Columbia’s local biotech company

It’s time for a science lesson. We’re going back to the basics of biology this morning with the help of the local biotech company Integrated Micro-Chromatography Systems Inc. (IMCS).

Today’s vocabulary lesson:

Proteomics is the study of specific proteins and peptides to identify their unique characteristics. This study of proteins plays an important role with the diagnosis, prognosis + therapeutic prediction of diseases.

Enzymes are proteins that are used in tests for DNA, illegal drugs, and the presence of diseases, like diabetes + cancer.

The good news is we don’t need to get into the details of this because we have a company that’s the local expert and works with companies worldwide. 

IMCS scientists in the laboratory | Photo provided

IMCS was founded in Jan. 2013 with the help of local incubators, like the UofSC Technology Incubator. The 3 founders — Andrew Lee, Qian Wang, and William Brewer — also happen to be UofSC scientists.

Together they combined their chemistry and biotech backgrounds to create a cutting-edge company that tackles efficiency + accuracy in lab testing while also creating innovative medical applications for deadly diseases.

Today, IMCS products are used to perform millions of tests every month and serve 600+ health science companies across the world. The company works with medical labs, forensic toxicology labs, businesses that perform drug tests for hiring, the FBI, the National Institutes of Health, and more.

Did we mention that the company is also investing $4.1 million into Richland County to expand? IMCS announced earlier this year it plans to expand its operations and create even more biotech products. The plan is to prioritize creating new therapeutic drugs to treat neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

The expansion will also add a third building, provide new equipment, and create 31 new jobs over the next 5 years. The expansion was announced following the news of receiving a $900,000 Small Business Innovation Research Fast-Track grant from the National Institutes of Health. This award will help allow the company to continue its advanced research for diagnostics and therapeutic interventions.