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Eastern Virginia

Regional View

Chesterfield startup relocates to Hampton Roads by Veronica Garabelli

University now is call- ing Hampton Roads home.

A In July, Sanyal Bio-

technology, which tests the effects of drugs on mice for pharmaceuti- cal companies, moved its headquarters from Chesterfield County to Virginia Beach. The move was the result of a deal with Eastern Vir- ginia Medical School, Tidewater Community College and the city of Virginia Beach. “It made

financial and practical sense to go down there,” says Sanyal Bio’s CEO Rebecca Caffrey, who served as entrepreneur- in-residence at VCU. As part of the


Complete list of For the Record and People at FOR THE RECORD

Farmhouse Brewing Co., in a partnership with Back Bay Brewing Co. and general con- tractor Axis Global Enterprises Inc., will renovate the historic Wood Family farmhouse at 1805 Kempsville Road for Back Bay’s second brewery in Virginia Beach. The capital investment for the farmhouse brewery project is $1.4 million for the improvements and equipment. The Virginia Beach Develop- ment Authority has approved a $35,000 Economic Development Investment Program grant for the expansion, based on capital investment. (

Huntington Ingalls Industries said in June that its Newport News Industrial subsidiary would undergo a 52,000-square- foot expansion at its headquar- ters facility in Newport News.

startup begun at Virginia Commonwealth

has its headquarters in a 1,500-square-foot space at the VABeach- Bio Accelerator on Tidewater Community College’s campus in Virginia Beach. The facility includes lab space that the company can use as it expands. The Virginia Beach

Development Author- ity provided a $25,000 Economic Development Investment Program grant, based on the company’s projections to add eight jobs in the area (it currently has a staff of seven).

Caffrey says Caffrey

Sanyal Bio was spending too much money on overhead costs in Chesterfield, where it had 8,000 square feet of space but was using

deal, Sanyal Bio is using EVMS’ lab and vivar- ium (a space for keeping animals involved in research) in Norfolk. The company now

The expansion will support the company’s heavy steel fabrication in the commercial nuclear power industry and will create at least 120 new skilled trades jobs. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in fall 2017. Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of engineering, manufacturing and manage- ment services. (VirginiaBusiness. com)

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. shares surged as much as 25 percent June 17 after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ended a probe of formaldehyde in the company’s flooring without issuing a prod- uct recall. The Toano-based company agreed to not sell laminate flooring made in China — which it stopped offering more than a year ago — and

10 AUGUST 2016

only 3,000. Its initial plan was to build out the extra space for the company’s wet lab and vivarum. The company, however, wasn’t able to raise the funds needed for the expansion and

will continue offering free tests for any of the 600,000 custom- ers who purchased the product. (Bloomberg)

Sera-Brynn, a Suffolk-based cyber risk management firm, has expanded with the open- ing of a second office in the Oyster Point area of Newport News. Sera-Brynn cited rapid growth as the reason for adding another office. The company anticipates another expansion later this year to further enlarge its geographic footprint. (Vir-

Hampton Roads-based Towne- Bank and Monarch Financial Holdings Inc. merged in June. When the deal was announced in December, it was valued at $229 million. TowneBank had assets of $6.37 billion as of March 31. (VirginiaBusiness. com)

was considering moving to a New Jersey facil- ity before the EVMS arrangement was made. “I don’t think that

Virginians realize how little lab and vivarium space is available for biotech companies to locate in,” Caffrey says. Pharmaceuti-

cal companies hire Sanyal Bio to study the effectiveness of medicines on its mice, which were developed by the company’s president and chief medical officer, Dr. Arun J. Sanyal. (Despite the com- pany’s move, Sanyal will remain based in Richmond.)

Sanyal The mice get sick

in the same way people do after being fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet, Caffrey says. “They are really the only animal model that does this, and that’s why the pharmaceutical companies are so excited because they haven’t had


Sean Cushing, appointed to the Virginia Secure Commonwealth Panel. He is president and co- founder of HAZON Solutions in Virginia Beach and a retired U.S. Navy commander. (News release)

William H. Ferguson, appointed to the State Air Pollution Control Board. He is senior vice president, Harvey Lindsay Commercial Real Estate, Norfolk. (News release)

Paul D. Fraim, named to the Eastern Virginia Medical School board of visitors and president of The Slover Library Founda- tion, both in Norfolk. He is the former mayor of Norfolk. (News release)

Pete Graham, named execu- tive vice president and chief

a model like this to test their drugs on before.” Most of Sanyal

Bio’s customers are researching treatments for NASH (nonalco- holic steatohepatitis). That is a disease that resembles alcoholic liver disease but is found in people who drink little to no alcohol. There is no cure for NASH — a major cause for liver transplants — but the mar- ket to develop a drug to treat the disease is valued at $80 billion, Caffrey says. Although

Caffrey can’t

provide the company’s revenue or number of clients, she says the average cost of a contract with a client is $150,000. The company has raised $550,000 of capital and is looking to raise $450,000 more. “We anticipate

growing fairly quickly and staffing up fairly quickly, so that we can meet the demand,” she says.

financial officer, PRA Group Inc., Norfolk, effective Aug. 10. He was a finance executive with GE Capital. (

Richard E. Groover, CPA, of Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer in Norfolk, named vice chair, Vir- ginia Society of Certified Public Accountants. (News release)

Stephanie Saunders, CPA, reappointed to the Virginia Board of Accountancy. She is a partner with Saunders & Saun- ders PC, Virginia Beach. (News release)

F. Blair Wimbush, of Chesapeake, reappointed to the Virginia Port Authority board of commissioners. Wimbush recently retired as Norfolk Southern Corp.’s vice president, real estate and corporate sus- tainability officer. (News release)

Photos courtesy Sanyal Biotechnology

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