Tuesday, February 23, 2010

About G-Con

Earlier, we wondered about the identity of G-Con, the industry partner that local officials and Texas A&M are planning to work with to "bring a large biomedical research and vaccination manufacturing center to Bryan". At the time, G-con's website looked brand new, and didn't have information about who they are. But Vision 1920 just checked the site again and we see that the about page has been updated:
Dr. Barry Holtz, President of G-Con, is a recognized international expert on design and construction of pharmaceutical facilities. David Haselwood, an experienced life science entrepreneur, investor and operator, heads up business operations for G-Con.
Barry Holtz appears to be the proprietor of Holtz BioPharma Consulting
Dr. Holtz has 30 years of experience in the development of bioproducts and biopharmaceuticals. Serving 15 years as Senior Vice President for Large Scale Biology Corporation, Dr. Holtz was responsible for the product development, clinical development and manufacturing compliance of the company's proprietary therapeutics portfolio. These projects included leading development and manufacturing teams that successfully brought a recombinant, plant-made, patient specific vaccine, for treatment of indolent Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma,from the bench to human clinical trials. Dr. Holtz was also responsible for the design, construction and commissioning of the LSBC biopharmaceutical production facility in Owensboro, Kentucky. Dr. Holtz has also designed and built two other bioproducts facilities for other clients. Recent efforts have included design and construction of cancer vaccine facilities, implementing proteogenomics into vaccine manufacture and international development of biotechnology development in resource challenged countries.

Prior to Large Scale Biology, Dr. Holtz was the founder and President of Holtz Bio-Engineering. Over its' nine year history, the company was involved in the development of bioreactor based processes for the biotechnology sector and developed a proprietary line of bioreactors and distributed logic control systems for cell culture. Holtz Bio-Engineering was merged into Large Scale Biology in 1989.

Dr. Holtz has held research management positions at Foremost-Mckesson and was on the faculty of Ohio State University. He received his Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Dr. Holtz has been awarded 22 US patents and has published over 50 scientific papers. Dr. Holtz was awarded the Pennsylvania State University, Outstanding Alumni Award in 2003.
Pubmed finds some papers that could be from Holtz's graduate and postdoctoral work. More relevant to the NCTM is this paper from Large Scale Biology Corporation describing production of anticancer vaccines using Tobacco Mosaic Virus vectors in plants. This has been used by Bayer, in collaboration with Icon Genetics (a competitor of LSBC?), which is also listed under the projects page at G-Con.

Large Scale Biology Corporation appears to have published the paper a couple of years after going bankrupt.

David Haselwood is a 2004 Berkeley MPH/MBA who has also been with Gradalis since 2008. From 2004-2006, he worked at Burrill & Company, a venture capital firm focusing on biotech.


  1. Did you know that Gradalis got an ETF grant for almost $2million, and that David Shanahan from Gradalis heads up the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center in Dallas, which partnered with Introgen? You may remember Introgen as the failed enterprise that the System partnered with. David Shanahan also works for G-Con Bio. Hmmmm....no wonder the president lost her job!

  2. Again, it's the conceptual based long term biology, stupid!

    As the failed venture called TIGM continues its squander of taxpayers money looks for another shill to replace its deposed former CEO who thought he could pull down some personal resources for his own agenda (http://www.tigm.org), a new one based on equally flawed and wornout biology emerges:

    As discussed previously, TIGM was built on an obsolete technology and a resource cell bank of limited biological utility palmed off by failing Lexicon who took it's partnership money and squandered. The coverup quietly continues as the so-called resource is downplayed and touted use of the bank for mindless, useless and expensive screening of chemical agents of doubtful impact and utility.

    Now the worn out theory and failed practical applications for production via genetically engineered plants has resurfaced to undergo the same futile fate. A respondent to the Chronicle article put it well:

    "This is very old technology dressed up in new clothes. There have been numerous commercial failures based on this approach and other technologies– most notably – Large Scale Biotech and Dow, University of Virginia - CropTech, Medicago, Vaxx Inc., SemBiosys, etc etc. The technology story is so compelling that it won’t die – just rub some engineered TMV virus onto tobacco plants and Bingo! They produce a vaccine. I’m amazed that it seems to take the Venture Capital community about 10 years to forget that money has already been lost on the same technology."

    Would that the multi-millions of taxpayers money squandered could have been plowed into real concept based research, development of young faculty to carry it out and to pass it on to future generations in the classroom and laboratory. One might actually fulfill a portion in the long term of the narcissitic megalomania of myopic agenda's of long gone individuals and current individuals that will equally disappear that suffer no feedback or retribution for their idiocy. Harvey

  3. Will the governor pull his ETF funds from Facebook because they allow free speech?

    The TIGM boondoggle enters the White-Perry campaign via White's Facebook page while Vision 1920's star snakeoil salesman protests as the obsolete TIGM with its empty building and directorless organization further dissolves is "one of the jewels of American science.”

    Ex-president Murano representing faculty intellect counters "from a technical, scientific point of view, that, I think, was the bug-a-boo.”

    Hopefully this is the beginning of shining some sunlight on the fungus as scrutiny of the basis and accountability of the scienceless NCTM venture intensifies ramping into the whole secretive and corrupt process of doling out ETF funds.

    Of Mice and Men, Texas Tribune: http://www.texastribune.org/stories/2010/may/10/best-laid-plans/