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South Carolina Primate Center Keeps Monkeys Safe During Hurricane Florence
 

PRESS RELEASE  UPDATED: SEP 20, 2018

YEMASSEE, S.C., September 20, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Staff at the Alpha Genesis Primate Research Center in Yemassee, South Carolina prepared delicious "monkey treats" for their primate friends prior to the expected arrival of Hurricane Florence. The monkeys calmly went about their monkey business well-cared for in safe specially-designed indoor habitats in preparation for the storm, which made landfall along the Eastern Seaboard last week.

In total, the facility will bring hundreds of monkeys to the indoor storm shelters before Friday. The process is well planned and well coordinated — with staff members working round-the-clock for over a week to evaluate each enclosure in order to maximize comfort and well-being for the animals during the powerful storm.

More than half-a-million people have evacuated their homes in South Carolina, but at Alpha Genesis, animals need little extra help staying safe, and they receive this help due to the heart-warming efforts of their monkey-loving caretakers.

Hurricanes present special challenges, and I am extremely pleased with how our people performed in keeping the monkeys safe.

DR. GREG WESTERGAARD

PRESIDENT AND CEO

Storm preparations begin each April at the primate center. That’s when the center begins a series of yearly site inspections to identify potential risks (such as loose items that could be blown through the air) and repairs that need to be made before hurricane season arrives. Company officials then meet with department heads to review emergency plans. “The key to a successful outcome is advanced preparation, and to make the health and safety of the monkeys and their human caretakers the highest possible priority. No expense is spared. Communication is extremely important, and we take our responsibilities in these areas very seriously", said Dr. Greg Westergaard, Company President and CEO.

“We meet to review and improve our procedures several times each year, and ensure well in advance of the hurricane season that we order supplies and evaluate our practices,” he explained. “We make sure our equipment is in good condition, that we have fuel storage on site, and that all emergency supplies are maintained in abundance. Generators were tested prior to the storm, and we deployed an advanced satellite communications system which runs independent of the main grid and allows us to reach anywhere on the planet.  We significantly increased our primate enrichment, treats, and special food orders, including food for the courageous staff who remain on site to care for the animals.

"The Alpha Genesis staff are highly dedicated compassionate people who volunteer to work through extremely hazardous conditions to help the animals,” explained Westergaard. Staff essential to caring for the monkeys remain at the facility 24 hours per day prior to and throughout the storm to watch over the animals. 

“I am extremely proud of our people and am most impressed with how they respond to these types of situations. Hurricanes present special challenges for us that require a highly choreographed and caring response". Contacted after the storm, Westergaard added: "I am extremely pleased to state that our preparations were a great success, that the staff performed in exemplary fashion, and that all the monkeys were kept safe and sound throughout the entire process.”

Alpha Genesis Indonesian Macaques Show Unique Research Potential
 

Genetic analysis reveals previously unknown qualities that could hold the key for developing innovative medical therapies and cures

PRESS RELEASE  UPDATED: OCT 15, 2018

YEMASSEE, S.C., October 15, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Alpha Genesis has announced that it now provides purpose-bred Indonesian-origin cynomolgus macaques for use in vaccine development and other select study applications. The primate science corporation serves medical research organizations throughout the world, including several European and Asian drug-development companies. The Alpha Genesis Indonesian primate colony is maintained at the Alpha Genesis Primate Research Center in South Carolina, which has undergone significant expansion over the past 18 months, with more than $2 million in investment funding allocated to infrastructure and staff development programs. 

Macaque monkeys are the cornerstone of medical research and are used throughout the world to model an array of human health issues which include Alzheimer's disease, avian flu, HIV infection, stem cell growth, and Zika virus infection. Research conducted at the Alpha Genesis Primate Research Center and the US network of national primate research centers has shown that geographically diverse populations of cynomolgus monkeys exhibit genetic variation that is unique among primates, and which provides scientists with a powerful new research tool for assessing the efficacy of medical treatments prior to their use in human trials. 

Cynomolgus monkeys originate from several distinct world regions, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Mauritius. China has no native cynomolgus populations but has imported thousands of these animals from their native areas for breeding and export to researchers worldwide. Studies examining the influence of regional genetics on spontaneous pathology and response to xenobiotics suggest that genotypical differences between cynomolgus populations can vary as high as those which occur between Indian and Chinese rhesus macaques, and that because of specific gene sequences associated with protection and susceptibility to infection, purpose-bred Indonesian-origin cynomolgus may be advantageous over mixed-origin Chinese cynomolgus monkeys for certain types of biomedical applications, including HIV and flu vaccine development. 

The purpose-bred Indonesian-origin cynomolgus macaque is a strong candidate to help alleviate the existing shortage in suitable primate research models, broaden prospects for advanced scientific progress, and increase the effectiveness of medical research utilizing nonhuman primates.

DR. GREG WESTERGAARD

PRESIDENT AND CEO, ALPHA GENESIS, INC.

The most common primate vaccine models have been developed using Indian-origin, Old World rhesus monkeys. “Most of the studies pertaining to HIV vaccine development, for example, have been conducted with rhesus monkeys whose ancestors originated from the Indian subcontinent. However, there are some complex aspects of HIV and other disease processes you cannot investigate using Indian-origin rhesus due to their limited availability to the research community. The purpose-bred Indonesian-origin cynomolgus macaque is a strong candidate to help alleviate the existing shortage in suitable primate research models, broaden prospects for advanced scientific progress, and increase the effectiveness of medical research utilizing nonhuman primates," according to Greg Westergaard, PhD, a leading authority on primate research models. 

About Alpha Genesis

Alpha Genesis is a leading life sciences company that provides primates and primate research services worldwide. With a mission to improve health and improve lives, Alpha Genesis delivers world-class solutions to the primate research community. To learn more about Alpha Genesis, visit www.alphagenesisinc.com and to learn more about the AGI Primate Research Center, visit www.primateresearch.com.

Media Contact: info@alphagenesisinc.com

Alpha Genesis exploring blockchain tech in primate research
 

By Melissa Fassbender
23-Aug-2018 https://www.outsourcing-pharma.com/Article/2018/08/23/Alpha-Genesis-exploring-blockchain-tech-in-primate-research

Alpha Genesis is exploring blockchain technology applications in its primate research activities – the use of which aims to boost transparency and traceability across several areas of the business.

HTTPS://WWW.OUTSOURCING-PHARMA.COM/ARTICLE/2018/08/23/ALPHA-GENESIS-EXPLORING-BLOCKCHAIN-TECH-IN-PRIMATE-RESEARCH

Patty the Capuchin Monkey Celebrates Milestone 35th Birthday at Alpha Genesis Primate Center

PRESS RELEASE  UPDATED: JUN 3, 2018 17:54 EDT
YEMASSEE, S.C., June 1, 2018 (Newswire.com) -Ice cream cones, confetti, and many other treats for Patty the capuchin monkey and her primate friends marked an occasion that might very well put Patty in the monkey record books. The California-born monkey turned 35 years young on June 1 at Alpha Genesis facilities located in Yemassee, South Carolina.

"It's an unusual age. Patty is likely one of the oldest capuchins today in North America, she was born while I was an undergraduate psychology student at San Diego State University and I have known Patty her whole life. She is extremely sweet and very intelligent", said Alpha Genesis CEO, Greg Westergaard.

Intelligent she is, as Patty is a whiz at making and using objects as tools to solve many sorts of problems, including using stones to crack open walnuts and sticks to probe for honey from enclosed containers, much like has been reported for chimpanzees in the wild. 

Westergaard couldn't say if Patty was currently the oldest capuchin in the world, but her longevity is quite an achievement as these monkeys usually live no more than 15 years in the wild.

The Alpha Genesis staff decided to mark the occasion and made lots of treats for Patty and her capuchin friends, who enjoyed the party as much as the humans who love and care for them.

Westergaard attributes Patty's good health to the care she receives at Alpha Genesis and her kind disposition.

"The Alpha Genesis staff are fantastic, simply amazing, and Patty is a very clever monkey and due to her sweet nature, she easily makes friends, who always make sure she's got plenty to eat.

To celebrate her birthday Patty, who was born in San Diego in 1983, and moved to her South Carolina home in 1998, was treated to a "monkey-friendly" celebration, created and shared by many kind and thoughtful onlookers.

"It was quite the celebration. Capuchins are incredibly smart and we like to encourage fun activities for them so they remain engaged in working out life's daily challenges," Dr. Westergaard said.

Contacts

Alpha Genesis, Inc.
Greg Westergaard
gwprimate@alphagenesisinc.com

South Carolina Primate Research Center Alpha Genesis Launches Immersion Program for Visiting Biotech Execs and Investors

PRESS RELEASE  UPDATED: JAN 26, 2018

Yemassee, South Carolina, January 26, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Primate Research Center Alpha Genesis has launched a new In-Residence Immersion Program that offers biotech executives, venture capitalists, scientists and entrepreneurs visiting South Carolina a fully functional on-the-go workspace on its Yemassee campus.

The program is an innovative way executives can have a temporary home base steps away from the pioneering research happening in labs and clinics throughout the Alpha Genesis facility in the heart of the region’s growing medical and biotech corridor.

“They are not just visiting. They have an opportunity to become immersed in the community,” read a statement from Alpha Genesis Senior Management. “We can arrange for them to meet with our scientists, tour our labs and learn more about our world-class facility, extensive research portfolio and opportunities for collaboration.”

Alpha Genesis has a breadth of research, innovations and facility strengths across all stages of the research continuum - basic, applied, and advanced. Research strengths include infectious disease, cardiovascular and related diseases, cancer, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, vaccine development, peptide chemistry and more. Alpha Genesis is also one of the region’s only research campuses with ties to key medical schools, government facilities, and national primate research centers.

Alpha Genesis says the new program will give executives, investors and scientists from larger markets like Boston, San Francisco or Los Angeles an easy way to learn about the South Carolina research community and opportunities for partnerships. The program could be especially attractive for startups and entrepreneurs exploring alternative markets for conducting research or relocation.

Contacts

Alpha Genesis, Inc.
Greg Westergaard
gwprimate@alphagenesisinc.com

Alpha Genesis, Inc.: Primate Center Receives Funding, Serves Community

January 13, 2018 04:23 PM Eastern Standard Time

YEMASSEE, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alpha Genesis, Inc. (AGI) is pleased to announce it has received strategic growth investments from equity sources with deep experience in growth companies across the research and development chain. 

Alpha Genesis, Inc. is a fast-growing company that provides primate products and research services. The Company serves a broad customer base that extends across the United States, Europe, and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Yemassee, South Carolina, and utilizes a differentiated approach that gives its customers a powerful advantage in the marketplace through best-in-class lead times, quality assurance, resource management, and solutions-oriented approaches.

A statement from Senior Company Management read that “In recent years the Company has shifted strategy from providing services to domestic clients to serving an international customer base and providing multiple value-added products and contract support systems. Given our tremendous organic growth and acquisition opportunity set, we seek to fulfill our strategic vision and are eager to support continued investment in new technology and capabilities that best serve our valued clients. We are thrilled to be in our current strong and rapidly developing position within the marketplace and look forward to this next stage in our Company’s evolution.”

“Recent investments come from multiple sources,” said a Senior AGI Management source under condition of anonymity, and are, “sufficient to fully fund our previously-announced growth initiatives, and will allow us to plan for even more in the coming years. Our investors continue to be impressed by AGI’s stellar reputation in the industry and by our important role in helping customers obtain solutions for their research needs.” Crunchbase.com, an internet data source, lists three funding recent rounds for Alpha Genesis, Inc., totaling $12.5 million over the last six months alone.

Recent Company initiatives have included constructing state-of-the-art research infrastructure, purchasing improved veterinary and diagnostic equipment, enhanced training of new skills for staff, and providing valuable employment and skill acquisition opportunities for the local community. The Company has a policy to Buy Local, Invest Local, Hire Local, and Give Local, and supports numerous Community Development Initiatives. A statement from AGI Senior Management adds that, “Serving our friends and neighbors is not only a great pleasure, but also a wonderful opportunity and an amazing privilege.”

Contacts

Alpha Genesis, Inc.
Greg Westergaard
gwprimate@alphagenesisinc.com

Alpha Genesis Expands in to European Research Market

November 14, 2017 07:15 PM Eastern Standard Time

YEMASSEE, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alpha Genesis, Inc., a leading provider of nonhuman primate research products and services, has embarked on a further expansion program to more fully leverage its primate expertise, research design and integration skills to deliver first-to-market innovations with European clients.

“We are proud of our successful partnership with leading European academic institutions and the European pharmaceutical industry and look forward to further assisting these organizations to adapt to research trends and eliminate potential disruption in product development.”

“Alpha Genesis is a next-generation solution built for today’s rapidly changing primate research environment. Using our deep understanding of nonhuman primate solutions and our product development expertise, Alpha Genesis is positioned to take a leading role in the development of new product extensions throughout Europe,” according to a statement from Senior Alpha Genesis Management. “We are proud of our successful partnership with leading European academic institutions and the European pharmaceutical industry and look forward to further assisting these organizations to adapt to research trends and eliminate potential disruption in product development.”

Alpha Genesis is an AAALAC-accredited primate research institution headquartered along the I-95 technology corridor. The Company features comprehensive infrastructure that enables immediate availability of a broad range of primate models, quick-study start, and innovative research and animal management processes, with flexible and adaptable administrative procedures to expeditiously manage client study protocol development and approval. By providing open investigator access, novel research applications are seamlessly and rapidly integrated in to pre-clinical studies to deliver unique and innovative research management capabilities.

For more information about Alpha Genesis, please visit www.alphagenesisinc.com, or email us directly at info@alphagenesisinc.com.

 

Contacts
Alpha Genesis, Inc.
Dr. Greg Westergaard
gwprimate@alphagenesisinc.com

Alpha Genesis Awarded Federal Contract with Maximum Value of $48M

YEMASSEE, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alpha Genesis, Inc., a world-leading provider of primate research products and services based in Yemassee, South Carolina, has received a seven-year Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), an Institute within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), under which the Company will breed and maintain monkey colonies for critical government research programs. The contract is for a potential maximum value of $48 Million, with an initial task order valued at approximately $3.3 Million.

This award to Alpha Genesis is in addition to $2 Million in Company-funded infrastructure development and staffing enhancement initiatives announced earlier this year through which the organization has significantly expanded and modernized its animal care, behavioral enrichment, and veterinary care programs as well as its overall business operations.

“Receiving this substantial Government award is a significant accomplishment which emphasizes our long-term relationship with the NIH, who we have been working with for years with great success, and we are proud and extremely pleased that our relationship with the NIH has continued to grow and mature. This award is made possible by the extreme dedication of our experienced and highly qualified staff, who work tirelessly on behalf of the animals we care for, and provides a strong basis for continued investment and expansion of our operations in the coming years,” according to a statement from Senior Alpha Genesis Management.

Alpha Genesis employs more than 150 technically-skilled South Carolina residents creating considerable economic activity for the Beaufort County area. For more than 25 years Alpha Genesis has maintained Full Accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC) for its program of care and use of animals. This prestigious achievement demonstrates that for over two decades Alpha Genesis has met or exceeded all guidelines and regulations which bear upon animal care and use.

About Alpha Genesis

Alpha Genesis Inc. provides the highest quality nonhuman primate products and bio-research services world-wide. With more than 30 years of proven expertise in primate research, Alpha Genesis is uniquely qualified to meet the specific needs of its clients in critical areas of animal health, security, delivery, and client confidentiality.

Contacts
Alpha Genesis Inc.
Dr. Greg Westergaard
gwprimate@alphagenesisinc.com

Alpha Genesis Awarded Prestigious Accreditation

YEMASSEE, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Alpha Genesis, Inc., a leading provider of primate research products and services, has maintained Full Accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International (AAALAC) for its program of care and use of animals. This prestigious achievement demonstrates that the Program meets or exceeds all regulations which bear upon animal care and use. AAALAC is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. “Maintaining full AAALAC accreditation is a significant accomplishment which reflects our recent $2M investment in recruitment, state-of-the-art primate housing, and modern veterinary care equipment, as well as the extreme dedication of our experienced and highly qualified staff, and provides a strong basis for continued investment and expansion in the coming years,” according to a statement from Senior Alpha Genesis Management

Benefits of AAALAC International Accreditation

It represents quality

AAALAC International accreditation shows that an institution is serious about setting, achieving and maintaining high standards for animal care and use and committed to animal welfare in science. AAALAC International offers the only international accreditation for animal care and use programs, and it has become recognized around the world as a sign of quality and good science.

It promotes scientific validity

When research involves animals, reliable scientific results depend on superior animal care. AAALAC International accreditation engages scientists, veterinarians, managers and administrators in an independent, rigorous assessment of their institution’s animal program—an assessment that ultimately results in improved animal welfare and better research practices and outcomes.

It provides assurance in a global marketplace

Today it’s common for research institutions to partner or contract with other research entities around the world. Because laws and regulations related to animal research vary widely from country to country, AAALAC International accreditation can be used worldwide to gauge the quality of a program, harmonize animal care and use practices, and provide assurance to diverse stakeholders.

It stimulates continuous improvement

When an institution participates in the AAALAC accreditation program, it’s committing to a process that stimulates continuous improvement. Earning and maintaining accreditation keeps an institution aware of, and engaged in, current best practices. Accreditation is a true commitment to humane animal care and use and shows the world that an institution is serious about ensuring animal well-being and conducting good science.

Contacts
Alpha Genesis Inc.
Dr. Greg Westergaard
gwprimate@alphagenesisinc.com

Yemassee Monkey Facility Found to be in Full Compliance With USDA Guidelines

YEMASSEE, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier this month conducted a rigorous three-day inspection of Alpha Genesis, Inc. (AGI), a Yemassee, South Carolina - based primate breeding and research facility, and found that the center was in full compliance with the regulations and standards of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), Company officials said today. The USDA conducted their most recent inspection January 30 – February 1, 2017. A previous focused inspection conducted in 2016 also found the Company to be in full compliance with AWA requirements.

“Alpha Genesis, Inc. is committed to advancing scientific knowledge and to saving, improving and prolonging the lives of humans and animals. The AGI Animal Care and Research Programs do so while upholding the highest standards of regulatory compliance and of humane and responsible treatment of all monkeys we are privileged to maintain,” according to a statement from the Administrative Offices of the Company.

AGI officials said that monkeys are used in research only when no viable alternatives exist. The benefits of primate research include advances in understanding of cancer, infectious diseases, metabolic disorders, spinal cord injuries, substance abuse, and other basic biological and behavioral processes. Improved understanding of these processes leads directly to the development of new and effective medicines, vaccines, devices and other treatments, according to scientific experts.

Government regulations mandate that the USDA routinely conduct unannounced intensive program inspections to thoroughly examine all aspects of animal health, housing facilities, veterinary care, medical documentation, and work practices at licensed facilities. “The USDA examines all monkeys, all housing, and all treatment facilities, in addition to speaking directly with staff and examining detailed documentation and work practices. To have the USDA find that an organization as large and complex as AGI is in full compliance during such a comprehensive inspection further demonstrates that Alpha Genesis provides superior care to the monkeys at its facilities, and reflects the dedication and strong work ethic of the staff who do this important and challenging work,” according to Dr. Greg Westergaard, AGI President and Chief Executive Officer.

Contacts
Alpha Genesis Inc.
Dr. Greg Westergaard
gwprimate@alphagenesisinc.com

Alpha Genesis Announces $2 Million Expansion, up to 30 New Jobs

YEMASSEE, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Primate Breeding and Research Organization Alpha Genesis, Inc. (AGI) plans to spend $2 million to expand facilities at its Yemassee, South Carolina headquarters and will add up to 30 new jobs by the end of next year, Company officials said today.

“Our 2016 pace of new business growth was extremely strong, and our 2017 outlook is very positive. As a result, we have made it an organizational priority to further enhance our facilities and technical staff to more efficiently meet the growing needs of our customers,” according to a statement from the Executive Offices of the Company.

The Company indicates it will renovate more than 50,000 square feet of space “with state-of-the-art design and housing materials to ensure the highest possible standards of animal welfare. Once that phase is complete, we will be renovating our clinical care and research facilities, which play an integral role in all phases of our operations.”

AGI Officials further stated that the company expects to increase its staff by 25 percent before the end of next year, to include 30 new jobs, based on the company's current roster of 120 employees. “Customers need superior services and require that more complex tasks be completed in faster time frames. These upgrades and the new talent we'll be bringing in will allow us to better meet these demands,” according to Dr. Greg Westergaard, AGI President and CEO.

In the spring of 2016, the company opened new clinical health care facilities, a $1,000,000 investment that features improved housing, diagnostic, and treatment equipment which provide for superior care and immediate access to important measures of animal health and well-being.

“The Animal Care and Research Programs at Alpha Genesis, Inc. contribute significantly to advancing scientific knowledge and to saving, improving and prolonging the lives of humans and animals. The Programs do so while upholding the highest standards of regulatory compliance and of humane and responsible treatment of nonhuman primates,” according to a statement from the Executive Offices of the Company.

Animals are used in research only when no alternatives exist, AGI officials said. The potential benefits of primate research include an improved understanding of cancer, infectious diseases, neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries, basic biological and behavioral processes, and the development of new medicines, vaccines, devices and other treatments, according to scientific researchers.

A recent USDA Inspection at AGI facilities found no non-compliant items which, according to Dr. Westergaard, “Speaks volumes in support of the excellent Animal Care provided to the primates at Alpha Genesis facilities, and is testament to the dedication and strong work ethic of the staff who do this important and challenging work.”


Contacts
Alpha Genesis, Inc.
Dr. Greg Westergaard
gwprimate@alphagenesisinc.com

Alpha Genesis Animal Care Program Passes Federal Inspection

YEMASSEE, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--An inspection of Alpha Genesis, Inc. (AGI) by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier this month found zero non-compliant items, Company officials said today. Inspectors from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) made a routine, unannounced focused visit to AGI facilities October 24-26, 2016. AGI is an industry-leading Primate Breeding and Research facility located in Yemassee, South Carolina.

“The Animal Care and Research Programs at Alpha Genesis, Inc. contribute significantly to advancing scientific knowledge and to saving, improving and prolonging the lives of humans and animals. The Programs do so while upholding the highest standards of regulatory compliance and of humane and responsible treatment of nonhuman primates,” according to a statement from the Executive Offices of the Company.

Animals are used in research only when no alternatives exist, AGI officials said. The potential benefits of primate research include an improved understanding of cancer, infectious diseases, neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries, basic biological and behavioral processes, and the development of new medicines, vaccines, devices and other treatments, according to scientific researchers.

A focused USDA Inspection is an intensive program review process in which a highly qualified team of experts is brought in by the USDA to thoroughly examine animal health, housing facilities, veterinary care, medical documentation, and work practices of a licensed facility. “To have no non-compliant items found during such a comprehensive detailed inspection by highly-qualified and highly-trained experts speaks volumes in support of the excellent Animal Care provided to the primates at Alpha Genesis facilities, and is testament to the dedication and strong work ethic of the staff who do this important and challenging work,” according to Dr. Greg Westergaard, President and CEO of Alpha Genesis, Inc.

Contacts
Alpha Genesis Inc.
Dr. Greg Westergaard
gwprimate@alphagenesisinc.com