Jacksonville-based CSX has acquired Pan Am Railways, a privately held railroad with 1,700 miles of track in the northeastern U.S. and parts of Canada.
- After expressing concern over a $1- to $3-a-ride rate increase, Uber has renewed its contract with Gainesville Regional Airport.
- Beginning this month, Southwest Airlines will provide non-stop service from Jacksonville International Airport to St. Louis and Washington, D.C.
- The Jax Chamber of Commerce Foundation plans to launch the Lewis and White Business League, which will focus on business and educational advancement for black business owners as well as networking and mentoring opportunities.
- The Players Championship opens this month with a limited number of spectators. Stadium seating and hospitality suites have been modified for social distancing.
- The city of Jacksonville distributed a second round of federal small-business relief grants for up to $2,000 in the first quarter. Businesses with fewer than 100 employees that could show they’d lost at least 25% of their revenue are eligible to receive the funding.
- The U.S. Navy flight demonstration team Blue Angels will kick off its return to air shows at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in April.
- After 47 years, Leonardo’s by the Slice closed near the University of Florida campus in December. UF plans to build a $55-million School of Music at West University and Northwest 13th Street, which will require spaces currently occupied by Leonardo’s, the adjacent Bistro 1245 and the gas station and convenience store next door.
- Ology Bioservices, a Gainesville developer of vaccines, antibodies and viral products, has won a federal contract to expand production capabilities, including for COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics. To meet the growing demands, the company will build a 43,000-sq.-ft. building adjacent to its headquarters and will hire between 130 and 150 employees.
Read more in Florida Trend's March issue.
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