Northwest Florida Roundup
Targeting concussions: A Tallahassee company's drug draws attention
Plus, more business news from Northeast Florida
Prevacus’ neuro-steroid drug, Prevasol, has been getting a lot of national exposure recently. In April, company founder Dr. Jake VanLandingham appeared on NBC’s Today Show with Megyn Kelly to tout the drug, which is designed to treat athletes, accident victims, military personnel and others who suffer concussions. He was joined by former NFL players Kurt Warner and Brett Favre and soccer player Abby Wambach, a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Warner and Wambach are official spokespersons for Prevacus.
Prevasol has not been approved by the FDA and currently is undergoing extensive clinical trials. The company is hoping to raise enough money to begin human testing in Australia later this year. In tests on rats, the drug has reduced brain inflammation and swelling, the company says. It can be administered through a nasal applicator twice a day for 14 days, says the former assistant professor at Florida State University.
The drug also has the potential to reduce the chances of a victim developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that can cause depression, mood disorders and cognitive changes, says VanLandingham.
More News and Business Briefs for Northeast Florida
The Triumph Gulf Coast board, which manages a compensation fund created by BP after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, has approved a number of grants:
- $56 million to Pensacola International Airport to expand its maintenance, repair and overhaul hangars, possibly creating more than 1,700 jobs. The grant is Triumph’s largest yet; it is contingent upon the city, which owns the airport, securing matching grants and private funding of $134 million.
- $1.5 million for Okaloosa County to extend water and sewer lines to the Shoal River Ranch industrial park near Crestview.
- $8.5 million for site improvements at Whiting Aviation Park near Milton in Santa Rosa County. The grant is expected to create more than 200 jobs and is contingent on the county purchasing a 267-acre site adjacent to NAS Whiting Field.
- $4.3 million to the Wakulla County School Board to create curricula that will offer up to 400 elementary and middle school students courses that prepare them for national industry certification in information technology, HVAC and automotive maintenance.
- Revint Solutions, a bill-collecting and consulting company for the health care industry, is opening a regional headquarters in the former Tyndall Federal Credit Union building in Lynn Haven. The Bay County Economic Development Alliance says the Pennsylvania-based company plans to hire 150.
- FMB Banking is merging with Mississippi-based First Bancshares in an $80-million acquisition deal that’s expected to be completed this quarter. FMB is the holding company of Farmers & Merchants Bank.
- Pensacola developer Robert Rinke plans to build a 150-unit condominium tower on Pensacola Beach. Units will cost from $1.1 million to $3.6 million. Construction is expected to get under way next year.
- The city has begun using a traffic management design that promotes a safe, low-speed thoroughfare for pedestrians and vehicles. The “woonerf” is located in the downtown business core adjacent to the new $50-million Southtowne apartments and the new YMCA.
- PSA Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, plans to open a maintenance facility at Pensacola International Airport. The facility will create at least 30 jobs and support PSA’s efforts to grow its fleet by about 20 aircraft.
- The new $10-million Garden Gateway office building in downtown Pensacola is open. Servis1st Bank, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., will occupy the ground floor of the five-story building.
PORT ST. JOE
- Port St. Joe city commissioners are looking at implementing new regulations governing the growing use of golf carts within the city limits.
- The 14-screen CMX Cinemas, Tallahassee’s first new movie theater in two decades, opened in late July adjacent to Costco in the Fallscase Village Shopping Center.
- Steve Millaway, CEO of Tallahasseebased TechFarms, represented Florida at the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education Summit hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Millaway was nominated to attend the summit by Gov. Rick Scott.
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