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Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen.
Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen. | Show Photo

Innovation

Knopp Biosciences and Carnegie Speech expand; Pittsburgh's job prospects brighten

Growth spurts at two Pittsburgh-based companies are driving hiring at Knopp Biosciences and Carnegie Speech.
 
Drug discovery and development company Knopp Biosciences, working on a breakthrough drug for Lou Gehrig's disease, recently announced executive hires and a company expansion.  Knopp has doubled its research and development lab space to 20,000 feet, now occupying almost two floors at 2100 Wharton Street.  
 
The company grew from 15 to 27 in 2010 and now employs 33, having hired mostly Ph.D.-level biologists and medicinal chemists who have relocated to Pittsburgh.
 
Joining the team is Steven Boyd, Ph.D., formerly of Array BioPharma and Abbot Laboratories, who will lead the newly launched chemistry effort. Ian Reynolds, Ph. D., formerly of Merck & Co. and the University of Pittsburgh, is leading the expanded biological research effort.
 
In other expansion news, Carnegie Speech has appointed Paul Musselman as its new CEO and moved to a larger, new space on Liberty Avenue. The firm has also closed on a $3.4 million series B round of financing, led by Golden Seeds, contributions from New York Angels and returning investor group Osage Venture Partners. 
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Musselman joins Carnegie Speech with more than 15 years of executive management and global experience at major technology firms including Intel Capital, IBM, Net Perceptions, Misys and Amdocs. 
 
The companies growth comes at a time of good news for jobs in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh job growth in March was the strongest of any city in the U.S. outside of Texas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics employment and unemployment figures for March 2012 reveal a bright job growth picture for the region and the lowest unemployment rate in three years. 
 
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2012 was 6.7 percent, the lowest rate since February 2009's rate of 6.5 percent. Only three benchmark regions - Minneapolis, Boston, and Richmond - had lower unemployment rates in March, according to PittsburghToday.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Knopp Biosciences; Carnegie Speech
 
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