The Wilmington area’s burgeoning contract research industry has attracted an executive search firm that focuses exclusively on the life sciences sector.
Prestige Scientific, a 14-year-old firm based in Milford, Massachusetts, has opened a 900-square-foot office at 414 Chestnut St., Suite 303 in downtown Wilmington. Its first official day in business was Monday.
The office - Prestige's first branch location - is headed by Stephen Provost, one of the firm’s two co-founders and senior partners. Its initial staff is made up of project specialist Anna Maltby and executive search consultants Mattie Morrow and Hunter Dunn, Provost said. All three new employees were in the Wilmington area previous to their hiring.
Prestige Scientific works with companies in the biotechnical and pharmaceutical industries as well as companies – such as contract research organizations (CROs) – that serve those industries, helping them build their senior management and executive teams in the areas of preclinical testing, research and development and commercial business development.
“A lot of what we do is helping companies [staff to] prepare for commercialization of products and prepare for FDA submission,” Provost said.
The senior partner said his firm chose to locate its expansion office in Wilmington for several reasons. One was the local CRO cluster of companies. Prestige has worked with AAI Pharma Services and PPD in the past.
“We also like the closeness to UNCW for hiring,” Provost said. “There’s also the population growth. The area is supposed to grow in population over the next few years. That makes Wilmington a good location.”
Broker for Prestige’s leasing transaction was Bernadette Silivanch of Eastern Carolinas Commercial Real Estate, according to Provost.
Prestige Scientific employs a total staff of 11 people, including two North Carolina-based decentralized employees, Provost said, adding that both office locations will likely add staff in 2016.