Business news: Local companies collaborate, awarded grants – Gainesville Sun


Emily Mavrakis
| The Gainesville Sun

Several businesses throughout Alachua County are collaborating with other companies to reach wider audiences and combine resources for better outcomes, whether they be for the development of new medicines or teaching new technology skills.

One company has also been awarded a grant to help combat a serious environmental problem in the Sunshine State.

Here’s a roundup of this week’s business news:

Gene therapy company collaborates for research 

Lacerta Therapeutics, an Alachua-based gene therapy company, has announced a new research collaboration with UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company. 

Gene therapy is a new generation of medicine where a technique is used that modifies a person’s genes to treat or cure a disease. 

The research collaboration and licensing agreement with UCB will focus on a central nervous system disease with a high unmet need. 

Lacerta will lead research, preclinical activities and early manufacturing process development, while UCB will complete studies, manufacturing and clinical development. 

The research collaboration with Lacerta is expected to last three years, until the program enters its clinical phase. 

Gainesville business joins other IT learning company 

ITProTV, a company focused on information technology learning solutions, will be integrated with Colorado-based ACI Learning. ITProTV will join its portfolio of audit, cyber and IT learning solutions for enterprise and consumer markets. 

ITProTV was founded in Gainesville in 2013 and has since grown to offer 5,800 hours of IT training course material. In 2019, the company had more than 160,000 members. 

Together, the new ACI Learning will deliver lifetime learning to over 250,000 professionals and members across six continents. Students can select from on-demand learning, online virtual instructor-led training, on-premise training and live classroom learning at one of ACI’s five learning hubs across the U.S. 

ACI Learning will integrate ITProTV’s people, content and intellectual property, production capabilities, and customer contracts into its core business operations effective immediately. 

Carbonxt awarded grant for red tide research 

Carbonxt, a developer of activated carbon technologies to reduce environmental pollutants, and Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium have been awarded a $134,000 grant to further develop technology to address red-tide events through the Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative.  

Red tide is caused by algal blooms that release toxins into the air and water, which can greatly harm aquatic life as well as tourism along Florida’s beaches. 

Existing research has delved into how we can prevent red tide events, but Carbonxt’s research will include the development of a large-scale effort to remove toxins once they are in water. 

SouthArc Inc. now part of Commonwealth Heritage Group Inc. 

SouthArc Inc., a local cultural resources management firm, announced earlier this year that the firm became part of Commonwealth Heritage Group Inc., a national cultural resource management firm with offices in 11 states.  

As part of Commonwealth, the firm will continue to offer archaeological, historical and architectural history services throughout the southeastern U.S.  

SouthArc’s former President Lucy Wayne, is now Commonwealth’s Regional Director. Martin Healey has joined the local office as a project manager and principal investigator.

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